Startup St. Bernard inaugural winner 40 Arpent celebrates grand opening of its taproom

40 Arpent recently held a grand opening of their taproom with plans to add an observation deck in the future.

(St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana): What began as a home brewing hobby for Michael Naquin has blossomed into a 6,000 square foot micro-brewing operation nestled in the heart of Old Arabi on the bank of the Mississippi River.

Founded in 2011, 40 Arpent Brewing Company has provided locally crafted beer to restaurants and bars throughout Southeast Louisiana, but with the completion of a 1,200 square foot taproom, Naquin and his staff look forward to serving their product on site.

The addition, formally used as practice spaces for various bands, was largely constructed by Naquin himself. “I like to call the vibe Reclamation; I took a 30-year-old metal building with 200-year-old wood and made a killer spot to enjoy a truly great beer,” described Naquin.

The renovation was made possible in part due to a prize package acquired by Naquin and his team by winning the inaugural Startup St. Bernard in 2015.

“My experience with Startup St. Bernard was great and it only helped to solidify 40 Arpent Brewing Company as a destination location in St. Bernard Parish,” explained Naquin.

Startup St. Bernard presented by the Meraux Foundation and the St. Bernard Economic Development Foundation is an entrepreneurial pitch competition held each year during Idea Village’s New Orleans Entrepreneur Week. The competition is designed to propel startup businesses to the next level by competing for a prize package valued at $110,000 in front of a panel of judges and a live audience.

“The Meraux Foundation created Startup St. Bernard to support new businesses in St. Bernard Parish, and we are thrilled that the competition allowed 40 Arpent to open a taproom that will attract many more people to visit our community and contribute to our local economy,” said Rita Gue, the president of the Meraux Foundation.

Through the hard work and dedication of Naquin and the injection of capital and professional support from his Startup St. Bernard winnings, 40 Arpent Brewing Company is quickly becoming an icon for the resurgence of the neighborhood.

“40 Arpent distinguished themselves in the 2015 competition by highlighting the traffic a new taproom would bring to Old Arabi and all of St. Bernard Parish,” said Andrew Jacques, Executive Director of the St. Bernard Economic Development Foundation. “40 Arpent has quickly become one of the more recognizable brands from St. Bernard, and we’re excited to follow their continued growth.”

40 Arpent Brewing Company is well known throughout New Orleans by beer lovers and craft beer drinkers and continues to provide tours to visitors from all reaches of the Gulf South and beyond.

The taproom is now open Thursday-Sunday from 3pm-11pm and regularly includes food provided by rotating food trucks, live entertainment, and game watching parties.


40 Arpent is a 10bbl, 6,000 square foot brewery nestled in the banks of the Mississippi River. The brewery’s name—an ode to Louisiana history and Michael’s favorite memories—was a given. Like the cypress trees that envelope South Louisiana, 40 Arpent Brewing Company has grown from humble, bayou roots. It all began with Michael Naquin, 40 Arpent’s Houma-born founder. His childhood experiences of trolling with his Dad, knee-boarding in the 40 Arpent Canal, and watching his older brother experiment with a home brewing kit, have influenced every aspect of 40 Arpent.  St. Bernard’s 40 Arpent Canal, which was built in the 18th century, stretched from what is now the Faubourg Marigny, roughly paralleling the Mississippi River on the East Bank down through modern St. Bernard Parish and part of the East Bank of Plaquemines. Given the brewery’s location on the banks of the Mississippi in Arabi, the name was a natural fit.


Startup St. Bernard presented by the Meraux Foundation and St. Bernard Economic Development Foundation (SBEDF) is a competition designed to offer innovative entrepreneurs with a chance to compete for a prize package worth $110,000 aimed at helping their business propel to the next level.  As part of New Orleans Entrepreneur Week, in conjunction with Idea Village, five finalists pitch their businesses to a panel of judges at a live free public event.


St. Bernard Economic Development Foundation (SBEDF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 2005 to retain and create jobs, build prosperity, and improve the quality of life in St. Bernard Parish. The Board of Directors consist of 28 voting members and 8 non-voting honorary members and public officials, all of which serve as volunteers to the organization. SBEDF’s work is made possible through the general support of its investors, St. Bernard Parish Government, St. Bernard Port, Harbor and Terminal District, the Arlene and Joseph Meraux Charitable Foundation, Cox Communications, Chalmette Refining, and Valero at the Impact Champion Level, the Law Offices of Sidney Torres, III and Associated Terminals at the Pillars Level, and Palmisano Group and Meyer Engineers at the Community Leaders Level.


The Meraux Foundation is a private 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that was established by Arlene Meraux to benefit the community of St. Bernard Parish by leveraging its landholdings. Today, the Foundation’s board of directors is presided over by Arlene’s niece, Rita Gue, and members Floyd Gue, Bill Haines, Chris Haines, and Sidney Torres, III. Guided by Arlene’s vision, the Board is implementing an innovative strategy to create lasting change and build a better St. Bernard.