Crafting Excellence: The Gnarly Barley Brewery Story

31/10/2023 From Garage Experiments to Louisiana\'s Beloved Craft Beer Icon

In the heart of Louisiana, where Southern hospitality and creativity blend, the Gnarly Barley Brewery emerged from humble beginnings in the home of Zac and Cari Caramonta. The journey commenced in a cramped garage, with two plump cats and a halfpipe, symbolizing their unique blend of passion for brewing and zest for life.

Zac's fascination with the art of brewing sprouted from an encounter with exceptional craft beers. Inspired, he embarked on a mission to craft brews that would rival the very ones that had ignited his passion. The Korova Milk Porter and the Hoppopotamus IPA, two of Gnarly Barley's original homebrews, made their grand debut at the 2011 New Orleans on Tap Beer Festival, receiving accolades and sparking the dream of a craft brewery.

Their vision took root in 2014 when a 14,000 square foot facility in Hammond, Louisiana, became the home of Gnarly Barley Brewery. Since then, their journey has been nothing short of remarkable.

Image Source: Gnarly Barley Brewery Facebook

Gnarly Barley proudly earned the 2017 Louisiana Lantern Award for manufacturing excellence and outstanding community service. Furthermore, they were celebrated by the Brewers Association, ranking among the top 50 fastest-growing craft breweries in both 2017 and 2018.

Today, Gnarly Barley's reach extends across South Louisiana, gracing areas like the Northshore, Greater New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Houma, Lake Charles, and Alexandria. Their captivating story was further embellished when they were honored as the 2023 Louey Award winner for Louisiana Attraction of the Year, solidifying their status as a true Louisiana gem.

Meet the Visionaries: Zac and Cari Caramonta

At the core of this remarkable journey are two individuals whose passion for crafting exceptional beer and community-driven innovation shines through:

Image Credit: Zac Caramonta  Image Source: Gnarly Barley Brewery Facebook

Co-founder/President - Zac Caramonta: An ardent skateboarder and a craftsman at heart, Zac's boundless ambition drove him to self-teach the art of brewing. His journey wasn't just about bringing his passions closer to home; it was about sharing them with friends and family. When his garage could no longer contain his aspirations, he took the leap, left his day job, and co-founded Gnarly Barley Brewing with his wife, Cari. Zac is also a member of the Mystic Krew of Brew homebrewers club in Covington, LA, and a founding member of the YOURS foundation, an organization dedicated to bringing skateparks to local communities.


Image Credit: Cari Caramonta  Image Source: Gnarly Barley Brewery Facebook

Co-founder/Vice-President - Cari Caramonta: A true craft enthusiast in every sense, Cari's creative spirit has taken many forms, from customizing her wardrobe to crafting furniture and visual displays as a fashion merchandiser. When she discovered brewing, it was another avenue for her DIY mindset. Cari is a member of the Mystic Krew of Brew homebrewers club in Covington and a Cicerone Certified Beer Server. She collaborates with Zac on crafting recipes, brewing, marketing, and, of course, savoring the fruits of their labor.

The story of Gnarly Barley Brewery is a testament to the power of passion, perseverance, and the unbreakable bond of a couple dedicated to their craft. It's a story that celebrates not only exceptional craft beer but the vibrant spirit of Louisiana and the communities it touches.

Gnarly Barley Brewing’s Korova Milk Porter secured 88 points at the 2023 USA Beer Ratings achieving Silver Medal.

Quality tasting porter. Just yummy.

Get rated by Quality, Value, and Packaging by the top trade buyers in the USA. The international submission deadline is May 31, 2024. Here is how to enter.