Fans of craft beer who live in or visit Shreveport-Bossier will get an early Christmas present this December: Great Raft Brewing will begin rolling out their product on-tap at a total of 20 area restaurants, beginning on Monday, Dec. 9 at Zocolo Neighborhood Eatery & Drinkery (see a flyer with details of launch week events here). By Dec. 15, Great Raft beer will be on-tap at seven restaurants in Shreveport. The following week, they’ll add 13 more locations, including one in Natchitoches, for a total of 20 restaurants and bars who’ll be pouring pints of locally-brewed beer by Christmas. To paraphrase Clark Griswold: “We’re gonna have the hap-hap-happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tapdanced with Danny Kaye.” Or should that be hop-hop-hoppy?
“There is only one event each night, but the participating restaurants and bars will carry at least one flagship beer on a continuing basis after the event,” Great Raft co-founder Lindsay Nations told me by e-mail. “We hope to see two or three stay on draft on some of the accounts with more draft space. Some fun special release beers are sprinkled in there, too.”
One thing about these launch week events: Great Raft and their partner restaurants and bars are giving away some incredible free stuff, like free Great Raft merchandise at What’s on Tap and “free beer for a year” at Twisted Root Burger. See the above-linked .PDF for a complete list of promotional giveaways planned for the week of Dec. 9.
In addition to the debut of Great Raft beer on tap at local bars and restaurants, Great Raft will soon announce details of the grand opening of their tasting room, located at 1251 Dalzell Street in Shreveport. That event, which will also take place in December, will be the public’s first opportunity to see Great Raft’s tasting room, which I was allowed to visit but not allowed to photograph. It is an honestly beautiful space that completely exceeded my expectations. So, what exactly goes on in a tasting room?
“We’ll have samples, pints, growler fills and brewery tours. We’ll open on the weekends to start, and may expand hours next year,” Nations told me. “It will hopefully be a destination for both locals and tourists. But it’s not just a bar.”
Please drink responsibly, and please note that the Great Raft tasting room, brewery tours, etc. are limited to ages 21 and older.