King Cake Ale, as well as other beers from Mudbug Brewery in Thibodaux, will hit Rouses supermarket shelves throughout the area this week.
Brewmaster Wade Dugas and partner Mike Kilchrist restarted operations at the old brewery last February and began distribution this month. The two own the House of the Rising Sun brand, and Dugas said he was looking for a brewery to create his own beers. He met Mudbug’s owner, Peter Leichty, and made a deal to create the old Mudbug classics, as well as his own batches.
“We brought Mudbug back to life and are starting House of the Rising Sun,” Dugas said.
Both brand beers are brewed at Mudbug Brewery, 1878 La. 3185.
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The brewery was scheduled to reopen in 2020, but the pandemic hit, a truck hit the building’s waterline and flooded the place, then Hurricane Ida threw salt on the wound. The brewery was able to reopen its tap room on February 2, 2022.
Those looking for King Cake Ale can find a six-pack on shelves at Rouses Markets in the Houma-Thibodaux area for $11.99 this week, Dugas said. The other beers available from Mudbug will be Intracoastal IPA, White Boot and Pelican Pilsner, said Marcy Nathan, Rouses’ director of marketing.
“This was a limited release of this product,” he said. “We will expand distribution as more products become available.”
King Cake Ale will also be available at two stores in Baton Rouge, he said.
The brewery’s tap room, in the front of the brewery, is open from 5 to 10 pm on Thursdays and Fridays, from 1 to 10 pm on Saturdays, and from 11:30 am to 6 pm on Sundays. Pints start at $5.
All the original recipes have changed, but Dugas said that during testing, people said they really liked it.
“Most people say the beer is better now,” he said.
An extra kick will soon be added to King Cake Ale. Dugas has started producing a rimming kit. The kit comes in a tall glass and has three small plastic cups of purple, green, and gold sugar, along with a small packet of Steen’s Sugar Cane Syrup. The syrup goes around the rim of the glass so that the sugar droplets will stick together before drinking the beer. The kit comes with Mardi Gras beads and a plastic baby cake.
He hopes the kit will be available before the start of the local Mardi Gras parades, which begin on February 10.
Dugas was born in New Orleans but grew up in Thibodaux. He moved to Baton Rouge to attend Louisiana State University, but dropped out and went to California to pursue a career in the film industry. House of the Rising Sun started in 2020 as a temporary stand in New Orleans selling other people’s beers. The goal was to see how the name would work and then buy a brewery in New Orleans, but after the COVID pandemic hit, their plans fell through.
House of the Rising Sun beers include House Ale, House Amber, Trunk Porter, and Ruin of May.