A couple nights before Thanksgiving I was invited to check out the brand new Parish Brewing Company near Lafayette, La. Andrew Godley, the owner and brewer, welcomed me and some of my select craft-beer-loving friends to his home where we were able to sample his brews and discuss his brewing knowledge and game plan for the brewery over dinner. I brought Eric and Eusebio with me while Ben and Andrea met us at Andrew and his wife Rachel's house where Andrew has been home brewing since 2007.
The Group Talking About Parish Beer in Andrew's Garage
Andrew got the festivities started right away by pouring us all a glass of beer before talking about any of his brews or custom equipment. We began with a tasting of the Parish Biere Blanc which is a dry-hopped pale ale using hops from the Pacific Northwest. It had many of the characteristics of craft beers that you find in Northern California, Oregon, and Washington while still maintaining a crisp and refreshing taste throughout and not being overpowered by the delicious hops.
The Parish Brewing Company's Tasting Taps
Parish Primo Pilsner and Parish Oktoberfest
The next two brews that Andrew let us sample included his version of an American-style pilsner and his seasonal Oktoberfest beer. The pilsner was lagered and had the taste of a typical "American" macro-brewed beer except that you could actually taste the malt and hops! In some ways, it reminded me of what a Budweiser should taste like if it were not watered down due to mass production. The beer still had the light and crisp characteristics and, I hate to say this, "drinkability," while also offering the extra flavor and beer notes that come with any good micro, or in this case nano, brews. The Oktoberfest had a true beer flavor that you find in a lot of European beers and American Oktoberfest-style beers. Brewed as an ale, the Oktoberfest blended together a wonderful combination of malty goodness and noble hops.
Now for a look at the Parish Brewery original home brew kettles and the new equipment to enlarge the brewery's capacity.
The old home brew kettles made with retired stainless steel half-barrel kegs.
The new boil and mash pots. The are actually stainless steel 55 gallon drums. The wood is for insulation and decoration.
Jay checking out the new line of stainless steel drums. Photo courtesy of Eric Ducote.
Parish's electrical relay switches followed by the new fermenting tanks which will replace the 5 gallon carboys