NEW ORLEANS -- Off the beaten path in New Orleans, an abandoned movie theater was waiting to be revitalized, but instead of the silver screen, the Gem Theater now houses a bustling brewery.
The owners wanted to do it big, do it in a place they felt comfortable and do it Louisiana! All of this inspired them to pursue the Gem Theater as their venue. Designated a city landmark in 2011, the transformation of the Gem required some creative workarounds to keep the historic integrity of the building, according to Justin Boswell, founder and head brewer at Wayward Owl.
"Historically there wasn't a wall (separating the tap room from the brewery) because it was a theater. So we weren't allowed to do that," he explained. "We had to use something originally in the building to separate the space. So we ended up with this row of theater seats that are bolted to the floor that acts as a wall."
Now that the renovation is complete, Wayward Owl not only brews their beer here but also cans it for distribution, all within view of the tasting room. If they're brewing on a Thursday or Friday, you'll be able to see the whole process from your seat at the bar or one of the many tables set up indoors. While the brewers may not have time to come over and say, "Hey!" they think it's really cool that you are able to see you're beer being brewed right in front of your eyes.
So come on down and grab a pint ... or two. Wayward Owl has a robust selection of beers available all year long as well as a rotation of seasonal brews. All of this available here in New Orleans in this no longer hidden gem.
WGNO is proud to offer the NOLA Craft Beer Experience Card, a card that allows you to sample some of the region's best craft beers for an affordable price. For $60 you'll get the equivalent of 40 oz of beer from each of the 10 locations involved. Click below for more details.
At Wayward Owl Brewing, you'll receive two flights of beers. A flight is a paddle that holds different 5 oz pours which allows you to sample their selection and find the perfect beer for you.
Wayward Owl Brewing is located at 3940 Thalia Street and is open Tuesday through Friday from 3 to 9 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from noon until 9 p.m. For more information on the brewery and events, call (504) 827-1646 or check out their website for a listing of events and offers.