by Mike Retzlaff
My friend and I visited Kingfish Ciders on Iris Ave. in Jefferson on a recent Saturday. It is located 2½ blocks from the River Road in South Port (between Ochsner Hospital and the Orleans Parish line.) There is sufficient off street parking and the cidery is located in an industrial metal building as are almost all new businesses these days. It was about 80o outside but inside, it was quite comfortable even with the door rolled up.
The bar top appears to be sealed concrete (looks like stone) and there are plenty of sturdy stools. There is also more than adequate table seating available. The facility sports a Huey P. Long theme hence the “Kingfish” moniker. We each ordered a flight which consisted of 4 glasses of cider and perry @ 5 oz. each. Prohibition is a dry Perry, Huey Perry is a medium Perry, Uncle Earl is a Cider dry-hopped with Cascade, while Blanche is a dry Cider. My favorite of the group was Prohibition; my friend’s was Huey Perry.
The bar tender, David, also a brewer, has a good knowledge of the business and the products. Colleen, the owner, proprietor, brewer, custodian, hero, fall guy, etc. is an interesting woman. I asked for and was proudly given a tour of the facility. They have a 7 bbl. brew house which consists of 4 cylindro-conical fermenters and a bright tank. They have a large walk-in reefer to house the concentrates, their stock of hops, and the kegged ciders / perrys. The whole facility is spic & span and well thought out in design. The floor, throughout, seems to be epoxy sealed.
Louisiana isn’t well known for an apple industry so they rely on apple and pear concentrates from Michigan which is a pome growing State. I lived in Pennsylvania near Lake Erie some time back and apples were a large staple of the economy. I miss the Northern Spy variety. I delivered a truck load of grapes to Great Lakes Juice Co. in Northeast, Pa. and saw a veritable mountain of perfect Cortland apples waiting to be juiced as there wasn’t any market for fresh. What a shame! Oh well, back to the subject at hand.
Kingfish also offers a number of cider / perry cocktails and have a cider concoction in a frozen margarita machine. It looked pretty good but I didn’t have an opportunity to try it this trip. They also offer a few locally produced craft beers. We had a charcuterie board from St. James Cheese Co. The cheese and salami were delicious and paired well with the ciders.
Presently, the sales are for on-site consumption but you can get growler fills or they will can your selection while you watch.
It was an entertaining and enjoyable afternoon; certainly worth the trip.