In a small central Louisiana city, you will find a small craft brewery, in a very small room, with small vats which produce beer with big beer taste. They may be small and can only brew enough to satisfy the needs of their restaurant, but it is definitely worth a visit.
Walking in Fresh Catch Bistreaux you get the feel of Marksville. Local businessmen, friends, families and tourist are all enjoying lunch. On our visit we enjoyed shrimp and oyster poboys. The seafood was cooked perfectly to our taste – the batter was not overpowering and the seafood was not over cooked. The shrimp and oysters were both plumb and stuffed into the poboy. The restaurant lived up to its name – everything tasted fresh. Don’t skip dessert, especially if they have the poppy seed bread pudding. It may sound strange, but the taste is heaven in your mouth. When you add a cup of dark black coffee, yes it is a heavenly experience.
Now for the reason we visited – the brewery, Broken Wheel Brewery. Seven beers are brewed with four being offered at any one time. On our visit our flight consisted of Pachafa Pale Ale, Grand Chien (Big Dog) Milk Stout, Spring Bayou Blonde Ale and La Veille Wheat. The best way to try the brews is to order a flight consisting of the four beers on tap at the time. That way you try them all then pick the one you like.
John’s favorite: Pachafa. An American style pale ale named after a Marksville legend. Johnny Pachafa, the Marksville boogey man, was half man and half horse or so the legend goes. This is a favorite of the brewer and John fully agrees.
Laurie’s favorite: Grand Chien. The sweet milk stout is named after the owner’s mentor, Big Dog. It is rich in color and has great depth of flavor.
A friendship was formed twenty something years ago because of a love of craft beer. Now the Marksville native, Jon Knoll and the Colorado native, Chris Pahl, are not only drinking craft beer they are brewing craft beer. Their brew room may be small yet high quality, good tasting beer comes from the brewery. The brewers can hardly brew enough to keep up with the restaurant demand. Because of this, the beer is only available at Fresh Catch Bistreaux. They have plans for expansion and we look forward to watching the brewery grow.
The Fresh Catch Bistreaux and Broken Wheel Brewery is a definite stop when in the Marksville area.