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Monday, June 28, 2021

The Seventh Tap Brewing Project

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Owners put their imprint on beer, brewery

Jose Cardenas has a stressful job.

As a cath lab X-ray tech, the 32-year-old helps doctors perform heart catheterizations and insert pacemakers. So, after work, it helps the Haughton native unwind by having a cold beer. Now, Cardenas can have a cold beer at his work — his second job.

Cardenas, along with 34-year-old Samuel Norton and 31-year-old Colby Miller, own the area’s newest brewery: is at 2640 Linwood Ave. in Shreveport.

“It’s what we wanted,” Cardenas said. “It’s the dream.”

A dream that was born eight years ago in Norton’s garage. Norton and Cardenas lived together after finishing college. Norton started homebrewing, “and I picked it up as a hobby from him,” Cardenas said.

The two met Miller through a local homebrewers club. Then, all three took their show on the road.

“We would go to festivals, competitions and different home brewery events around not just Louisiana, but Texas and all over the country,” Cardenas said. “We ended up winning some awards with our beers. We decided that maybe, one day, we could start a brewery. It was still kind of like a far-fetched dream. One day, thanks to

Colby’s dad, we came across this building on Linwood and decided we should go for it — and here we are today.” As the first-time business owners are learning, making beer for a living is a lot different from drinking beer for enjoyment. “When you’re in college, it’s all about quantity over quality,” Cardenas said.

“When we started brewing, we thought, ‘This is pretty cool!’ You make your beer, you drink it, and it is what it is. But, once you start researching, you fall in love with the science behind it — the creativity.

I think that’s what sparked our interest. We realized there are different ways to do things. There’s a better way to do things. There’s a whole different world of beer out there that we never knew anything about.” At The Seventh Tap Brewing Project’s recent grand opening, there were 13 beers on tap. However, the number varies from day to day.

“Our goal is, every time you walk into The Seventh Tap, you will have beers that are our staples — that everybody loves and will always be here,” Cardenas said. “But you will always have something new to try.”

Cardenas and his fellow owners have been hands-on in everything to get the brewery up and running.

“I feel like we’ve created a superinviting atmosphere,” Cardenas said.

“Every time you walk in, the owners are here to greet you. Our whole tap room design was done by us. A lot of DIY designed by us, constructed by us, so it’s something local, new and interesting. … We’re giving (people) a place to relax. We have an outdoor patio. Somewhere where people can come by after work and have a nice beer in a nice setting. On weekends, we will have live music, so people can hang out, relax and let loose for a little bit.”

The taproom has three TVs. Not many, but think of it as a compromise between those who are there for the beer and those who are there for the beer and the sports.

“We’re a craft brewery, so we want to distinguish ourselves,” Cardenas said. “We’re not a sports bar, but we don’t want that to be a detriment. We don’t want that to hold back someone from coming. It’s Louisiana. People love football. We love football. We love all sports, so if there’s something on TV that’s a big deal, we want it to be on.”

And about that name — The Seventh Tap Brewing Project:

“A Jockey Box is basically a draftdispensing system, so it’s a cooler we would take to different events and serve our beer out of,” Cardenas explained. “When we went to construct it, we accidentally drilled a seventh hole into it and made a seventh tap. We didn’t have enough stuff to construct a seventh tap, so we had to order some more stuff. Then, we just decided the seventh tap will always be for a crazy, one-off beer. When it came time to decide on a name, it kind of stuck.”

From pouring beer out of a cooler to owning their own brewery. Cardenas, Norton and Miller are indeed living “the dream.”

To learn more about The Seventh Tap Brewing Project, you may visit www.theseventhtap.com.

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