A new entry into the crowded craft beer market often can take a while to gain a foothold.
The University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s new Ragin’ Cajuns Genuine Louisiana Ale isn’t having that problem.
The beer, introduced on tap in September, made its first appearance in bottles this week.
By Friday, local stores, bars and restaurants had snatched up every ounce brewed for the initial roll-out, according to Schilling Distribution Co.
“Usually, stuff kind of builds, but this is quickly becoming our No. 1-selling brand,” said Bayou Teche Brewing President Karlos Knott.
The Arnaudville-based brewery developed the recipe for UL-Lafayette’s new beer, and crews there were busy on Friday bottling another 1,000 cases.
The roughly 150 establishments with accounts to sell the new beer in bottles bought all of the initial 650 cases within days, said Schilling Distributing Co. Marketing Manager Kody Thompson.
“We sold everything they could give us this week,” he said.
Schilling often has to work hard to push new beer brands that don’t have a reputation, Thompson said.
“This time, they’ve been asking us for three weeks, ‘How much can I get, and when can I get it?’ ” he said.
UL-Lafayette and Bayou Teche Brewing launched Ragin’ Cajuns Genuine Louisiana Ale in September, offering it first only in kegs.
It’s now available on tap at 47 bars and restaurants in the area, Thompson said.
The beer is a German-style kölsch that mixes local rice with the traditional base ingredient of barley — an addition to lighten the body.
Knott has described the beer as highly carbonated with a crisp, clear taste.
He said the brew will be available in limited quantities outside of the Lafayette area in the coming weeks, moving into the Houma-Thibodaux area next week and to New Orleans and the north shore the week after that.
Locations where the beer is available can be found on Schilling’s LiquidFinder smartphone app.
Proceeds from sales of the beer support academic, research and athletic programs at the university.
UL-Lafayette’s entry into the beer market comes about three years after LSU announced and then scrapped plans for the LSU Bandit Blonde Ale by Baton Rouge-based Tin Roof Brewing.