Dixie Beer

We touched on the tragedy of Dixie Brewing in a story about "craft" beer and what that name means, but there's a lot more to bringing back Dixie than just having it exist.

A New Orleans institution since 1907, Dixie survived prohibition but was laid low by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The brewery was storm-damaged and stripped of its equipment by looters, and its fate is still in the air. But with a new Veteran Affairs hospital under construction around its Mid-City site, it doesn't look good for an old building that now exists primarily as a disturbing ruin for urban explorers.

The craft beer industry group The Brewers Association recently knocked Dixie for using adjunct such as corn in its brew, taking the ever-so-brave step of hitting the brewery while it is down and saying it isn't craft. Maybe not, but the generous breweries that have been brewing it under contract certainly are.

Minhas Craft Brewery in Monroe, Wis., took on the task of brewing its pale light lager and its Blackened Voodoo dark lager, but the beer is a bit harder to find than it was pre-Katrina. Kudos to Minhas and others for keeping Dixie afloat, but only when its kettles are boiling in New Orleans again and it returns to every store and bar that wants it will Dixie be "back."

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