The partners are currently seeking a place to house their operations, and though they are considering locations all over the city, they will most likely settle downtown or in Mid-City. A spot near the Superdome would be their dream location.
Renthrope admits that there is still a lot to learn about the brewing business. There are also challenges that are unique to the industry. Hops, which are one of the main ingredients in beer, can be difficult to obtain. Large companies have priority in obtaining available supplies. There can also be a wide variance in the available supply from year to year, depending on growing conditions.
Cajun Fire Brewing Company is currently the only African-American owned and operated brewery in the United States. The company currently offers brews such as Acadiana Honey Ale, Praline Ale, and Ol' Yella Pale Ale, but the combinations of future flavors are endless. Feedback on the company's sample offerings have been positive in annual festivals such as NOLA on Tap and WYES Beer Festival, the longest running annual beer fest in Louisiana.
Renthrope and company have made valuable use of resources available for startup businesses. In Marhc, the cocmpany won the $50,000 grand prize in Idea Village's New Orleans Entrepreneur Week Big Idea PIth contest to help with startup capital.
Also in March, the company won the Chaffe McCall and Idea Village Entrepreneur Challenge!, receiving free legal guidance from the Chaffe McCall attorneys covering several areas of law.
Still ahead, the partners plan to manage the myriad challenges of entrepreneurs, including obtaining the required operating permits, and landing a distribution contract. To help them navigate the uncertain terrain, Renthrope has turned to groups like the New Orleans Chamber of Commere and the American Brewer's Association for valuable connections and networking.
Recognizing the importance of community involvement, Renthrope is a NOLA for Life mentor, and a participant in InNOLAvation, a site for chronicling the evolution of startups, events, and entrepreneurs in New Orleans. Renthrope is also active in the St. Augustine alumni association.
While preparing for future growth of the company, Renthrope is also preparing for another big event -- marriage, which he admits is also a lot of work. The future is very bright for Renthrope and crew and we should see a lot more from his talented group in the future.