Partner Spotlight: Roulaison Distilling
By Green Coast on 20 Jun 2016
It’s one of the most vital ingredients to great rum, and South Louisiana produces some of the most outstanding in the world. For Andrew Lohfeld and Patrick Hernandez, co-founders of Roulaison Distilling, it cemented their plans to move to New Orleans.
“One of the draws besides New Orleans vibrant cocktail community is that you can get the best molasses here,“Lohfeld says.
Unlike mass-produced rums that are fermented in just a day’s time with poor quality molasses, the craft distillery will use high quality molasses directly from Lafourche Sugars in Thibodaux, employing a five-to-six day fermenting process. Lohfeld and Hernandez will produce just 350 five-gallon barrels during their first year of operations, and Lohfeld says their approach harkens back to earlier era.
“It’s basically a rum before industrialization began, and distilleries became more concerned with efficiency and cost,” Lohfeld says.
Lohfeld and Hernandez first met as University of Pennsylvania students, and became reconnected at wedding while living in New York City a few years later. Lohfeld, an experienced whiskey production engineer, told Hernandez about his plans to start a rum distillery and Hernandez said that New Orleans would be an ideal location.
“He had never been here, so a month later we were down in New Orleans looking for a site,” Hernandez says.
Lohfeld took his time to experience New Orleans and agreed with Hernandez that the city offered a lot. Roulaison recently became one of Green Coast™s tenants at 2727 South Broad Street. It’s an open space that the pair plans on operating as a production space and a tasting area. They estimate that distilling will begin in July and they will open for public tastings in late summer. Half of the rum will be immediately bottled while the other half will be aged in barrels.
Lohfeld and Hernandez say that Roulaison rum will be available for purchase directly from the distillery and at local bars. They add that their rum can stand alone or be featured in craft cocktails, but isn’t something to be covered up with a Coke.
“It’s definitely a rum to be appreciated,” says Lohfeld.”;Sipped, not shot.”