Hops Hoopla

An old maxim prescribes that the first year of business os the hardest. For Courtyard Brewery (1020 Erato Street) co-founder Scott Wood, this is certainly true. However, the first year has also been somewhat sweet for the nano-brewery. So, on Saturday (10.24), Wood and his partner Lindsay Hellwig are throwing a party to mark Courtyard’s one year anniversary.


Of course, beer will be front and center. Courtyard is brewing up three special frosties for the occasion: a 10.8 percent wheat wine, a single hop IPA with Nelson Sauvin, and their first double IPA, To Reach the Western Lands.


In his characteristic zen fashion, Woods notes that the latter’s name is a Burrough’s reference. “I love beat literature and many of our names draw inspiration from writing.”


However, this weekend’s party will probably feature more drinking than writing. Other small brewers also sent Wood their exotic offerings to serve up at the soiree. Highlights include St. Arnold’s Bishop Barrel, NOLA’s Piety Sour, and Founder’s KBS.


Perhaps, the most symbolic brew on hand will be a Courtyard created coffee beer infused with neighboring French Truck’s beans. Wood says that the success of the business is largely attributable to the neighbors, both customers and partnerships.“Our relationship with French Truck and Barrel Proof definitely helped galvanize this neighborhood. It’s all very collaborative. For example, we recently got some whiskey barrels from Coquette and Barrel Proof and we’re aging some beer in there. And, then there’s that coffee beer with French Truck. We like to think that one day we will make coffee beer aged in bourbon barrels,” noted Wood.


Friends will also provide music during the fete said the brewer. The list of guests set play live sets include bras band the Big Easy Brawlers and cult favorite Joystick.


Courtyard has been feeding their spent grain to a couple of pigs for months. Tonight, they will be smoked up and served as cocoon du lait tomorrow. If you’re still hungry, the spot will also be celebrating their role as a food truck mecca. Frencheze, District, Taylor Made Wings, St. Claire Pizza, and Taceaux Loco will all be locking their wheels in the Erato Street lot in the morning.


Yet, the true joy of year one is not eclipsed by a party. Wood mused, “A year in, we have a wonderful small team. They were friends who have become paid employees now. We have some really great partnerships.”


As for aspiring brewers? Now a veteran, SW has some advice, “Do it. You’re never going to be fully prepared for anything, so just go. Surround yourself by as many good people as you can. Be nice to your neighbors and make good beer. Hope for the best.”


Courtyard is located at 1020 Erato Street. The party starts at 10a.m.

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