Late June every year, Cajun and Creole men would chop down some of the native wild cherry trees that were abundant on the fence lines of their farms. They could then easily harvest the small cherries which their wives would then use to make cherry bounce. Our grandmothers would steep these small cherries with sugar and bourbon and let them rest in large Mason jars in a cool dark place. The jars would sit there until the holidays, when they would be shared with visiting guests.
The men knew the wood from the tree was also excellent for smoking meat. It gave the smoked food a distinctive sweet cherry taste. The logs from the felled tree would be saved near the farm’s smokehouse for use throughout the year.
Smoked meat is incredibly important to Louisiana cooking. Andouille, tasso, and smoked pork sausage are used to flavor so many of Acadiana’s signature dishes.
LA-31 Boucanèe is our acknowledgment of the importance of the wild cherry tree to south Louisiana. Using cherry-wood smoked wheat we craft a surprisingly delicious and unique ale. A cold glass of Boucanèe enhances the taste of many local dishes, whether smoked or not. At our brewery, we enjoy pairing it with chicken and sausage gumbo, barbeque, sausage po-boys, and grilled hamburgers. We can no longer even look at a link of boudin without instinctively opening a cold bottle.