About the Business
When will the “new” Dixie Beer be back on the shelves?
While Dixie has remained on shelves and in bars in limited quantities, Dixie Beer (using the original recipe), a brand-new Dixie Light (only 91.3 calories) and craft beer Dixie Blackened Voodoo Lager will be available on draught in neighborhood bars beginning July 27 (check website for updated availability). Retail, bottle and can availability will begin by the first week of August 2017.
Why did the Bensons buy Dixie Brewing?
New Orleans was once a great brewing city, and the Bensons look forward to bringing Dixie Beer back to where it was born. It’s gratifying to fuel the rebirth of a cultural institution like Dixie Beer that the Crescent City has lost to time, storms and even economic changes. As with other Benson endeavors, keeping businesses in New Orleans, creating good jobs and giving back to the community are the primary motivations for the Dixie acquisition.
Who are they buying it from and for how much?
The Bensons purchased the majority interest in Dixie Brewing from Joseph and Kendra Bruno, who have been stewards of the brand since 1985 and will remain minority owners and members of the Board of Managers.
The purchase price has not been disclosed.
What role will the Brunos play in the new organization?
The Brunos will remain valued members of the Dixie team and part of Dixie’s future as minority owners, including serving on the Board of Managers. The Benson organization has assumed day-to-day management responsibilities.
Explain what you mean by “The Original Craft Beer of New Orleans”
At its founding in 1907, Dixie Beer was brewed as a rich lager, made from lightly roasted two-row barley, rice and Cascade hops, much like contemporary craft brewers are using now. In recent years, the recipe was adjusted, but Dixie Beer will return to its original recipe, a richer, higher-quality and better-tasting lager.
Where will it be brewed?
After Katrina, brewing was moved to Wisconsin. In June of this year, it was moved to Blues City Brewery in Memphis, Tennessee, right up the river from its New Orleans birthplace. The original recipe is being brewed there until a New Orleans brewery is secured and operational. Brewing the highest-quality, best-tasting beer possible and building a brewery in New Orleans are the top priorities of Dixie Brewing Company.
Where will the beer be available?
Dixie Beer will be available at retail locations across the Gulf South as well as in restaurants and bars.
Will the brewery be located at its original Tulane Street facility? If no, why not and where will it be?
Unfortunately, Hurricane Katrina and the levee failures in 2005 left the brewery with 10 feet of water that ultimately destroyed the equipment and left the Tulane Avenue building in disrepair.
We are actively seeking a new location for the brewery in New Orleans. We look forward to announcing its location and beginning construction, but can say we are looking for opportunities to serve as a catalyst for revitalization. We’ll share information about this when details are confirmed.
Other info: Today, Dixie Brewing’s original location on Tulane Avenue sits within the footprint of the new Veterans Affairs Medical Center, which plans to use a portion of the original building to house a research center. The building’s distinctive cupola is being incorporated into the design.
Who is the brewmaster?
The Brewmaster for Dixie Brewing Company is Kevin Stuart. He is exceptionally excited about the opportunity to return Dixie to its original recipe and start brewing in New Orleans. Kevin oversees all aspects of brewing in Memphis.
Who is the general manager?
Ken Caldcleugh, a highly respected and knowledgeable member of the beer industry, has been named General Manager.
Who is the distributor?
Crescent Crown is the distributor in the New Orleans area.
About the Beer
How do you know the original recipe? And why did it change?
Back in 1907 when Dixie Beer was born, beer was brewed in the German tradition. Dixie Beer was a rich lager, made from lightly roasted two-row barley, rice and Cascade hops.
When the Tulane Avenue brewery was destroyed, the owners moved brewing to Wisconsin to keep the company alive, and the recipe was adjusted then.
What beer will be available at launch?
Dixie Beer, new Dixie Light and Dixie Blackened Voodoo Lager will be available at launch in kegs and 12-ounce longnecks. Dixie and Dixie Light also will be available in 12-ounce cans. The bottles and cans will begin to appear on retail shelves in mid-August.
What other kinds of beer do you see Dixie coming out with?
Beer lovers can expect to see an expanded portfolio of craft brews, including the introduction of a new product this fall, in addition to Dixie Beer, Dixie Light and Dixie Blackened Voodoo Lager.
Dixie Beer, new Dixie Light and Dixie Blackened Voodoo Lager will be available at launch in kegs and 12-ounce bottles. Dixie and Dixie Light also will be available in 12-ounce cans.
Crescent Crown is the distributor in New Orleans. Dixie Beer packaging has been updated but will feature the traditional look New Orleans has loved for generations. Dixie Light, a new product, incorporates much of Dixie’s traditional branding with a contemporary blue and silver finish. Dixie Blackened Voodoo Lager, our initial craft brew (also returned to its original recipe), will feature innovative and fresh packaging reflective of its place as Dixie’s first craft beer.