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Craft brewer Red River Brewing poised to expand in downtown Shreveport

Shreveport Downtown Development Authority

The North Louisiana craft brewing scene continues rapid growth.

Red River Brewing Company announced Thursday it will move into a 23,000-square foot downtown Shreveport building that will contain a brew house, bottling line and a tap room.

The company was founded by three friends who just liked to brew beer in their Bossier City garage. Their hobby in 2010 is now a serious business venture with $1.6 million in investor backing, according to managing partner Jared Beville. He says Red River Brewing is on draft in about 50 bars and restaurants along the I-20 corridor, but bottling it will take it to a new level.

“We’ve been well taken care of by the local bars and restaurants that have carried our product up to this point, and it’s really helped our brand grow. But we’re really going to be exposed to an entirely new market once we’re able to get into people’s refrigerators and get into bottles,” Beville said.

A revised Louisiana law that took effect Aug. 1 ups the limits on what breweries can sell from their tasting rooms. Beville says Red River Brewing’s growth is coming at a perfect time to sell beer directly to people who want to consume it at the source.

“Our margins are much better being able to sell directly to consumers. So, it’s going to be much more beneficial to have on-premise sales at higher margins for Louisiana producers,” Beville said.

The renovation of its building on 1200 Marshall Street will start next week. The company is expected to begin brewing there by the end of the year with an annual output of 3,000 barrels that can be scaled up to 20,000 barrels over a decade, Beville said.

On the opposite side of the state, three new breweries are under development in Monroe, including Ouachita Brewing Co., Cotton Port Brewing and Flying Tiger Brewery.

Chuck Smith brings more than 30 years' broadcast and media experience to Red River Radio. He began his career as a radio news reporter and transitioned to television journalism and newsmagazine production. Chuck studied mass communications at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia and motion picture / television production at the University of California at Los Angeles. He has also taught writing for television at York Technical College in Rock Hill, South Carolina and video / film production at Centenary College of Louisiana, Shreveport.