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Faubourg beer coming to taps this weekend, store shelves in May

The former Dixie Brewery is officially launching under its new name.

NEW ORLEANS — Faubourg is a French word for neighborhood commonly used in New Orleans.

It is also the new name for Dixie beer.

“We want (the new name) to be representative of New Orleans,” Faubourg GM Jim Birch said. “We want it to be something that people smile when they hear it. They make a connection.”

Nine months ago, brewery owner Gayle Benson decided to retire the Dixie brand.

The term Dixie has long been associated with slavery and the old south.

Birch says the beer now has a name that celebrates every corner of New Orleans.

“I don’t think this is an example of ‘cancel culture’ at all.” Birch said. “This is our brand and the purpose of what we’re trying to do with this brand is to create something for New Orleans that is also exportable, and we decided we couldn’t do that with the Dixie name.”

Faubourg will be on tap at area bars beginning next Friday.

The first cans and bottles with the new Faubourg label hit store shelves in May.

That includes Blackened Voodoo, a longtime standard for Dixie, a wheat ale called Golden Cypress -- a West Coast-style IPA called Westwego -- and a pale ale with satsuma called Dat’Suma.

The flagship lager is inspired by the original Dixie recipe, minus the rice.

“We’ve put in additional barley and some malts,” Birch said. “We use a hop called Saaz, which is a traditional Bohemian hop. That gives it that really nice, crisp, slightly spicy mouth feel.”

Birch now hopes to grow the business and create new jobs at the state-of-the-art brewhouse and beer garden New Orleans east.

Westbank native Kendell Hills got a job at the brewery about a year ago.

“Basically, we have more vendors, more people that’s behind us because of the name change, so it opens up opportunities for us to hire more people,” Hills said.

The brewery officially retires the Dixie name on Saturday, then on Sunday the company completes the transition to Faubourg Beer.

“This a brand that we do want be the most important brand in New Orleans, again,” Birch said.

The brewery received more than 5,400 brand name suggestions from the public. Faubourg was one that kept coming up.

Actor Wendell Pierce was first to report Mrs. Benson’s intention to retire the Dixie name on his radio station WBOK last June.

Thursday, he called the name change “reflective of what inclusion and equitability is all about. The evolution away from what was harmful and exclusionary to a brand that exemplifies the best of who we all are. The best of community. The best of our neighborhoods, and the best of what makes New Orleans great. All of its people. That is what culture is all about.”