NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - For over a decade he has been one of Drew Brees' most trusted protectors. But as Saints tackle Zach Strief's career winds down, he has begun to make plans for life after football.
For Strief, the answer came in the form of an old abandoned warehouse in the 4100 block of Tchopitoulas Street. Now it's a distillery called the Port of Orleans Brewing Company.
Strief is part of the ownership group that after a few years of searching finally found the perfect spot to brew and serve local beer right in the heart of Uptown.
"This is kind of an emerging market in New Orleans and something we are going to get to see grow," Strief said. "Obviously, football is a job that creates excitement, and I think as a post-career kind of job or transition, the excitement of this is going to be real enticing to someone who has just lost something as exciting as professional football."
Football gave him the platform and the funds to make such a large investment. And Strief said other players should take advantage of their opportunities while in the league - not just from a philanthropic standpoint, but from an economic standpoint as well.
"I would love to see players be able to create something more lasting in the communities," he said. "And listen, some of these guys' foundations do amazing work and incredibly important stuff. I'd love to see some of them transition that into a job creator or an engine for development in the city."
At the Port of Orleans, Strief isn't just a famous face lending his
"We have three beers that we are going to release to start: Riverfront Lager, Slackwater Brown Ale - which is my personal favorite - and then Storyville IPA.," Strief said. "For us, it's always been about keeping this local, and we are in a city that loves that."