Abita Brewing Company, established in 1986, is the oldest craft brewery in the southeast. Located about 30 miles north of New Orleans in Abita Springs, LA, by 1994 they outgrew their original site (which is now their 100 seat brewpub) and moved up the road where they now brew over 62,000 barrels of beer annually. Despite their impressive growth, they still brew in small batches. Their protected wells deliver water so pure that it comes straight from the ground and goes right into their brewkettle (many breweries have to first chemically prepare their water to eliminate chlorine or other impurities before it's fit for brewing).
Considering their proximity to New Orleans, it was miraculous that the Abita Brewing Company was spared major damage from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Their ties and loyalty to the area led them to launch a major initiative to help raise funds for all those people whose lives have been devastated by the storms. One component of this initiative has been their Fleur-de-lis Restoration Ale, with $1 from the sale of every six pack donated to the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation (LDRF). To date, sales of this beer have contributed over $550,000 to the recovery effort. Your membership in our club has enabled us to purchase a large quantity of this brew and kick in a share to the kiddy. If you want to do more, you can give us a call at 888-625-8238—remember, you can reorder any beer we've ever featured, so if you want more Fleur-de-lis Restoration, give us a ring; you're not only helping yourself to a solid microbrew, you're helping others.
For those of us not near New Orleans, it might seem that the recovery effort is over by nearly two years after the storms. Sadly, this is not the case. There is much to do; many people still have not returned to the area, and many of those who have continue to struggle. The other major component of Abita's recovery contributions is their line of Fleur-de-lis t-shirts, hats, ribbon pins and car magnets. One hundred percent of the net proceeds from the sale of this merchandise will go directly to the LDRF. A third effort was undertaken in 2006 when Abita celebrated 20 years of making Louisiana's favorite beer by throwing a huge bash. Thousands turned out and helped ABC raise $20,000 for the Louisiana Restaurant Association's Employee Relief Fund. The fund was established to help displaced food service workers come home and return to their jobs.
For more information about the brewery, brewpub and/or scheduled tours, call (985) 893-3143 or check out their web site at www.abita.com. For additional details about the LDRF, visit www.LouisianaHelp.org. To lend support to the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation, consider ordering some of Abita's Fleur-de-lis merch. Hey, good cause, good gear, how can ya go wrong with that?