Huckleberry Brewing Co.

Alexandria, central Louisiana’s largest city, has been undergoing a cultural renaissance over the past decade. The region known as “Cenla” (short for “central Louisiana”) is home to renowned festivals, a scenic and vibrant downtown, and now, an emerging brewery scene.

Huckleberry Brewing Co. opened in Alexandria in 2017, and was started by eighth-generation Alexanrian Jacob Willson. He got his first taste for brewing in 2007, after relocating to Portland, Oregon. Back then, “microbrewing” was an unfamiliar term in Louisiana, but in the Pacific Northwest, that business was thriving.

Willson’s introduction to craft brewing began at the bottom, as an entry-level cook in a Portland brewery. Gradually he began asking questions about the beer side of the business, working his way up and, he says, “trying all kinds of hops and grains, and making my recipe book fat.”

Willson takes that same slow and methodical approach to Huckleberry Brewing Co., which currently operates as a seven-barrel operation with four flagship beers and new additions monthly at its taproom. The selection is impressive for such a small operation, with a selection of pale ale, coffee stout, IPAs and fruit-flavored brews.

Huckleberry isn’t just a brewery, though. It’s becoming a place for both locals and out-of-town guests to relax on an afternoon or evening, with local food trucks serving hungry customers, and live music that’s family-friendly.

Stop by the taproom yourself to see what's on tap and what's on stage. It's open Wednesday through Saturday, and on Sunday for New Orleans Saints football games.