Cajuns take pride in their culture, music and, most importantly, their food.
Zeke Bossley, owner, president and head dishwasher at the newly formed Cajun Brewing company thinks he has a good companion for that food — his beer.
Bossley admits he has always had a taste for beer, but it wasn’t until a trip to Vancouver with his wife that it blossomed into something more.
After that trip, which Bossley said was about 14 or 15 years ago, he said he began to take his love of beer to the next level, reading books, building equipment and finally brewing his own beer.
Bossley purchased a building off Bertrand Drive near Cajun Field in 2010 and began renovating the space into what would become his brewery. A former petroleum engineer who worked internationally, Bossley did the work when he would return home from his job.
Eventually Bossley brought together a crew of friends and fellow beer enthusiasts and decided to begin selling his product.
Now, after years of hard work and countless batches of beer, Cajun Brewing began filling its first kegs last week, something the crew is excited about.
Cajun Brewing General Manager Chad Legé said the feedback from Lafayette has been great.
“The people seem super excited, and that makes us excited,” he said.
Plans call for the first kegs to be tapped in late October or early November with the downtown Green Room hosting the launch, Legé said.
The company will produce one beer for now — Cajun Wit — with kegs at the Green Room, Tap Room and Blue Dog Café.
Head brewer James Lutgring described Cajun Wit as a light, citrus-session beer that can be easily enjoyed with food, at a bar or while tailgating.
Once production increases, the brewery plans to release its Ragin’ Red ale, as well as a yet-to be-named brown ale.
Legé said working with the community is something the organization will strive to do for as long as it’s around.
“I think its just a little bit more than just beer,” Legé said. “We enjoy the community, and we’re looking forward to being a part of the community, whether it’s helping out and fundraising, or festivals.”
In an increasingly popular beer market, the team believes they will stand out because they have a good product.
“The people in Louisiana have specific palates, and they like their food. If you don’t give them good beer, they won’t come back. They have good palates, good taste buds,” Bossley said.
Once full operations begin, there are plans to begin brewery tours a few days a week.
And the brewery plans to finish work on a taproom that will serve as a bar for guests to enjoy some of the company’s beers, relax and watch sports.
The location near Cajun Field gives them hope that with football season, there will be plenty of beer flowing and a packed taproom.
The company joins two other breweries that have opened in recent years in the Lafayette area, Bayou Teche Brewing, in Arnaudville, and Parish Brewing, in Broussard.