At the end of a challenging year, the team at Great Raft Brewing are proud to celebrate brand manager Bob Thames and his philanthropic achievements. He was recently named to Louisiana Life Magazine’s Louisianians of the Year list for 2020. 

Each year the magazine combs the state in search of Louisianians doing great things at home and, potentially, around the country or even the world. They look for individuals who stand out in their professions, give back, and represent what is best about the Pelican State. From teachers and artists, to healthcare and business professionals, these are the people who enhance our daily lives in more ways than one. In addition to Thames, this year’s list includes a world-renowned recording artist and a nationally celebrated painter and sculptor.

Day-to-day at Great Raft, Bob works with a network of distributors, restaurateurs, and bar owners to keep the brewery’s newest products in stock and on the shelves. In early March, as COVID-19 numbers climbed, Bob began considering ways he could give back to the shuttering service industry who had supported him for so many years. What began as a one-time raffle led to two months of fundraising and the eventual distribution of over $27,000 directly into the hands of unemployed servers and bartenders in the Shreveport-Bossier area.  

“If I’ve learned anything from 2020, it’s that to move forward we have to give back,” said Thames. “Give what you can, to who you can, whenever you can. It’s the only way we’ll all get through this.” 

Bob’s service to the community has been recognized by a number of other organizations, including receiving coverage in The Shreveport Times and being a featured guest on several podcasts and web series. In September 2020, the Bossier Chamber of Commerce named him one of the top three Patriots of the Pandemic at an awards ceremony.

As things begin to return to normal this year, Great Raft is proud to have Bob Thames as one of the most public faces of the brewery. To learn more about Bob’s work during COVID-19, and about all of the Louisianians of the Year, visit To learn more about Great Raft Brewing, visit our website