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Gnarly Barley Brewing

Cari Caramonta: Hi, I'm Cari Caramonta.

Zac Caramonta: I'm Zac Caramonta.

Cari Caramonta: And we are the owners of Gnarly Barley Brewing, in Hammond.

Zac Caramonta: I was always into beer, but I started home brewing and immediately became obsessed with the idea of crafting my own beer at home.

Cari Caramonta: You know, being that we met at Southeastern, and met at Hammond, we thought it was really fitting to open up our business in Hammond. And we fell in love with this city, and decided there wasn't a better place to open.

Zac Caramonta: Any time you make a decision, or, you know, set roots and start a business like this, and you know, it's a brewery, we're not moving, we're not going anywhere, you look at positives and negatives and everything, and it kinda wasn't really much of a decision. It was like, this is where we're gonna do it. It's perfect, we live here, we love it here.
It's kinda crazy, because we never really expected the support of the local community, the city, the parish; everybody has done so much for us, from day one. We've grown comfortably, but about six months ago things have kind of exploded on us. So yeah, we've kind of...to give you some numbers, as of January we were producing about 2,800 barrels a year, and here we are, six months later, and we're looking at 6,000 plus. So that's a pretty large increase of production, over just the last couple of months really. And future wise, we're adding tanks; as fast as we can purchase tanks, we're adding them, and we can't make enough beer to satisfy the market.
Southeastern, the university has definitely been helpful, not only with actual employees but also with internships and things like that. So all of that's come into play.

Cari Caramonta: Yeah, we've had plenty of interns from Southeastern, which have been super awesome to have; in graphic design, in industrial organizational, in IO, is what they call it. And so, they've helped us out tremendously, and then we have a few employees that have graduated from Southeastern, or are currently enrolled in Southeastern. So it's been, as much as we can pull from the local community, we do. And it's been awesome, because everyone's willing to help, and it seems like a lot of people really wanna be a part of what we're doing here, which is always really nice.

Zac Caramonta: I know a lot of people that are in business in other parts of the state, and they seem to have a lot of complaints, and I feel like I don't have those complaints. You know, I feel that it's just...the whole, the community and the city itself is-

Cari Caramonta: It's a tight knit community for sure.

Zac Caramonta: Like, let's ... what can we do to help? What can we do to get you going? And we wanna welcome you as much as we can, and to express how much we appreciate you doing business in the city itself, and in the parish itself. I hear, you know, when I hear other people who are running businesses and complaining, and we don't have those complaints. It's really like, "Man, we really made the right choice," when you hear that.

Cari Caramonta: Yeah.

Zac Caramonta: Hammond, logistically, puts us in an excellent spot of distribution of any product. Beer, right, we have our three main markets. We have New Orleans, a huge beer market, huge market of any type of production. You have the Northshore, which is always growing, which we are a part of, right? So we're always growing, the Northshore ... I don't know any numbers, but it's gotta be pretty high up there in the fastest growing areas in the state. And then you have the Baton Rouge, the state capitol. That's, you know, a lot of stuff going on there.
So we have three big players into, obviously, what our concerned about is the craft beer industry, or the beer industry. So being right here in the center, of almost equal distances in a way, to the end of the Northshore, Baton Rouge, and the Southshore, you know, it's great to be here. And it happens all the time, you know, we normally have trucks pick up our beer and whatnot, and so this location just has kind of worked out great for us, just being in this area. We can hop on the interstate and get our beer, and get our products out. So yeah, it's definitely been a huge benefit for us. We're seen as a local brewery to markets that, you know, if we were just in one of those markets, like if we were in New Orleans, and then Northshore and Baton Rouge might not see us that way.

Cari Caramonta: We're, yeah, we're in love with the area, because it really does put us almost in the middle of a triangle, if you will, for our distribution.

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