NEW ORLEANS, La. (WGNO)- A name change has all eyes on Dixie Beer in New Orleans East.
On Friday, owner Gayle Benson made the announcement that left some shocked, some happy and some livid.
It’s a rebirth in the making and soon New Orleans residents will be able to say, Dixie Beer, “aint d’ere no more.”
“While the history was absolutely fantastic, moving forward it has to be different,” said Jim Birch, General Manager of Dixie Brewery.
Dixie beer has been a New Orleans icon for decades but, Birch says it’s time to evolve, not time to rewrite history.
“The most important part for us though is that, we are still going to tell the history of Dixie Brewery,” Brich reassured. “We are not jettisoning the brand and we are certainly not rewriting the history. We are just conscious that we need to make a change right now.
Founded in 1907, the company has faced its fair share of challenges over the years.
from a prohibition to bankruptcy, to Hurricane Katrina and now this but, its always managed to hop back open.
Making the difficult decision to retire the name Dixie Beer comes at a pivotal moment in our society.
“We’ve been very conscious of the name since Mr. and Mrs. Benson purchased the brand two and a half years ago,” said Birch. “We did a lot of research. We talked to a lot of community groups. The overwhelming feed back that we got was very positive.”
Since them things have changed. Now, retailers and wholesales are asking questions about the name and sharing concerns about the brand.
“We came to the conclusion that this was necessary and once you reach that conclusion, you know, why would you wait any longer,” Birch questioned.
The plan is to have a new name on the beer by Mardi Gras 2021.
Since the announcement of the name change, Birch told us that sales for Dixie merchandise sales is skyrocketing.
Birch says, don’t worry though because, they have plenty more coming in this fall. They won’t stop selling Dixie branded gear until they have a new name on the products.