R. Reese Fuller

The explosive Abita brewery

by R. Reese Fuller

It was the middle of Monday night when residents of the Covington Manor mobile home park near Abita Springs woke up to a beer-induced ruckus. The Times-Picayune reports that an explosion at the Abita Brewing Co.'s brewery on La. Hwy. 63 east of Covington tore a 30-foot holeĀ  through the roof of the brewery and rocked the residents who lived next to it. The explosion was the result of workers cleaning out a tank used to age the beer.

As part of their regular cleaning procedure, workers filled the 180-barrel tank with carbon dioxide, company spokesman Beth Harris said.

But normal safety features, which would have released gas when the tank became too pressurized, failed and the tank exploded, said Harris, who works for Abita Springs company Innovative Advertising.

There were no injuries as a result of the explosion.