Covington Brewhouse gets new owners

Advocate staff file photo by BILL FEIG  --  Brian Broussard bleeds the pressure to clean the fermenting tank at Covington Brewhouse. A new ownership group, led by David Arbo that includes Broussard, purchased Covington Brewhouse last week. Plans are to increase the number of beers Covington produces and increase the company's profile. Show caption
Advocate staff file photo by BILL FEIG -- Brian Broussard bleeds the pressure to clean the fermenting tank at Covington Brewhouse. A new ownership group, led by David Arbo that includes Broussard, purchased Covington Brewhouse last week. Plans are to increase the number of beers Covington produces and increase the company's profile.

Covington Brewhouse, an 8-year-old craft beer company, is under new ownership.

A group of local investors, led by David Arbo, a former science and physics teacher from St. Scholastica Academy, purchased the brewery last week for an undisclosed sum. The previous owners were an investment group led by Rob Mingo, who remains the brewery’s landlord.

Arbo said he picked a busy week to take over Covington Brewhouse. This week was the first Louisiana Craft Beer Week and on Monday Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne unveiled the Louisiana Craft Brewery Trail, an effort to promote awareness of the local beer industry.

“This was a really good opportunity,” said Arbo, the president of Covington Brewhouse.

Covington Brewhouse has six employees and sells five different beers, including a Strawberry Ale and Pontchartrain Pilsner. The brewery also makes house-brand beers for Zea Rotisserie and Grill.

The plan is to increase the number of beers Covington offers. Brian Broussard, who had been Covington’s head brewer, is now a part owner and working on new beverages.

“It has always been exciting to brew craft beers and even more so to share a few of my new recipes,” Broussard said.

His first new brew, Anonymous IPA, will debut later this fall. Other types of beer, including a porter and an amber, are in the works.

“When beer drinkers walk into a bar, they want to see something new on the taps,” Arbo said.

Covington Brewhouse produces 3,000 to 5,000 31-gallon barrels of beer a year. The beer is distributed across Louisiana and along the Gulf Coast to Florida.

“We’re hoping to cover a little more ground and build up our base,” Arbo said. “But we want to get our backyard secured first. We want to get recognition in Covington.”

To increase the profile of Covington Brewhouse, Arbo is increasing the businesses’ social media presence.

“This week, we perhaps doubled or tripled our posts on social media,” he said.

Another possibility for Covington Brewhouse could be to open a tap room or reception room at the brewery. Tap rooms, which sell pints and bottles directly to consumers, have caught on with other Louisiana craft brewers, such as Parish Brewing Co. of Broussard and NOLA Brewing.

“That’s on our charts as well,” Arbo said. “But I can’t imagine it would come in any sooner than six to 12 months.”