El Guapo to Build Bitters Brewery at 3300 Gravier Street

NEW ORLEANS — El Guapo, a New Orleans-based maker of cocktail bitters, syrups and mixers, said it will build a bitters brewery at 3300 Gravier Street in a structure was once home to BellSouth and has recently been used as a prop and wardrobe warehouse for the film industry. 

There are myriad distilleries that produce bitters in the US with grain neutral spirit bases and facilities that blend and bottle extracts sold as ‘bitters,'” said El Guapo founder and CEO Christa Cotton in a press release. “But El Guapo is the first to create a brewing process for 100% alcohol-free bitters and build to scale with brewing technology.”

El Guapo will be renting the building with the right to purchase.

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The company’s products are used or sold at upscale bars, restaurants and retail establishments. Current clients include Total Wine, Whole Foods, World Market, Neiman Marcus and many notable chefs. Locally, products can be found behind bars at Cochon, Chapel Club at Hotel Saint Vincent, Commander’s Palace, Compere Lapin, Bar Marilou, Chandelier Bar at the Four Seasons and Saba. Products are currently sold in 42 states and three countries. The company is a WBENC-certified Woman-Owned Business and a four-time Good Food Award recipient.

Cotton said she partners with regional farmers to keep money in the local economy, producing products made with local strawberries, satsumas, pecans, chicory and more. The company’s Creole Orgeat, a syrup made with pecans grown by Cotton’s uncle, won a Garden & Gun “Made in the South” award earlier this year. In addition to bitters, the company has expanded into syrups and mixers, with additional product extensions and brand partnerships on the horizon.

A 2021 graduate of the Idea Village VillageX accelerator program, Cotton plans to expand the brand’s distribution to more states, including Georgia and Tennessee. She said the company has doubled its workforce since the onset of COVID and will make additional hires in 2022. The brand is distributed in Louisiana by Uncorked, also based in New Orleans.

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