Next month several restaurants and night clubs in the area should have it on tap, he says.
South Louisiana is home to some of the most complex, varied, well-seasoned and elegant food in the nation. The vast amount of dishes and the layers of flavors and spices that create them have always made it difficult to pair Cajun and Creole food with wine. Once, when shopping at a Lafayette wine store Knott asked the proprietor what wine went best with the seafood gumbo he was cooking for the Christmas Eve.
“You don’t drink wine with gumbo,” the wine store proprietor said. “You drink beer!”
Knott had an epiphany. He had been stationed in Europe when he was in the Army and was impressed with the way that local beers and cuisines had evolved together.
“The surest way to get a great pairing was to eat and drink what the locals produced,” Knott remembers.
And often that was a very tasty beer. He reasoned: shouldn’t Louisiana have a beer that pairs with its regional cuisine?
So Knott and his two brothers, Byron and Dorsey, sons of St. Martin School Board member (and popular Teche News columnist) Floyd Knott, set out to design a beer that would compliment all of the foods of Acadiana.
“Think of it – red beans and rice, jambalaya, sauce piquant, shrimp Creole, chicken and sausage gumbo, hot boudin, boiled crawfish, fried seafood platters, crawfish bisque and ettoufee, and catfish court bouillion – that list just scratches the surface of what we cook in Acadiana. We decided to craft a beer that would compliment the cuisine – all of it!.”
It took the brothers a lot of hard work, tweaking the beer’s recipe while sampling a lot of great Cajun and Creole food.
“Sampling tasty beer and food is one of the burdens of being a brewer,” Knott says.
Their beer, LA-31 Bière Pâle, is crafted with imported Belgian malts and American hops and yeast.
LA-31 Bière Pâle is traditionally brewed ale; it is bronze colored and has a biscuity malt center. The beer has herbal hop flavors and a gentle, mellow bitterness. This full flavored beer is crafted to enhance the unique cuisine and lifestyle of South Louisiana.
“This is a distinct new style of beer – no one else in the country makes anything like it,” said Knott.
“It is still cold enough to make gumbo – cook one and try it with an LA-31.”