Brieux Carre Brewing Company sits on the fringe of New Orleans’ jazz epicenter. Buskers and brass combos mingle with the artists and handsome cabs in Jackson Square, but the three-block area in the city’s Marigny neighborhood sets the beat for the rest of the city.
“We're right off Frenchman Street,” says Robert Bostick, owner of Brieux Carre. “Frenchman Street is where all the local jazz musicians play. It's the funky jazz you get on Frenchman Street and people sit on the street corner playing. That's the really good jazz. They're not playing some super-classic thing that everybody's really used to. You're going to get what the locals listen to.”
Just don’t expect to hear any of it at Brieux Carre.
“Honestly,” Bostick says. “You get enough jazz.”
Pearl Jam, Alanis Morrissette and the Dropkick Murphys play overhead as Bostick and his team prepare for the day ahead.
“We play our most ridiculous library of music,” he says over tulip glasses of Dad Jokes, the brewery’s recently-released Northeast-style IPA. “I like '90s women's power ballads and not necessarily everybody else does, so usually when I'm here, I'll put on Natalie Imbruglia and Melissa Etheridge. [Brewer] Charles [Hall], if he's here by himself, it's the White Stripes. [Assistant brewer] Grant [Capone], he'll only listen to Coheed and Cambria.”
Brieux Carre lacks the space for live music. The brewery and tasting room share less than 1,000-square-feet on the first floor of their Decatur Street space and 300-or-so of it is filled with fermenters and brite tanks. Until they build out the upstairs or add overhead cover in the courtyard, Spotify and Pandora must suffice.
“I won't say it to the point to be a shtick, but I listen to everything,” Bostick says. “And most people that come in here do. But the funniest thing is Grant's original playlist had a bunch of Disturbed and stuff like that, and we'd get a bunch of...”
From behind the bar, Hall interjects: “Followed by Elvis.”
“Yeah, followed right by Elvis,” Bostick continues. “And then we'd get a group of older ladies come in here, and it's like almost queued up to when they walk in.”
He said the brewery is going to stop using Spotify and switch to Pandora’s business product for its in-house music due to greater licensing enforcement and higher fees from ASCAP. Until then, the quirky playlist remains.
“We're all very New Orleans. Very weird people.”
You will not find bands at Urban South Brewery on Tchoupitoulas Street in the Warehouse District either, though not for a lack of desire. The building would never do it justice.
“Music obviously is a big part of New Orleans,” says Jacob Landry, founder of Urban South. “But we have awful acoustics because of our huge open environment with the metal roof.”
Guitar riffs playing in the background were drowned out by the canning line on the brewhouse floor and the refrigeration equipment behind the bar. It was little more than ambient sound.
“I'd love to work music in a little more but until we get some better acoustical solutions, it's tough for us,” Landry says.