There’s still plenty work to be done but a recent visit found all the integral parts in place: 15-barrel brewhouse, 30 barrel cold liquor tank, a brace of fermenters, four brite tanks and a behemoth 45-barrel hot liquor tank.
As you walk into the old theater space there is a long, L-shaped bar offering plenty elbow room for drinkers while off to the side there will be movie theater seating where all the canasta and mahjong players can congregate.The rear of the former theater is devoted to the work of brewing and is nearly filled with the aforementioned shiny, stainless equipment.
The neighborhood around Wayward Owl is slowly transitioning as is much of New Orleans. New houses are being built just down the block and a huge, fancy apartment community recently finished construction to the south.Our beer drinking community is grossly underserved for a metropolitan as large as greater New Orleans. As the years pass we’ll see more neighborhood breweries like Wayward Owl and NOLA continue to pop up. Saturation is decades in the future as new residents continue to pour into town. How many breweries can New Orleans support? That remains to be seen and there will certainly be shakeout. The best will prosper and the mediocre will dwindle and disappear. I see Austin, Texas as a model. Back in the late 90s there was Live Oak and little else. Now, just over 15 years later there are nearly 40 breweries and growth shows no sign of slowing. Dozens of bars devoted to craft beer have opened in the last 10 years and the scene is flourishing.
Professionally-trained brewers like Boswell could begin migrating to New Orleans from the brewing capitals of the Pacific Northwest and New England. Everybody’s game will slowly inch upwards. Can New Orleans recapture its crown as ‘The Brewing Capital Of The South’?I believe it can but let’s see if we can overtake Birmingham before we get too big for our britches.
14 months ago I shot a photo gallery of Wayward Owl Brewing. The difference between back then and now will take your breath away.