Red River Brewing taproom grand opening

No more waiting for Red River Brewing Company's taproom. It's finally here.After working exclusively as a distribution brewery, the craft beer company will open a public taproom at 2 p.m. Saturday at the newly renovated 1200 Marshall St. building in downtown Shreveport.The grand opening celebration will feature live music, food vendors and eight beers — crafted by brew master Steve Parks — will be on tap, including some new varieties and some with limited availability."There's several that once they're gone they'll be gone until next fall, so it's good for people to come in and catch the tail end of some of our more colder weather beers like Captain's Porter and Captain's Reserve," said co-owner Jared Beville.There also will be a return of two releases Beville said many have yet to taste and much more yet to be seen.Only those who attended the BREW beer tasting festival have had a chance to taste their new flagship beer, Heliopolis, said co-owner Beau Raines.And it's been a few years since the Twice Pardoned pale ale — Raines' personal favorite — has been produced. The Twice Pardoned pale ale is a dry hopped beer made with mosaic hops, pineapple, mangoes to give it a tropical, citrusy flavor. RELATED: Three cheers for DIY beer "It's named after a local folk hero who played a lot of local music You can probably put two and two together as to who that's a nod to," said Beville. "There was a guy born in Mooringsport in the 1800s... (Lead Belly) We don't want to name something literally, but we want to keep a lot of the names after the things of significance or things in this area people are proud of."Red River Brewing is named for the city's main body of water cleared by Captain Henry Miller Shreve. One of the breweries' flagships, Heliopolis, is named after one of Shreve's boats.They named a Continue Reading

Inaugural Red River Margarita Pour Off

The inaugural Red River Margarita Pour Off is a margarita competition between Shreveport-Bossier’s top restaurants and bars, bringing the best bartenders together to compete for $1,000, a WWE belt and the prestigious title of Best Margarita in Shreveport-Bossier.“The Red River Margarita Pour Off is a first time event for Shreveport. However, I've been organizing a similar event in Dallas for the last five years where the event has sold out at 4,000 people annually,” said creator Nico Ponce.The history of the margarita runs deep in Louisiana and no matter if it’s frozen or shaken, Shreveport-Bossier loves a great margarita.Some of the best margaritologists will come together to crown the best margarita in Shreveport-Bossier City. The brainchild of Kevin Jones (KJones Consulting, llc) and Nico Ponce (Little Owl Concepts), the Red River Margarita Pour Off will take place Labor Day weekend on Sunday, Sept. 6 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the parking lot behind Mall St. Vincent.The margarita competition will be from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. with the winner announced at 6:30 p.m.“I believe attendees will be amazed by the talent in Shreveport-Bossier City, the bartenders here are under-rated and deserve to be noticed by the masses,” said Kevin Jones.Competing restaurants and bars include:W’s Steak House, Blade, Boomtown, Santa Fe Cattle, Fast Eddies, Zocolo, Roma Italian Bistro, River City Grille, Wine Country Bistro, Country Tavern, Tamolly’s, Margaritaville, Chili’s, What’s on Tap, Chimi V’s, Twisted Root Burger, The Office and Bears.All attendees have the opportunity to sample each ‘rita and vote on their favorite one via text message.Music Mixologist, DJ Willie Boom will be spinning top 40's music and dancing is encouraged. More than 1,500 people are expected to attend.Pre-sale tickets are $25 online at, which include general admission, one Tasting Card that allows attendees to sample each Continue Reading

Can the Red River District ever draw crowds?

The city's downtown experiment is taking shape. Now the working and waiting for momentum starts.Appli-Ks, an embroidery and gift shop opened within the district in early March just months after Hippie Baby LLC, a cloth diaper and natural parenting store, settled there. Now Bon Temps, a gourmet coffee and wine bar, is slated to open in May.The new establishments join Nicky's Mexican Restaurant, CoHabitat, Fully Stacked Restaurant, Bar and Grill and Fatty Arbuckles as tenants in the Red River District. Only two were there before the 2012 city takeover of the under-bridge plaza.Now there are seven leased tenants.And except for a restaurant space across from Appli-Ks, most of the Red River District is occupied, said Debbie Camus, president of Lea Hall Properties.The city took over the district from Eldorado Resort Casino, which employees of businesses located there at the time have said didn't make upkeep of the path from Spring Street to their doors a priority. The city did, and residents noticed the difference but visitors remained light.Shreveport started leasing commercial space dormant for years. The idea was to spur redevelopment there and downtown by bringing in shops people would visit and stay to enjoy some family-friendly entertainment, too. And they hoped residents would move in downtown.Camus said there isn't much opportunity to live immediately in or around the district but there is opportunity to patronize the district."It is important for people to have a variety of services and options for services downtown," said Shreveport City Councilman Jeff Everson. "Having places where they can do something other than just go to bars is always important."There are approximately 532 downtown residential units, 27 of which are unoccupied, according to the most recent data available from the Downtown Development Authority. Additionally, two projects are underway — the Lofts at 624 Texas St. and the Southern Bell at 627-629 Crockett St. — which should bring Continue Reading

Review: ‘Operation Flashpoint: Red River’

LOVED IT: Incredibly realistic presentation is immersive, tremendous backdrops make desert look great, great cooperative play.HATED IT: Incredibly realistic presentation makes for bland gameplay, A.I. functions poorly without instruction.GRAB IT IF: You value realism over shoot-em-up destruction . . . and can deal with heavy swearing.Medal of Honor" was not realistic, despite its real-world setting. "Homefront" and its almost-plausible future was far from realistic. And the "Call of Duty" series, with its giant set pieces and dramatic cutscenes, is vastly unrealistic. Operation Flashpoint: Red River" proves it. The most recent offering in Codemasters' tactical war sim series is terrifically hyper-realistic, recreating one person's role in an actual platoon better than anything before it. And that is "Red River's" greatest strength, even if it's the one thing that will leave this game terrifically underrated. Tajikistan, having fled Afghanistan in a story that's solidly told.Gears of War"?Xbox 360 Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Oklahoma Sooners making college football world notice in 55-17 win over Texas in Red River Rivalry

DALLAS - Oklahoma apparently is tired of hearing that the winner of the Nov. 5 SEC showdown between LSU and Alabama at Tuscaloosa will be the prohibitive favorite to win the BCS national championship. The Sooners (5-0), who are No. 1 in the coaches' poll but slipped from the top spot to No. 3 in the AP poll in the last two weeks, made us stop and take notice Saturday, embarrassing Texas, 55-17, in the 106th annual Red River Rivalry at the Cotton Bowl. Senior quarterback Landry Jones, a three-time starter in this game, completed 31 of 50 passes for 367 yards and three TDs in a hurry-up offense, torching the Longhorns' surprisingly vulnerable secondary and announcing his Heisman Trophy campaign before 96,009 and a national TV audience. Oklahoma piled up 486 yards of total offense. "We don't go into the game thinking we have to score this amount of points," OU coach Bob Stoops said. "But when you play well in big games, you usually get rewarded in the polls." It was obvious that neither Longhorns coach Mack Brown nor his two new coordinators, Bryan Harsin and Manny Diaz, and two new quarterbacks were ready for the way this went down. The Sooners' blitzing defense savaged sophomore Case McCoy and freshman David Ash, who both were unable to adjust to the speed of the game. Oklahoma caused five turnovers, three of which went for touchdowns - a 55-yard interception return by Demontre Hurst, a 19-yard fumble return by David King and a 56-yard fumble return by Jamell Flemming. Each defensive score created a deafening roar that could be heard throughout the Texas State Fairground, where this game has been played since 1929. The Texas State Fair has become an annual slice of Americana, with giant talking statue Big Tex welcoming the guests to experience the giant ferris wheels and fried delicacies, which include fried buffalo chicken flapjacks on a stick, fried margaritas, fried banana pudding, fried Oreos and corny dogs. Texas coach Mack Brown didn't have to Continue Reading

Red River Rivalry confirms TCU is better than Texas, which falls to Oklahoma, 28-20, at Cotton Bowl

DALLAS - Ordinarily, the Red River Rivalry between Texas and Oklahoma, which is played annually at the sold-out Cotton Bowl on the state fair grounds, is the biggest college football event in this area. The winner of this game has gone on to capture the Big 12 championship and entrée into a lucrative BCS game in nine of the past 11 years. But eighth-ranked Oklahoma's 28-20 victory over Texas Saturday was just another indication the Longhorns are not the best team in this football-crazed state. Texas Christian University, a small school of 12,000 from nearby Fort Worth that is known for Sammy Baugh and its unique Horned Frog mascot, owns that distinction, although Texas fans throughout the state seem reluctant to admit it. TCU, which climbed to fifth in the AP Top 25 and is 5-0 following a 27-0 victory at Colorado State Saturday, is the elephant in the room, a mid-major powerhouse, much like Boise State, from a non-BCS conference no one in the Big 12 wants to talk about. We'd love to see TCU play Texas on a regular basis either here or at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington. But it's not going to happen. Texas has no interest in scheduling the Horned Frogs. The Longhorns are the biggest brand name in the Southwest, if not the country. They have Notre Dame-like clout in scheduling and can determine who they want to play in-state. Texas feels it gains nothing from playing a team like TCU, which could not only beat the Longhorns but could also hurt them long-term in recruiting in this talent-rich area. Texas seems much more comfortable scheduling a team like Rice. TCU, which has played in four conferences - the Southwest, WAC, Conference USA and Mountain West - in the past 20 years, would love to join the Big 12. But the Frogs have no chance of ever getting the necessary votes for admission if the league expands. The Big 12 feels Texas and Texas A&M already control the TV sets in this area and has no interest in sharing revenue with a team that has trouble Continue Reading

Six teens drown in Shreveport’s Red River while trying to save each other in Louisiana

Six Louisiana teenagers died tragically Monday after a swimming party turned into a desperate effort to save one another from drowning. The Shreveport teens from at least two families drowned in the Red River after they were playing in shallow water then stepped off a ledge into an 18-foot sinkhole. The victims, who ranged from 13 to 18 years old, died while trying to save one another. "They were out here with some adults. But unfortunately, neither the children nor the adults could swim," Shreveport Assistant Fire Chief Fred Sanders told the Associated Press. A seventh teenager, a 14-year-old, was rescued. Authorities said they would hold a news conference on Tuesday to give more details about the deaths. An emergency crew arrived after police received a call around 6:30 p.m. about one person drowning. It took officials approximately 10 minutes to find the sinkhole, and that's when they learned that there were multiple drowning victims.  By 10:30 p.m., all the bodies were recovered. Marilyn Robinson, a friend of the victims, witnessed as the five males and one female disappeared under the water. She said a big group of friends and family, including 20 kids, had gotten together to have a nice time. "They were yelling ‘Help me, help me. Somebody please help me,' Robinson told the Shreveport Times. She added she did not know how to swim. "It was nothing I could do but watch them drown one by one." The area is a popular hot-spot to picnic, fish and go wading. Sanders aid the city had never experienced a tragedy of this magnitude. "It's devastating," he said. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Texas upsets No. 1 Oklahoma in the Red River Rivalry

DALLAS - This time, Texas refused to crumble after taking a shot to the head from Big 12 South rival Oklahoma.The fifth-ranked Longhorns got off the canvas long enough for junior quarterback Colt McCoy to throw a knockdown punch of his own during a wild 45-35 Red River Rivalry victory over the No. 1 Sooners Saturday before a sellout crowd of 92,182 at the newly renovated Cotton Bowl.McCoy not only completed 28 of 35 passes for 277 yards and one touchdown, but he helped the Longhorns get the best of Oklahoma's gifted redshirt sophomore quarterback Sam Bradford in this shootout. Bradford was spectacular himself, completing 25 of 32 passes for 387 yards and five touchdowns.But this was McCoy's shining moment and should catapult him into serious Heisman Trophy consideration.McCoy set up Texas' final go-ahead score - a 2-yard run by Cody Johnson that gave the Longhorns a 36-35 lead with 7:37 to play - when he completed a 37-yard pass to wide receiver Jordan Shipley to give Texas a first-and-goal at the Sooners' 1-yard line. Then, he completed a two-point conversion to wideout Quan Cosby, who was all alone in the end zone.Texas tacked on another touchdown when Johnson scored on a 2-yard run with 4:32 to play .following a 62-yard run by Chris Ogbonnaya after Oklahoma backed off from its blitzing tactics."We kept answering the bell time and time again," McCoy said. "We knew we had to come in here and execute. We came in with the idea of throwing the ball. Nobody had thrown the ball against Oklahoma and nobody had explosive plays and deep play. We wanted to attack that and we found some openings in the middle."Shipley did the most damage, catching 11 passes for 112 yards and one touchdown. He also had a spectacular 96-yard kickoff return for a score that pulled the Longhorns within 21-17 midway through the second quarter."That was an answer," Texas coach Mack Brown said.The Longhorns had too many of them, outgaining the Sooners in total yards, 438 to 435, and limiting the Continue Reading

North Dakota tries to keep icy Red River floodwaters from invading Fargo: expected to topple record

FARGO, N.D. - Thousands of North Dakotans stacked sandbags around the clock to protect the state's largest city from the rising Red River, expected to reach a record level on Saturday. Across the state, Bismarck breathed easier as the Missouri River fell 2 feet, limiting the flooding. Volunteers and Fargo officials were heeding the mayor's call Thursday to add another foot of dike protection against the rising water. Just north of neighboring Moorhead, Minn., officials said more volunteers were needed to help a low-lying township in a desperate fight to save 500 of its 550 homes. A few homes have already flooded, Oakport Township Chairman Greg Anderson said. Soon the rising water will leave few areas where it's possible to sandbag, Anderson warned. In the Fargodome, where a sandbag-making operation was working furiously, public works official Bruce Grubb was struck by the variety of people helping out. "Any time you see Bison football T-shirts and Sioux hockey T-shirts working side-by-side and smiling, we've really come together," Grubb said, referring to students from North Dakota State and its rival, the University of North Dakota. The river was at 38.19 feet early Thursday. The National Weather Service predicted the Red River would crest at 41 feet, raising concerns about massive flooding among residents in this city of about 92,000. Mayor Dennis Walaker described 41 feet as "uncharted territory," noting the Red's record high at Fargo was 40.1 feet in 1897. Walaker said he was still confident the city would beat the flood, but that contingency plans were needed. City officials opened a planning meeting with a prayer, and Walaker said: "We need all the help we can get." Officials said they would build their dikes a foot higher than planned, to 43 feet. Several nursing homes were evacuating residents ahead of the floodwaters. Elim Care Center in Fargo planned to move about 50 residents to an empty nursing home in Steele, N.D., about 150 miles Continue Reading


DALLAS - Colt McCoy has not reached legend status yet, but he is rapidly becoming a household name with University of Texas fans. The baby-faced, 20-year-old redshirt freshman quarterback stamped himself as the future of Texas football yesterday when he threw two huge second-half touchdown passes as the No. 7 Longhorns recovered from a comatose second quarter to roll by No. 13 Oklahoma, 28-10, in the annual Red River Shootout at the Cotton Bowl. McCoy's statistics were not overwhelming. He completed 11 of 18 passes for just 108 yards. But he came alive in the third quarter when the Longhorns needed him. McCoy survived an all-out Sooner blitz to throw a 33-yard touchdown pass to Limas Sweed, capping a rapid-fire 52-yard drive that gave Texas a 14-10 lead on the first possession of the second half. Then, he hit backup tight end Jordan Shipley for another score on a beautifully thrown 7-yard fade pattern while being hit late in the third quarter as Texas (5-1) pulled away, putting a big hurt on the Sooners (3-2). "Jordan came in and played that entire series," McCoy said. "I saw one-on-one coverage and so I gave him a shot and he made a great catch. It feels good." This was McCoy's coming-out party and he celebrated afterward by pumping his arm in a victory salute as Texas fans chanted "Poor Sooners" to departing OU fans. The scene was not nearly as wild as last year, when Texas broke a five-year Sooners' winning streak with a 45-12 victory en route to the national championship. McCoy watched that game on the sidelines while Vince Young worked his magic. This year, it was his turn to wield the wand. McCoy had been a disappointment in the Longhorns' 24-7 loss to top-ranked Ohio State last month, content with dumping the ball to his running backs, throwing the ball downfield just once in the second half, resulting in an interception. But three weeks later, McCoy, who has thrown for 12 touchdowns and only two interceptions, helped the Longhorns make a huge Continue Reading