Natchitoches, Louisiana, is about to gain yet another cultural hotspot in the form of Cane River Brewing Co., slated to open in late fall.
Justin Krouse and Cade Gentry, who are friends from their college days at Northwestern, co-own the company. The two of them have long wanted to go into business together and decided upon a brewery after noticing a lack of craft beer in the area, despite Natchitoches being one of the highest visited cities in the state.
The two have been working on the brewery for four years.
“There’s been all kinds of things getting in the way of opening [the brewery],” Krouse said. “Getting investors, getting approval from the city, finding the right location. It’s just something that takes time.”
The brewery will be located in a 1920s-era cotton factory on Mill Street, with Chaplin Lake separating it from NSU’s campus. The building is currently undergoing remodeling to prepare it for the public.
“We knew from the beginning we wanted to keep as much of the original architecture as we could,” Gentry said of the cotton gin building. “The whole exterior of the building needed to be re-sheathed due to all of the holes in the aluminum, but all of the original interior beams were able to be kept. As for the interior design of the brewery taproom, everyone will have to just wait and see.”
The town has never had a business like this before, and one student believes it is long past due.
“It’s about damn time,” said Haley Tucker, a senior at Northwestern. “Previously, if you wanted to go to a brewery, you had to go all the way to Shreveport. Now Natchitoches is going to have its own and it’s something we can all be proud of.”
According to Gentry, Cane River Brewing will offer “two to three core beers, a few seasonal beers, and a wide variety of limited release beers.”
Beer will be approximately five dollars per pint. No student discounts will be offered.