PONCHATOULA --It's been another frozen week, with another 'hold-your-breath' moment, for strawberry farmers as workers picked through the crop following the latest icy, frigid weather this month.
"Looks like we're making it through another one so we're gonna see how it goes,” said Eric Morrow, “I think it's going to be more of a traditional strawberry season - a March, April."
At Abita Brewery, the creation of the popular, seasonal Strawberry Harvest Lager is set to begin. But the brew master says what's happening in the fields won't affect what's happening in these tanks.
Mark Wilson said, "The berries for juicing and using in our beer is best when it's sweet, so we find that at the end of the seasons, which is usually late April, early May. That's the best for adding to the beer. And so we produce the juice at that time and we cold store it over the winter and then we use the juice the following season."
Covington Brewhouse, which makes a Strawberry Ale year-round, says the same safe news applies to its beer. Because the company uses strawberry puree, which can be frozen, it doesn't expect a slip in supply.
Despite there being a finite amount of strawberry juice for bottling this year - 13,000 gallons at Abita, the breweries are confident there will be enough for everyone.
Wilson said, "For this year's crop, we've been assured by our suppliers that we're gonna be covered, so nobody has to worry about their supply of their Strawberry Lager for this year or next year."
Both companies say using Louisiana strawberries in their products is a priority. Abita’s Strawberry Lager is set to hit store shelves March 1.