The American Brewing Company started brewing beer in New Orleans in the late 1800s. After purchasing a French Quarter winery in 1890, the company started to expand 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-’33). During that time, it briefly changed its name to American Beverage Company. In ’33, 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.” Regal Beer was not their only product; they also produced Regal Ale from 1933 to ’40; Regal Bock, a dark beer made from ’33 to ’56; and Toby Ale, a draught beer available from ’36 until ’53.
Regal Beer was advertised all over New Orleans, through bar signs, clocks, glassware and banner ads on streetcars. The image of a smiling 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 ’64, and the Royal Sonesta Hotel was built in its place.