The beer brand formerly known as Dixie officially relaunches as Faubourg Brewing this week, starting with a name change on its website and social media accounts and culminating in a public grand reopening at its New Orleans East brewery on Friday, March 26.
Nearly a month after the name “Dixie” was painted over atop the brewery’s large brick tower, the rollout of Faubourg beer has officially begun. As of Tuesday afternoon, the brewery’s website continues to display the Dixie name and logo (and not Faubourg Brewing), but its Instagram handle and Facebook account have been updated. The brewery will begin distributing the new beers to bars and restaurants this month, according to NOLA.com, and newly-branded cans and bottles are expected to be available for retail in early May.
The 114-year old, New Orleans-born brewery first announced a name change in June 2020, when owner Gayle Benson said it was “necessary to reflect” on the brewery’s brand in light of “critical conversations about racism and systemic social issues” taking place in the country. Dixie is a nickname for the southern U.S., and a song by the same name became an unofficial anthem for the Confederacy during the Civil War, creating the lasting association. The decision followed similar moves made by food brands like Eskimo Pie, Aunt Jemima, and Uncle Ben’s Cream of Wheat amid Black Lives Matter protests and a broader conversation about the historical roots of racism taking place across the United States.
In November 2020, Dixie announced the name Faubourg Brewing Company, saying that it was a “tribute to the diverse neighborhoods of New Orleans.” Faubourg is an ancient French word that was primarily used to denote suburbs outside of Paris, and was later adopted as a term for neighborhoods in New Orleans as the city expanded centuries ago.
Founded in 1907, Dixie was an affordable local favorite for nearly a century before ceasing production when Hurricane Katrina flooded its Tulane Avenue brewery in 2005. Other breweries eventually stepped in to pick up production, and New Orleans Saints owners Gayle and Tom Benson purchased the company in 2017. They later revealed plans for a $30 million, 80,000-square-foot brewery in New Orleans East as part their effort to relaunch the brand, debuting the site in January 2020. Gayle took over Dixie — as well as the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans franchises — when Tom died in 2018.
The final beers packaged with the Dixie label went out last month, according to manager Jim Birch, and Dixie signs and memorabilia at the brewery are on their way down for display at a New Orleans beer museum in the company’s taproom. New beers coming soon under the Faubourg Brewing label include Blackened Voodoo, Golden Cypress wheat, Westwego IPA, and Dat’suma IPA.
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