Dixie Brewing Company

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Dixie Brewing Company
IndustryAlcoholic beverage
Founded1907 (1907)
FounderValentine Merz[1]
HeadquartersNew Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Production output
1,000,000 cases (pre-Katrina)[2]
OwnerGayle Benson, Joe and Kendra Bruno
Websitewww.dixiebeer.com Edit this on Wikidata
An old Dixie Beer outdoor advertisement, revealed during renovation in New Orleans' Faubourg Marigny neighborhood.

The Dixie Brewing Company is a regional brewery founded in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1907.[1] Its beer, currently contract-brewed, was brewed at what had been the only remaining large volume brewery within the city of New Orleans,[3] prior to the city's 2005 levee failures.


Dixie Brewing was founded by Valentine Merz, and began production in 1907.[1] During Prohibition, they became the "Dixie Beverage Company."[1]

In 1989, its owners filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, emerging reorganized in 1992 with a new line of speciality beers,[4] including: Jazz Amber Light (introduced in 1993),[5] Blackened Voodoo (a dark lager), and Crimson Voodoo (a red ale).[3]

Dixie Brewery, 2401 Tulane Avenue; post-Katrina photograph

In 2005, the Dixie Brewery was severely damaged when Mid-City New Orleans flooded from the levee failure disaster during Hurricane Katrina. After the area was drained the brewery complex was looted with much of the equipment stolen. Despite early claims that the brewery would be restored, it remains off line as of December 2010 and the future of the facilities is uncertain. The brand remains in business, brewed under contract by breweries elsewhere.

The building sits in the footprint of the new Department of Veterans Affairs hospital under construction in New Orleans' Mid-City neighborhood. "Right now, what we're doing is stabilizing the structure that we're going to maintain, which is that iconic tower with the Dixie Brewery on there," said Liz Failla, project coordinator for the VA. The design preserves and repairs the six- and four-story sections of the old brewery. Failla said a modern brick and glass structure will rise from behind the historic facade.[6]

Dixie is currently contract-brewed, though there were efforts to encourage local government support for the return of the Dixie Brewery.[7][8]

Tom Benson, owner of the New Orleans Saints and the New Orleans Pelicans, bought a majority stake in the Dixie brand in 2017 from Joe and Kendra Bruno, with plans of returning the brewing operation to New Orleans within two years.[9] After his death, his wife Gayle Benson took control of the majority stake.

Popular culture[edit]

The brewery and/or its beer have been featured notably in films including RED, Southern Comfort, Tigerland, Steel Magnolias, Stone Cold and Tightrope.[10] It is briefly mentioned in novels such American Psycho[citation needed] and A Confederacy of Dunces.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Dixie". NOLABrewHistory.com. 2011. Retrieved 2013-05-03.
  2. ^ Ian McNulty (February 20, 2007), Confederacy of Suds, Gambit Weekly, archived from the original on 2007-03-18, retrieved 2013-05-03
  3. ^ a b "Dixie". Distinguished Brands. Archived from the original on 2004-06-29. Retrieved 2013-05-03.
  4. ^ "Dixie out of Chapter 11 proceedings". Modern Brewery Age. TheFreeLibrary.com. March 2, 1992. Retrieved 2013-05-03.
  5. ^ "Dixie debuts new Jazz Amber Light". Modern Brewery Age. TheFreeLibrary.com. May 24, 1993. Retrieved 2013-05-03.
  6. ^ Murphy, Paul (September 29, 2014). "Old Dixie Brewery to become VA research center". WWLTV.com. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
  7. ^ Couple Vows to Get Beer Flowing Again in 'Dixie', a June 2006 NPR article. Retrieved 2013-05-03.
  8. ^ Bring Dixie Home website Archived July 17, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 2013-05-03.
  9. ^ Sayre, Katherine (July 26, 2017). "Tom Benson to build Dixie Beer brewery in New Orleans". The Times-Picayune. NOLA.com. Retrieved 27 July 2017.
  10. ^ Clint Eastwood movie "Tightrope", 1984. from IMDb. Retrieved 2013-05-03.
  11. ^ John Kennedy Toole (1987). A Confederacy of Dunces. p. 9. ISBN 0802130208. and True Blood

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 29°57′38.34″N 90°5′21.47″W / 29.9606500°N 90.0892972°W / 29.9606500; -90.0892972