Hey Julia,Is it true that there used to be a beer produced in New Orleans called “Regal” beer? If so, where was it brewed?Jack Fischer, Gentilly
There was a brew called “Regal” beer. New Orleans-based American Brewing Company (which also had a plant in Miami) started brewing the beer in New Orleans in the late 1800s. After purchasing a French Quarter winery in 1890, the company expanded its holding on the block, eventually creating a business that fronted three streets: Bourbon, Bienville and Conti.
American Brewing was in full production for many years, stopping only for the Prohibition era (1920-1933). During that time, it briefly changed its name to American Beverage Company. In 1933, after Prohibition ended, it went back to the business of beer. American Brewing was one of the few New Orleans brewers who was able to recover from the 13 years of Prohibition.
1933 was also the year American Brewing started production of local favorite Regal Beer, which had the tagline “The Never Hurried Beer.” The brewery also produced Regal Ale from 1933 to 1940; Regal Bock, a dark beer made from 1933 to 1956; and Toby Ale, a draught beer available from 1936 until 1953.
Regal Beer was advertised all over New Orleans, through bar signs, clocks, glassware and banner ads on streetcars. The image of a smiling, cavalier-type “Prince Regal” holding up a beer was a common sight, often with “Prince Regal Salutes You” scrolled out below. One of their more memorable slogans was “Red beans and rice and Regal on ice,” a suggestion many New Orleanians took to heart.
American Brewing Company produced Regal beer until it closed in 1962. The building was demolished soon after in 1964, and the Royal Sonesta Hotel was built in its place. Amazingly, the block maintained having royalty in its name.
Hey Julia,This one is for Poydras. What’s the most famous bird to ever come out of New Orleans?- S.J. Gomilla, Westwego
S.J., remember you always have to be careful with how you word your questions to Poydras. He will always say that he is the top bird. Other than that, there is the brown pelican, which is the state bird and fun to watch gliding over water—though not so much for the fish. The pelican, along with the poorly named Toronto Raptors and the clichéd Atlanta Hawks, are the only birds to have an NBA team named after them. However, for real historic and scientific significance, the top bird should be the whooping crane. It is a rare bird, but where it exists most commonly is in Louisiana. Standing around 5-feet high, it is the tallest flying bird in North America. Some of the earliest work at protecting the bird was done locally at Audubon Park. Protected by the Endangered Species Act, as of late 2022 there was reported to be about 76 of the cranes living in the Louisiana wilds. By the way, these birds are not to be confused with the rap song “Whoomp! (There it Is)” by the group Tag Team.
A missing letter “m” can make a huge difference in life. Our Louisiana bird whoops; it doesn’t “whoomp.”