10 Years of Beers: Staff Favorites – Brunson Cartwright

October 4, 2023

As we race towards our 10 Year Anniversary, let’s take a look back at some of our favorite beers over the years and hear directly from the Great Raft Team.

Take a look at what our Operations Manager Brunson Cartwright has to say about his favorite Great Raft beers of the past decade.


Old Mad Joy – I love the way this beer is built with multiple malts from American and England. It all comes together so smoothly after a slow lager fermentation.

Smoked and Oaked – This might be my favorite beer we’ve ever brewed. Old Mad Joy but base malt subbed for a German Beechwood smoked malt and finished in Wild Turkey barrels, my go to bourbon, for over a year.

Come What Mayhaw– I was really in love with sour beer at the time we started working on this one. I also happen to have been obsessed with mayhaws since my early teens. I was certain this fruit would be the perfect fit for our Foeder aged Golden Sour, and although this beer was a ton of work for the whole team it, was absolutely worth it.

Pageant Material– This beer took longer than expected to balance out. It was concerning for a while but after the saison strain had time to bottle condition and work on the Blanc Du Bois Grapes it really impressed me. I also have a long-standing interest in this grape grown by my friend Jeff Landry over in Monroe, LA.

Show Pony– Although my beer journey has taken me down many paths stylistically, I have always enjoyed an easy drinking no frills beer. This project was especially fun because we built it around showcasing multiple malts from a small craft malting company in North Carolina (Riverbend). The whole idea was to let the malt shine. That isn’t always the case with a light SRM and low abv beer.  With just enough noble hops to balance it out, and I don’t think I would change anything about this one.

Twilight of My Youth– This was a collaboration with some friends down at Parleaux Brewing. I think the brewers nailed this one. Super soft, forever lasting pillowy head, Slight hint of oak, and my favorite hop (Nelson Sauvin).

Double Dry Hopped Grace and Grit– When you want some hops to the face, why not make it Citra and Amarillo? This beer is an amped up version of our longest and most evolved beer. We got the beer nailed down finally, so why not double the hops.

Farmhouse Slang Batch 001– When we first finished our Belgian Cellar at the brewery, this was the first Brett beer we made. It was so good I think it shocked all of us. The dryness, the subtle funkiness, the effervescent carbonation, and maybe the reason I fell in love with Nelson Sauvin in the first place. I remember drinking the last 750s of this beer when it was about 5 years old at our work family Thanksgiving and being so impressed, and so sad it was gone.

I Know What I Saw– This was our first Wet-Hopped beer. It was an Imperial Red with fresh centennial hops. The hops were harvested and flown overnight to the brewery. Just holding and smelling the super fresh hops in your hands is something everyone should experience. This beer was big, bold, resinous, and absolutely beautiful ruby color. Side note, the guys surprised me with the name and label design. Bigfoot is real!

You Me and Everyone We Know Solera Pull 5– This version of our Golden Sour was re-fermented on wild plums. The plums came from a tree I dug up in a ditch and planted in my parents yard about 20 years ago. The fruit from this tree literally tastes like Sour beer at harvest. Adding the fruit to the base sour gave it a reddish hue, and complimented the beer by adding a complex tart fruity backbone. I love this whole beer series, but it makes it special to me because of the history I have with the fruit, and willingness of the crew to get weird with a fruit normally overlooked.


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