Lafayette-Brewed Ragin' Cajuns Beer Tops Brewery's Sales

LAFAYETTE, LA (AP) — Ragin' Cajuns Genuine Louisiana Ale is now available in bottles, and you won't want to wait too long to get your hands on a six-pack.

         Demand is high.

         Retail stores and restaurants purchased the entire first round of almost 24,000 bottles within a few days. A second round bottled Friday is currently being distributed in the area.

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         The Ragin' Cajuns brew is the result of a partnership between the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and Bayou Teche Brewing in Arnaudville. The craft beer, which was available only on tap until this week, has been popular since its release in September.

         It sold out at the Ragin' Cajuns' first home football game.

         It's even vying for the first-place slot as Bayou Teche Brewing's most popular beer, according to Bayou Teche owner Karlos Knott. The current top seller is the brewery's flagship beer, LA 31 Pale Ale.

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         "This is about ready to be our No. 1-selling beer," Knott said. "And it's kind of crazy since this is one that's really only available around here."

         Although the Ragin' Cajuns brew is currently available only in the Lafayette area, it will be available later this month in the New Orleans, Houma and Lake Charles markets.

         "You'll start seeing it everywhere south of Alexandria," Knott said. "It's funny. We think of ourselves as Ragin' Cajuns, but there are people all over the south part of the state who are fans. We're pretty excited to get this beer to them."

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         Inspired by rice, a Louisiana staple, the Ragin' Cajuns brew is described as a great beer to drink while tailgating. The kölsch — a German-style ale brewed like a lager — has 4.8 percent alcohol by volume and a balance of hop bitterness, taste and aroma.

         Knott calls the Ragin' Cajuns beer the gateway between megabrews such as Budweiser and craft beers such as others made at Bayou Teche.

         "People are enjoying that there's a craft beer they can bring to a tailgate that's light and won't get them so full that they can't eat boudin and cracklin' and all that stuff," Knott said.

         The introduction of the bottled beer to the local market has been big for Schilling Distribution.

         "This is definitely above and beyond the typical rollout for us, especially for a craft beer," Kody Thompson, Schilling's marketing manager, said in a press release. "It's the first time we've done something locally like this, where we're the first one coming out with a brand with this much consumer anticipation."

         You can find out which stores and restaurants have the beer by downloading the free Schilling smartphone app, LiquidFinder.

         An entire line of Ragin' Cajuns craft beers is still a possibility, Knott says, but the focus for now will be on keeping up with the demand of the original Ragin' Cajuns brew.

         Proceeds from the beer sales will be used to support the university's academic, research and athletics programs.

         – by AP/ Reporter Megan Wyatt with The Advertiser

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