Jackson Brewing Co.

Brewery Closed
JAX logo

600 Decatur St, New Orleans,
Louisiana 70130


closed for business sign


closed for business sign

First Visited

July 1, 2012

Jackson Brewing Company, or Jackson Brewery, was a regional brewery operating in New Orleans, from 1890 to 1974. One of two breweries selling Jax beer, along with Jacksonville’s Jax Brewing Company, it was popularly known as the Jax Brewery. At its height, it was the largest brewery in the Southern United States. Its French Quarter building is now a historic landmark in New Orleans and houses restaurants, apartments, and entertainment venues.

The brewery was founded by Lawrence Fabacher in 1890 as Jackson Bohemian Brewery; its name was later changed to Jax Beer and finally Jackson Brewing Company, after Andrew Jackson and Jackson Square. It soon grew to be a prominent regional brewery and it, along with Dixie, were the only New Orleans breweries to survive Prohibition.

In 1935, Jackson Brewing Company entered a legal dispute with Jacksonville Brewing Company over the “Jax Beer” trademark, used by both companies. This resulted in a compromise in which Jacksonville Brewing Company got exclusive rights to sell in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina, while Jackson Brewing got states to the West.

Jackson Brewing expanded in the 1940s, as demand increased. The brewery also credited with being the first to sell beer in a six pack in 1945 or 1946, as a result of market pressure from breweries using disposable cans.

Breweries were modernizing after World War II, and the advent of canned beer created a huge cost advantage for breweries that could afford the canning equipment. In an effort to compete, the Ostners bought 100,000 durable sacks, branded them with “Jax Beer,” and sold six beers to a sack.

In the 1950s, the company suffered competition from the growing national breweries. In 1954, it bought exclusive rights to the Jax trademark from the Jacksonville company, which ended brewing operations. This move made Jackson Brewing the 10th largest brewery in the U.S. and the largest in the South. Jax was solely brewed by the Jackson Brewing Company from 1956 through 1974, until pressure from national breweries made it difficult for regional breweries to compete.

In 1974, Jackson Brewing entered financial straits and was acquired by Pearl Brewing Company. Pearl continued producing Jax Beer until 1984, when it was acquired by Pabst Brewing Company and took on Pabst branding. The brewery building remains a landmark in New Orleans. After brewing operations ceased, the building was purchased and turned into space for residences, shops, and restaurants.

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