I heard of Bayou Teche Biere almost by accident, after asking a specialty store owner for something weird got me pointed in their direction. I’m not even a little sorry. Bayou Teche works out of a railroad car converted into a small brewery with the goal of making beer that complements the Cajun cuisine the founders know so well. Each beer comes from a place uninterested in conventions and instead works towards making something unique, and if that is Bayou Teche’s intention, then they have succeeded admirably.
LA 31 Boucanee is literally unlike anything I’ve had before. Holding a freshly poured glass up to my nose is like breathing in a whole campfire. The smoke adds just enough depth to the sweetness of the cherries as the beer sits in the center of my tongue. It has a pleasant body, worth hanging on to, but it’s gone before it overstays its welcome. There’s not much acid or hop character, and while they may have added an enjoyable wrinkle to an already interesting beer, I didn’t find myself missing them. After the first few sips, and gathering my bearings around the Boucanee, I was shocked at how fast the rest went. I wanted more until there was no more to be had.
This is the second beer I’ve had from Bayou Teche (the LA 31 Passionne is a whole ‘nother swamp monster that I dare not tackle today), and I will be absolutely certain to see what else they have coming down the pipe. I’m interested to see if anything they do is more standard: a straight-shot pale ale or a more traditional Belgian, for example. Interest does not indicate hope, for any of my curiosity about what they can do with a given avenue, I’m thrilled to have more weirdos out there doing their weirdo thing.