Louisiana-Lafayette's Ragin' Cajuns Now Have Own Beer

LAFAYETTE, LA (AP) — The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is growing its list of customized food and beverages.

         On Thursday, the university and Arnaudville-based Bayou Teche Brewing unveiled Ragin' Cajuns Genuine Louisiana Ale, which is flowing on tap at select venues and is expected to be available in bottles next month.

         The Advocate’s Richard Burgess reports the university already has its own custom seasoning, coffee, wine and even a Ragin' Cajun Burger offered at Sonic Drive-Ins, featuring an edible logo stamped on the bun.

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         Beer just seemed an obvious next step, university spokesman Aaron Martin said.

         "We really wanted something that could fit into tailgating," Martin said.

         He said another requirement was the use of local ingredients, and the brewers complied with a German-style kölsch beer that mixes local rice with the traditional base ingredient of barley — an addition to lighten the body a bit.

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         "We wanted something that was made locally with pride," Martin said.

         Bayou Teche Brewing President Karlos Knott described the beer as highly carbonated with a crisp, clear taste.

         "You can drink a few of these in the heat," he said.

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         Suggested food pairings range from fried seafood to crawfish bisque and meatball stew.

         "We definitely brewed this beer for our climate and our festivals," Knott said.

         The beer is available at a handful of local bars and restaurants and will be available at Saturday's football game at Cajun Field, where beer has been sold since 2009.

         Schilling Distributing Co. is scheduled to begin wider distribution in the coming weeks.

         A portion of the proceeds from beer sales will be used to support university programs, Martin said.

         The university's entry into the beer market comes about three years after Louisiana State University announced and then scrapped plans for the LSU Bandit Blonde Ale by Baton Rouge-based Tin Roof Brewing.

         The LSU system, which oversees LSU, complained that the university-branded beer would have violated the school's contract with the Collegiate Licensing Co., which handles licensing for several universities.

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