Saturday, December 20, 2008

New Years Eve: Pop Out The Beer Not The Bubbly!!


So New Years Eve is right around the corner and you're thinking New Years and Champagne is a must right? Wrong. You can drink beer for New Years Eve!! No, seriously, I kid you not, they make Champagne Beer! No, I'm not talking Miller High Life aka The Champagne of Beers I'm talking Biere de Champagne.

It's a fairly new style of beer which involves a timely maturation process with some even being cave-aged in the Champagne region of France. Just like Champagne the beer undergoes the remuage and degorgement process which is the process of removing yeast from the bottle (see methode de champenoise). Most of the beers come in 750ml bottles that are caged and corked. The most easily accessible one that I know of and have tried is the one pictured made by Brouwerij Bosteels called DeuS(Brut Des Flandres). For those living in New Orleans I have seen this beer at Steins Deli for around $30. For those living outside New Orleans call your local beer store and celebrate New Years the way beer nerds should be celebrating it. With beer!
Cheers!
The Beerbuddha

Monday, December 15, 2008

New Orleans has a Homebrew Store again! Yeah!!


Yup, you read that properly. We finally have a homebrew store again in New Orleans. After the closure of Brew Ha Ha, homebrewers from New Orleans have had to get their homebrew supplies from companies off of the internet. No more!! Homebrewers can now get their homebrew supplies locally at a new store called Brewstock.


The owner, Aaron, hails from up North but we won't hold that against him. He decided to move here in order to help with the rebuilding of our great city and there is no better way to help than opening up a homebrew shop! He's here to help support us so it's our turn to support him!


The shop is located at 8725 Oak Street near River Road. The store isn't quite open yet to the public but the website is pretty much done and ready!!!



Cheers!


The Beerbuddha

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Abita Brewing's Big Beer Series

This January our very own Abita Brewing Company located in Abita Springs, Louisiana will be releasing their Big Beer Series. The first two in the series will be the infamous Andygator and the much praised Abbey Ale. Previously both beers were only available on draught with Andygator making a bottle appearance in the early to mid-nineties only to disappear back into the Louisiana swamps.

This is a great step forward for Abita in the eyes of beer nerds. With the release of these beers and the great changes made to their website it appears like someone in the company is thinking outside the box and not just bottling the same ol', same ol'. Don't get me wrong I love Abita and do my best to support my local brewery but sometimes I want something big and different. Abita has always had their Select series which is great but it is exclusively available on draught. What is a married man with a two year old to do? I never really get the opportunity to hang out at local bars to sample all these beers. The big beer series is hopefully the first step in what appears to be an exciting future for Abita and an exciting future for those drinkers that can't always hang out at bars! Below is some pics of the new Big Beer bottles and some info from Abita.com:


Abita Andygator
ABV: 8%
IBU: 25
Color: 8
Style: Helles Dopplebock













Abita Abbey Ale
ABV: 8.0%
IBU: 32
Color: 25
Style: Dubbel










[pics and info courtesy abita.com]

Cheers!

The Beerbuddha

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Beer Review: Goose Island Matilda 2006



People giving me or sending me beer is always a good thing but when you receive a beer from someone that has been "aged" there is always that hesitancy to drink it because there is so much involved in aging a beer properly. Was it away from the light? Was it under the proper temperatures? Can it be aged?

So when my former boss from Southern Eagle, Trey Reinhardt, came into the store the other day and brought me a 4 pack of Goose Island Matilda from 2006 I was both excited and a bit hesitant. I guess hesitant isn't really all that true since I'm willing to try just about anything and even once drank a vintage 1998 Natty Light last year just because it was the only beer my parents had in their fridge. Not bad actually. Anyways, it was incredibly generous of Trey and I was really excited to get home to drink it. Here is the review:

Brewery: Goose Island Beer Company

Beer: Matilda 2006 Vintage

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

ABV: 7%

Recommended Glassware: Snifter, Tulip or Over sized Wine Glass

Serving Type: Tulip

Appearance- This beer was a gusher! I lost 1/4 of the beer upon opening. I was warned ahead of time so thankfully I was prepared. The beer poured a nice hazy orange with a huge, cloud like fluffy off white head. Lacing was present throughout the short life of the beer.

Smell- Wow. Nice hints of cherries, apples, citrus and a nice barnyard mustiness.

Taste- The smell and taste are almost identical. It has a nice malty sweetness with again hints of cherry, apples and citrus. The beer also has a nice sour quality to it as well. The hops add a nice spicy pepper quality and give it some bitterness.

Mouthfeel- Nice medium body with lots of carbonation.

Overall- An incredible beer that I wish we could get ahold of down here in Louisiana. My former boss at Southern Eagle who gave me this beer can help with that! (Hint, hint Trey!) Goose Island did a great job recreating a Belgian beer.

Score: Photobucket 4.5 out of 5 Buddhas

Sunday, November 23, 2008

New Orleans Poboy Preservation Festival Recap


Ok, so today was the day the wife, kid and I went out to Oak Street for the 2nd Annual New Orleans Poboy Preservation Festival. We got there at about 11:30 and the crowd was pretty thin which was great because as we were leaving around 1:30 it was packed like Bourbon Street during Mardi Gras. Well not quite that packed but it was pretty packed!



It was a pretty cool event overall. My wife got some gumbo for her and Evangeline from Firestation #25 and got to browse their sexy fireman half naked calendar. At least the gumbo was good.
They had tons of food tents serving everything from alligator on a stick, Red Beans and Rice, BBQ Oysters and Po-boys galore from companies such as Parkway Bakery and Tavern, Acme Oyster House and New Orleans Hamburger and Seafood. Along with all the food tents they had a lot of New Orleans artists out there with some great artwork. Jeffrey St. Romain from Structure NOLA was there with his hangable skateboard art. These things are incredible and would look great hanging on the wall of any home!

As for the beer scene there? Hmm. Let's just say the best beer thing that happened at this festival was this: I got to see Kirk Coco from NOLA Brewing. Nice! Other than that the event was a great experience and a good thing for the city. If any of you ever have the chance to attend you need to. It's a great time for a great cause! Plus, you get kick ass po-boys!



Cheers!


The Beerbuddha





To see more pics you can visit The Beerbuddha Myspace page.

Happy Thanksgiving!



NEWSFLASH: The Pilgrims drank beer NOT wine for Thanksgiving!

With that statement I just heard the collective gasp of wine snobs everywhere. I can see the people I work with(I work in a wine store)laughing if I were to make such a statement. The fact is: it's true. In fact, we wouldn't even have a Plymouth Rock if it wasn't for beer which means no Thanksgiving as we know it. On his way to Jamestown, Virginia, Pilgrim leader Governor William Bradford wrote in his journal: "We could now not take much time for further search, our victuals being much spent, especially our beer." Hmmm. Not wine, beer. OK, so I concede the fact that we don't have 100% evidence as to what they drank on that day but we can almost surely assume it was beer. Historical records indicate that one of the first things the Plymouth colonies did was start brewing beer. So on Thanksgiving day make sure you're celebrating properly. Drink beer with your meal.


Cheers!

The Beerbuddha

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Beer and Food


[photo courtesy shamelesscarnivore.com]

I saw this picture and just had to post it today. This Sunday is the New Orleans Poboy Preservation Festival(yes, New Orleans would be the only town I know to want to preserve a sandwich)and this picture was perfect. To me food pairings are more than just what style beer goes with what food but also should be focused on locale as well. You can't eat a po-boy without a Louisiana made beer. Do you eat crawfish without Dixie or Abita? No, that would be like having pancakes without syrup. Pfith! Who the hell would do something like that? Anyways, enjoy the pic courtesy of The Shameless Carnivore and if you're ever down here in New Orleans make sure you get a po-boy!!



Friday, November 14, 2008

Hey, Hey, Hey it's Black Albert!



It's coming to town folks!! All my hard work finally paid off(Read: All I did was ask for it and the distributor brought it in). 10 cases are coming to Louisiana and Martin Wine Cellar, thanks to yours truly, will be getting 7 cases. You'll be able to find these on shelves hopefully Tuesday November 18th. Martins will have them for $10/bottle. I have coordinated shipments to the Mandeville location and the Baton Rouge location so those of you living in those area should be able to find them there.

Cheers!

The Beerbuddha

Friday, November 7, 2008

I'll trade you two Russian River Supplications for two Westy 12s!

"I'll give you one '86 Topps Cal Ripken Jr. and one '89 Upper Deck Mark McGwire for your '86 Topps Jose Canseco." I'm pretty sure that is a baseball card trade that I actually made at some point in my childhood. I was crazy about Jose Canseco. Any Jose card I could get I traded for it. Yeah, yeah I know Jose Canseco is the big joke in baseball now but he wasn't when I was a kid. You know, the funny things is I still have all my cards.

Baseball cards, football cards and even Garbage Pail Kids(remember those!)were traded regularly in my neighborhood. Eventually though you grow up and you move on and the fun and excitement of trading becomes a memory. Or so I thought.


When I joined Beeradvocate.com a little over a year ago I learned of the world of beer trading. Ah Ha! Trading for adults!!! YES!! It's the same concept as card trading(I'll trade you beer X for beer Y) but just a little more expensive and well, possibly illegal. The illegal part I'm not even sure of. Call any of the major shipping companies(FedEx, UPS, DHL) and they'll tell you they DO NOT ship alcohol. Legal Schmegal! It's only illegal if you get caught right?


I just recently traded with a buddy up in New Hampshire(Matt Young)and it was great. I sent him beers he hasn't had or couldn't get and he sent me beers I couldn't get(plus a glass-Hell yeah!). It was great. Trading is a win/win for everyone and a win/win for the world of beer!! I think this is one of the many things that makes the beer world special. I doubt that you'd see anyone trading wine or any other alcoholic beverage. It just doesn't sound right. But for beer it seems to be natural. It's like we're kids again sitting on the front porch on a hot, lazy summer day trading for our favorite sports players but now we're big kids trading for awesome beers!


If you're interested in beer trading there are many sites out there that can help you get started. Just google beer trading. I prefer using Beeradvocate.com which does a great job of having forums site aside for single trading or multiple group trades called BIFs. They also do a great job of explaining the ins and outs of trading. Good luck and have fun! It's addicting!


Cheers!

The Beerbuddha

Hey, Yoos Guys! Hah Poon Be-ah is He-ah!



You read it right my fellow New Orleanians, Harpoon Brewery beers are now available in town. As of this past Monday(November 3rd)they should have been appearing on shelves. Right now we can only get the IPA(rated a B on Beeradvocate.com) and the UFO Hefeweizen(rated a B- on Beeradvocate.com). So whenever you're at your favorite local New Orleans drinking establishment remember to ask for a Harpoon!!!

Last night (November 7th) I got a visit at the store from Chris Derr the Harpoon Brewery Area Sales Manager for the Texas/Lousiana markets and he was so excited about getting his beers into Louisiana. Getting these beers into the market is the start to a good Beerevolution in Louisiana which is what we need. We have the drinkers now we just need the beer!! VIVA LA BEEREVOLTION!!

Cheers!

The Beerbuddha

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Decision 2008

So I'm sure you read the headline and shook your head saying,"Oh no, not another political post talking about Obama being a terrorist or socialist." and "Get over it Obama won!". True, Obama won and I feel it is what it is. At this point in my life I've been around long enough to know that all politicians are like strippers. They promise you all these great things to get into the Champagne Room only to deceive you and take your money leaving you with the worst case of blue balls ever.



No, I'm not here to talk politics. I'm here to discuss one of my own personal decisions. It is going to be a tough one and I'm not sure if I really want to do it. Over the past 10+ years I have saved one bottle of every beer I've ever consumed. Basically, if it came in a bottle I drank it and then kept the bottle. Now I'm not talking every bottle just one of each. Still though. That shit adds up. And it looks like it has added up to about 600+ bottles and counting.

Now over the years that I have been keeping these bottles I have stored them in boxes. I have a spare room in the house and about 1/4-1/2 of the room is boxes of bottles. Then I have 6 pack holders of bottles just strewn all over the room. It has gotten to the point that I'm fed up with not being able to use the room. Hell, I could have a cool ass man room in there. All men need a man room right? So the question then is keep or throw away? Tough decision. Now I have been told by a buddy of mine, Ken the Barefootbrewer, that he peels the labels off and puts them in a scrape book. I've seen the scrapbook(s) and they are very cool. He keeps bottles that don't have labels or are pretty cool looking. I really like this idea but man it's tough to just throw away bottles I've been holding onto for so long. It would be nice to not have to 1) move all those damn boxes around every time we move 2) actually have people see them 3) they can be more organized in a book(s); and lastly 4)have another room in the house that maybe I can make into a man room.

So, all 9 readers, I put it to you. Keep or get rid of the bottles. Comment and let me know what you think.





Cheers!

The Beerbuddha

Beer Video Of The Month: November

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

New Beers To Louisiana





That's right Louisiana we now have access to Lazy Magnolia Southern Pecan! It just entered the Mandeville market today. As far as I know there is little interest in entering the New Orleans market right now but they hope to be here soon. That's not stopping me from getting my customers any. If you want some Lazy Magnolia let me know and I'll be able to get you some from the Martin Wine Cellar Mandeville location. It is selling for $1.35 per bottle.



If you haven't had St. Somewhere beers yet you're in for a real treat! Right now Steins Deli has some and I should be able to bring it into Martins in the next couple weeks.

Cheers!

The Beerbuddha

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Free Beer Bitches! Yeah!



So, awhile back I received an email from Leah Dukes who works for a public relations company called formula. Working with Newcastle beer they have a marketing campaign called the MAN-ual and wanted to send me some free Newcastle. I emailed her back and said that The Beerbuddha would never fall prey to free beer and slick marketing campaigns and I would only judge a beer based on its qualities as a product. HA! Yeah right I got me some free beer bitches!

Along with the free beer I received a press release for the MAN-ual holiday promotion. I was going to write about it and explain it but received instructions to not write about it as it "contained some erroneous information". So I guess I have to wait until they send me some more info on this promotion. Oh well, at least I got some free beer!!!

Cheers!

The Beerbuddha

Saturday, October 25, 2008

EJGH Up On The Roof Beer Tasting Recap



So last night was East Jefferson General Hospital's Up On The Roof Beer Tasting and I must say it was a good time. This is the second year of the event so everyone involved is still in learning mode so there were some things that were lacking but overall I think everyone had a great time. This was the first year that I was involved and I'd love to help next year as well.

We had a little under 50 beers represented for about 300 people. I think next year we should try for more styles of beers. The year before I'm told they had nearly 100 beers there. The difference between this year and last was this year I tried to get as many beers as possible donated and last year the EJGH foundation had to pay for all the beers. The event is a charity event and last year they made no money so hopefully his year they made some money for a good cause. The money goes to pay for equipment for the hospital.

My job was to walk from table to table and help the volunteers who were pouring. Basically I got to bullshit about beer for 3 hours. For the most part I hung out with the crew from NOLA Brewing(Kirk Coco, Peter Caddoo and McKenzie Coco) drinking the Blonde Ale and the Brown Ale they brought for the event. Both beers were incredible and I can't wait to see these beers in bars all around town. It's about time New Orleans had a brewery back in town and actually brewing in New Orleans. I even took an unexpected bath in their brown ale when I tripped on a concrete parking barrier. At least I didn't spill any on Kirk's wife who was walking with me at the time. I'd have felt like a real douche then!! At least I smelled good. Perhaps a NOLA Brewing soap is in order?

A couple of issues I noticed was the lack of marketing prior to the event(none really), the lack of food at the event, and the lack of beer. There were no radio ads or newspaper ads that I heard or saw. How do you expect people to know about the event if you don't advertise? The food at the event was practically non existent. Hooters girls were there but that lasted about 30 minutes. Supposedly Whole Foods had donated some trays of sandwiches but I never saw them. With all the drinking going on we needed some food on the stomach. I also felt more beers would have been nice. There was some decent representation but I thought we could have had more beer.

Overall, the event was a good time. I really had a blast hanging out with the NOLA Brewing gang and getting to sample their beers. Awesome brew!! I have a feeling that next year will be a bigger and better event so hopefully if you didn't make it this year I'll see you there next year!!

Here is a list of beers I remember having at the event:

NOLA Brewing Blonde Ale
NOLA Brewing Brown Ale
Rogue Double Dead Guy Ale
Samuel Smith Taddy Porter
Youngs Double Chocolate Stout
Wells and Young Banana Bread
Heiner Brau Marzen
Heiner Brau Kolsch
Michelob DunkelWeisse
Leffe

I would say that NOLA Brewing was the hit of the event for me and probable many others!!








Cheers!

The Beerbuddha

Monday, October 20, 2008

Beer Events This Weekend

Here are some beer events you can attend this week/weekend!!

Monday October 20th

-Beer with the Beerbuddha
Come drink at The Bulldog on Canal St with The Beerbuddha! 8:00pm

Friday October 24th

- New Orleans Deutsches Haus Oktoberfest
- East Jefferson General Hospital Up On The Roof Beer Tasting

Saturday October 25th

- Stein/Sonnier Octoberfest Beer Dinner

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Beer Review: Heiner Brau Festbier




I woke up this morning and it was a cool 60 degrees!! Man, I love this time of year! Here in good ol' Nawlins we have about one month of "fall". The rest is cold and hot. "Seasons" is what you put into your gumbo down here not the four divisions in the year which are based on periodic changes in the weather. When I say cold, I mean cold! Being right on the river brings in some seriously cold wind. Yeah, I know it's not Green Bay cold but for the South it's damn cold! And when I say hot, I mean hot. You don't know hot unless you've been to New Orleans in the summer. Take 100 degree days and add 100% humidity and you've got a hot so hot your balls are sticking to your leg.

Anyways, those ball sticking days are behind us for a bit and now we have some wonderfully cool weather. What does cool weather mean for us beer drinkers? I don't know about you but for me it means darker, heavier beers. And what is October without an Oktoberfest/marzen style brew! Well, today because of the wonderful change in the weather I opened my fridge looking for what kind of seasonals I had available. Sitting and staring at me was my six pack of "fallfest" beers I have for my "Six Picks" review I'm doing for the New Orleans local weekly paper called The Gambit. I have a deadline to meet!! What does that mean? Time to drink!! Don't you just love it when deadline and drinking go hand in hand? Man, I know I do!

So out of the beers I had in the six pack there is only one that I have never had before and it was from our local brewery called Heiner Brau which is in Covington, Louisiana. I really pull for these guys because I love to support local but unfortunately the majority of the time I have tried their beers they have been crap. Now if this is a brewery issue or a distribution issue I'm not sure but my bet is on the latter. When it comes to beer distribution New Orleans is way behind the curve. I won't get into the whys and the whats regarding this but just trust me, it's true. So I'm sure you're thinking that if I say that most of the beers from Heiner Brau that I've had are crap then why in the hell do I keep trying there beers. The answer is because I know they can do better and the owner and brewmaster of Heiner Brau, Henryk Orlik, is a passionate guy who truly knows his stuff. He actually visited the store that I work at and brought a bottle of his Kolsch which I thought was fantastic. I have never seen the Abita brewmaster walk into my store and pimp his product like that. I guess they're too big for all that. Anyways, enough talk and on to the review!

Brewery: Heiner Brau

Beer: Festbier

Style: Oktoberfest/Marzen

ABV: Not listed

Recommended Glassware: Pint Glass

Serving Type: Pint Glass

Appearance: This beer poured out a nice amber color with a decent size off white head which disappears quickly. Lacing is VERY minimal if almost nonexistent.

Smell: Nice and big malty smell. Very sweet smell with a slight hint of floral hops.

Taste: True to style this beer is malty. There is a nice balance between the sweet and the bitterness of the hops though. The hops add a nice floral character. Great aftertaste which is dry with a hint of pepper.

Mouthfeel: This is a medium body brew with low carbonation.

Overall: Decent representation of the marzen style. Very easy to drink and one of Heiner Braus better beers.

Score: Photobucket 3 out of 5 Buddhas

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

We're Only In It For The Money: Frank Zappa Tribute Beer




I consider myself to be pretty "with it" when it comes to music. I listen to all types of music and can find some aspect I appreciate about almost any style of music. So when I received the Lagunitas Brewery's We're Only In It For The Money from fellow New Orleans beer nerd, Kenny Kolb, I was pretty excited. I know who Frank Zappa is but I realized I haven't actually heard any of his music. I felt like this was the perfect opportunity to check out an artist I haven't heard before. And let's be honest, it is only appropriate to listen to Zappa while drinking a beer dedicated to one of his albums. So with beer ready and my iTunes up I began my journey. Ok, so I hear many people call Zappa a "genius" and an "inspiration" to many artists around the world but I'll be serious, I just don't get it. Sure he taught himself composition and how to play a lot of musical instruments but man...WTF. That was some weird ass stuff. So anyway, at least the beer was good. On to the review!!

Brewery: Lagunitas Brewing Company

Beer: We're Only In It For The Money

Style: Tripel

ABV: 8.20%

Recommended Glassware: Snifter or Chalice

Serving Type: Chalice

Appearance: This beer poured a nice hazy orange with a 2 inch white head. Lacing was present but minimal. Nice looking beer with lots of carbonation bubbles.

Smell: Nice sweet smell. Hints of fruits and candy with subtle hints of spice.

Taste: The sweetness from the malts hits you first with wonderful hints of fruits(green apples, grapes) and spices(cloves and pepper).

Mouthfeel: Very crisp brew that has a medium heavy body with lots of carbonation.

Drinkability: Great beer. Perhaps a little better if it wasn't so sweet. Overall though this was great and I would love to get another bottle.

Score: Photobucket 4 out of 5 Buddhas

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Budweiser American Ale: The King Goes Craft



Ok, so I finally got myself a bottle of Budweiser American Ale thanks to Kyle Huling from our local Bud distributor, Southern Eagle. I know, I know, every beer blogger and their grandmother has written an article and reviewed this beer. You have to understand, things come slowly to New Orleans and I didn't get that fancy ass press release package they shipped out.


Fancy ass press release package that I didn't get.


Mine must have gotten lost in the mail. Yeah, that's it, lost in the mail. No big deal, I won't hold that against them. Might have given them some extra oomph in their overall rating because let's be honest, who isn't a sucker for some free schwag. I know I am! Kyle, if you're reading this you might want to get on that and find out what happened to my press release package. No, seriously, I may change your score if you could totally hook me up with that. Seriously.

So, Budweiser and craft beer. The two just don't normally go hand and hand. Amongst the world of beer nerds just uttering the word "Bud" can incite riots, looting, mass murders and make people just go insane and kill kittens. Okay, maybe not kill kittens but the other stuff I'm sure has happened. Seriously. I think most beer nerds though don't really care and understand that Bud is what it is. I'm of the opinion that if most people are drinking beers from the BMC boys then that means more awesome beer for me at awesome prices. If we have a whole revolution like the wine world had in the US not to long ago we could be looking at some seriously high beer prices. I think I like it the way it is right now. Could you imagine having to pay like $75 for a vintage 2004 Natty Light. Scary huh? Plus, you can't always buy craft beer. Sometimes that family budget needs room for those expensive ass diapers and doesn't allow for you to spend $12 a six pack. No, seriously, have you seen the price of diapers lately? Friggin ridiculous! For $12 I can buy a 12pack of Bud and a Hubig's Pie.(Free plug for Hubig's Pies cause they're awesome.) Sometimes I'm in the mood for a Bud. Yeah, I said it and I'm not ashamed.

Ok, I think I drifted off course a bit. Back to Bud and craft. Let's be honest, if AB wanted to make the best beer in the world they could do it. Their brewers are good. Real good. Brewing a product to taste that consistent is really hard to do. Trust me. If you don't believe me ask any homebrewer. ABs quality control is unrivaled. I think the main issue is that they brew for the masses not for the beer nerds of the world. It's almost as if they take a really awesome brew and find a way to "dumb it down" for the general population. It sucks but I understand. They're a business and you don't start a business if you don't want to make money. End of discussion. They make beer for the masses and the masses are buying it up. Why would you change that?

So what about their American Ale you ask? Well, the review is to follow but my overall impression is that they took an awesome beer, "dumbed it down" a bit for the masses and made an okay beer. I think perhaps they made a beer that we can consider a "gateway" beer for the average joe in terms of taste and price. It's not extraordinary but it is good. I can't take that away. They made a good beer. So, on that note, on to the review.

Brewery: Anheuser Busch

Beer: Budweiser American Ale

Style: American Amber/Red Ale

ABV: 5.10%

Recommended Glassware: Pint Glass

Serving Type: Pint Glass

NOTE- Interesting to note the shape of the bottle is very "craft" looking and this bottle is not a screw top.

Appearance- This beers pours a nice reddish amber color with a huge off-white head with descent retention. Lacing was present but minimal.

Smell- The smell is of caramel malts with a nice mild hoppiness. The hops add a slight citrus and piney character.

Taste- The taste is interesting. It's actually pretty good. It has a very similar taste to Sierra Nevada pale Ale. Perhaps its ABs use of cascade hops that makes me think this but it tastes similar. The beer has a nice caramel maltiness with hints of grain. The hops add a nice bitterness with a grapefruit citrus quality.

Mouthfeel- The body is a bit thin and watery than the full body they describe on the bottle. More of a medium body brew with a nice medium carbonation.

Overall- Overall I would say this is a good beer. I would like to see "beer nerds" try this in a blind taste test to see their reaction. The name Bud gives off preconceived notions which makes many turn their nose up immediately which isn't fair. I felt that this was a quality brew and for the price well worth it.

Score: Photobucket 3 out of 5 Buddhas




Sunday, October 12, 2008

Great American Beer Diet Challenge: Final Week




Ok, so the final weigh in of the Great American Beer Diet Challenge has arrived. I have had some ups and downs. I started at 290 and I got as low as 272. For the past three weeks I seem to have been stuck at 280 and once again I weighed in today at 280. So, in the end I lost 10 pounds. Not too bad considering I really didn't do as much as I should have. By just cutting certain foods from the diet I was able to lose the weight. Keeping those foods out of my diet is the hard part! There were many times I cheated.

All in all it was a great competition with great results for everyone who participated. Everyone is a winner in this one!! My wife found out that the competition ended today and told me my part doesn't get to end. She was a bit peeved that I haven't exercised at all the entire time so I think I'm in trouble!! Thanks for all the support i received throughout the competition!!

Cheers!

The Beerbuddha

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Lazy Magnolia Beer Dinner



The Menu

1st Course
Passed hors d' oeuvres paired with “Southern Gold”

2nd Course
Pancetta Baked Oysters paired with “Indian Summer” – on the Half Shell
with Sweet Onions, Baby Lettuces and Orange Marmalade

3rd Course
Shrimp & Grits paired with “Reb Ale” – Gulf Shrimp & White Cheddar Grits
with Applewood Bacon, Smoked Mushrooms and Lazy Magnolia Beer Barbeque Sauce

4th Course
Pecan Smoked Pork Tenderloin paired with “Southern Pecan”
with Braised White Beans, Grilled Lacinato Kale and a Pecan-Browned Butter

5th Course
Sweet Potato Bread Pudding paired with “Jefferson Stout”
with Cinnamon Stick Ice Cream


Thursday, October 23rd at 6:30pm

The five-course dinner is $45 per person including beer (plus tax & gratuity). For reservations, please call 228-314-1515 and mention the Lazy Magnolia dinner.

Emeril’s Gulf Coast Fish House
3300 W. Beach Blvd.
Gulfport, Mississippi 39501


I've had the pleasure of not only drinking Lazy Magnolia beer but also visiting the Lazy Magnolia Brewery. I had the opportunity to meet co-owner Leslie Henderson, who was also our tour guide, and even traded some beer with her!!! If I recall correctly it was some Troegs Nugget Nectar for some Southern Pecan. She is an incredible person and very knowledgable and passionate about beer. Dinners like this one in Mississippi are important as it is a great way to show the people of the state the importance of craft beer. If you're in the area this is a must go event! Get out there and have a great time drinking some awesome beer, eating some awesome food and supporting your local brewery!!

Cheers!

The Beerbuddha

**Thanks to Jeff Hinson from Emerils for the email regarding this event! Cheers and good luck!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Oktoberfest Beer Dinner with Chef Greg Sonnier


Here is a great beer dinner I have been asked to assist with:


Menu

Grilled Sausages and Pickled Produce with an
"Everything" Pretzel and Truffle Mustard
Brasserie Dupont Foret, Tourpes-Leuze, Belgium


Grilled Shrimp and Fried Mushroom Salad with
Roasted Pistachio Vinaigrette
Brasserie Lefebvre Blanche De Bruxelle, Rebecq-Quenast, Belgium


Beef Cheeks Braised in Beer, Wine, and Beets Served with Peppers, Squash, Mushrooms and Corn Grits
Deschutes Black Butte Porter, Bend, Oregon


Fig, Pecan and Blue Cheese Galette
Urthel Samaranth 12 Quadrium Ale, Ruiselede, Belgium


Please join Stein’s Market and Deli and International Wine and Spirits as they co-host a 50-person beer dinner prepared by one of this city’s most treasured local chefs – Greg Sonnier.

When: Saturday, October 25, 7:00PM

Where: The Uptowner, 438 Henry Clay Ave., New Orleans, LA

Price: $75 per person (tax and tip included).

More: The soon-to-open NOLA Brewing Company will pour its beer during a cocktail hour preceding the dinner. Bottles of Deschutes Black Butte Porter and other “rare” beers will be awarded as door prizes.

Please Contact Dan or Andre at Stein’s Market and Deli, (504) 527-0771 for reservations. Payment information is required at the time of reservation. Cancellations will only be accepted 48 hours in advance!!!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Halloween is near and the Sea Hag is here!!




So my favorite holiday, Halloween, is right around the corner and what better than to do a review with a beer named Sea Hag. Sea Hag, which comes in a can with a cool logo of a creepy ass lady, is brewed by New England Brewing Company out of Woodbridge, Connecticut. It is named after a ghost which is said to haunt a lighthouse in the town of New Haven, Connecticut. The story of the Sea Hag is a great and creepy story which you can read on the New England Brewing website. Here is blog that is devoted to the Sea Hag legend: http://seahag.wordpress.com/. Ok, enough talky talky, let's get on to the review!

Brewery: New England Brewing

Beer: Sea Hag IPA

Style: IPA

ABV: 6.20%

Recommended Glassware: Pint Glass

Serving Type: Pint Glass

Appearance: This beer poured a nice amber color with a huge, foamy, off-white head. Great lacing which looked like a spider web.

Smell: The beer has a huge pine aroma from the hops which also give off a nice citrus and earth aroma. A caramel maltiness is present as well.

Taste: Once again the pine dominates in this IPA. Their is a nice balance between the caramel maltiness and the piney hops. A wonderful bitterness in the finish. Not as bitter as many IPAs that I have tasted but still good. Since I'm not a hopbomb fan I find it kind of nice.

Mouthfeel: A nice medium body with big carbonation.

Overall: A great offering from New England Brewing. This is a nice easy drinking beer that I wish we had access too down here in NOLA! The fact that it comes in cans makes it that much more appealing to us down here in the Big Easy. Why? More great beer to drink during Mardi Gras!

Score: Photobucket

Beer Video of the Month: October

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Ass Puckering Hoppiness is Back: Samuel Adams Hallertau Imperial Pilsner




If you like ass puckering hoppiness to your brews then you'll be happy to know that Sam Adams Hallertau Imperial Pilsner is back baby!! I received an email today and this is what it read:

One of the greatest parts of this job is being able to explore and push the boundaries of what beer can be. For those who appreciate hops as much as we do this is truly a joyous time. Samuel Adams Hallertau Imperial Pilsner is back and prepared to wow you. You see, Samuel Adams Hallertau Imperial Pilsner allows us to truly showcase the unique flavor and aroma characteristics in our favorite Bavarian Noble hop, Hallertau Mittelfrueh, found in every bottle of Samuel Adams Boston Lager®. And we don't mess around here. We use 12 pounds of hops per barrel when we brew Samuel Adams Hallertau Imperial Pilsner. To give you some perspective, one barrel of a big, full-flavored beer like Samuel Adams Boston Lager uses about 1 pound of hops per barrel and average beers use about 1.5 ounces per barrel. But don't look for a traditional "Hop Bomb" experience with this brew. Hallertau Mittelfrueh hops are known for their finer aromas and complex flavors and they make Samuel Adams Hallertau Imperial Pilsner incredibly fragrant but not too bitter. In fact, the resulting brew is amazingly balanced. Keep an eye out for Samuel Adams Hallertau Imperial Pilsner at a beer store near you, but act fast as supplies are limited and it will be gone quickly.


Not sure if we'll see this one in the New Orleans area but I'll keep my eyes open and report back if I see it!

Cheers!

The Beerbuddha

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Drinking Old School...Really Old School


From Discovery News

Ancient Yeast Reborn in Modern Beer
Eric Bland, Discovery News

Sept. 23, 2008 -- Trapped inside a Lebanese weevil covered in ancient Burmese amber, a tiny colony of bacteria and yeast has lain dormant for up to 45 million years. A decade ago Raul Cano, now a scientist at the California Polytechnic State University, drilled a tiny hole into the amber and extracted more than 2,000 different kinds of microscopic creatures.

Activating the ancient yeast, Cano now brews barrels (not bottles) of pale ale and German wheat beer through the Fossil Fuels Brewing Company.

"You can always buy brewing yeast, and your product will be based on the brewmaster's recipes," said Cano. "Our yeast has a double angle: We have yeast no one else has and our own beer recipes."

The beer has received good reviews at the Russian River Beer Festival and from other reviewers. The Oakland Tribune beer critic, William Brand, says the beer has "a wierd spiciness at the finish," and The Washington Post said the beer was "smooth and spicy."

Part of that taste comes from the yeast's unique metabolism. "The ancient yeast is restricted to a narrow band of carbohydrates, unlike more modern yeasts, which can consume just about any kind of sugar," said Cano.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Beer Review: Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin Ale



Out of the pumpkin beers that are available here in the Big Easy this one is by far the best. I know, it isn't saying much when you consider just how many craft breweries are pumping out awesome pumpkin ales but until Abita brews a pumpkin ale it's what we got. Enough said, on to the review!

Brewery: Buffalo Bill's Brewery

Beer: Pumpkin Ale

Style: Pumpkin Ale

ABV: 4.90%

Recommended Glassware: Pint Glass

Serving Type: Pint Glass

Appearance- The beer poured a hazy orange amber with a huge off white head which dissipates quickly. Lacing was minimal to nonexistent.

Smell- A nice smell of pumpkin pie. Pumpkins, nutmeg and cinnamon.

Taste- The pumpkin and spices are very slight in the taste and are more noticeable in the aroma. The taste however comes off way too sweet for me and the finish is a bit unpleasant.

Mouthfeel- Thin and watery with a lot of carbonation

Overall- Not a horrible beer. I can taste the pumpkin more in this beer than the others I've tried. I would find it difficult to drink a lot of these since they are way too sweet.

Score: Photobucket 3 out of 5 Buddhas

Beer Review: Dogfish Head Punkin Ale




So last night the Canadians sent down a cold front which made our normal humid New Orleans nights a wonderfully cool 65 degrees. The perfect night for a pumpkin beer! I must admit is was a fantastic night with the wife and kid asleep and myself sitting outside on the swing watching the full moon peaking through the branches of the oak trees and listening to the sounds of the boats moving lazily down the Mississippi River. It was the perfect beer drinking moment. Earlier in the week a fellow New Orleans beer nerd, Ken Kolb, had brought me two awesome gifts: Beer! He had been reading my blog and saw that I was reviewing pumpkin ales and brought me a Dogfish Head Punkin Ale(along with a Lagunitas We're Only In It For The Money). What a guy huh folks! Anyways, on to the review!!!

Brewery: Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

Beer: Punkin' Ale

Style: Pumpkin Ale

ABV: 7.00%

Recommended Glassware: Pint Glass

Serving Type: Pint Glass

Appearance- This beer poured a murky orange with huge two fingered off white head that had incredible retention. Lacing was present throughout and left nice foamy rings.

Smell- Huge toasted malts and biscuit aromas. Very faint pumpkin spice smells coming through.

Taste- Incredible! More so as a brown ale than a pumpkin ale. Nice roasted sweet malts in the front followed by a nice bitterness in the finish. The pumpkin parts of this beer are so slight it is almost undetectable. I mean I do get very slight hints of nutmeg,cinnamon and a brown sugar sweetness but not much more. That's ok cause this beer is still a great beer.

Mouthfeel- Nice medium body with medium carbonation.

Overall- I really enjoyed this beer. It may not be what I expected in terms of pumpkin but it was still a fantastic brew. Perhaps I just need to get another bottle and give it another try!!

Score: Photobucket 4 out of 5 Buddhas

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Great American Beer Diet Challenge Week 5



Looks like I clocked in at around 274 this week. Sweet, a 3 pound loss! Looks like that 12oz prime rib and loaded baked potato from Texas Roadhouse didn't hurt me all that bad. By the way, that damn steak was awesome! Oh, and the rolls with that cinnamon butter? WHAT! Killer! Oh and yeah I have been drinking at least one beer a day!!

The funny part is I haven't exercised at all the entire time. I really haven't had the time. Ok, that's bullshit, I haven't really made the time. It's tough when you're trying to balance a family, a job and the exercise on top of that. I guess I should quit bitching and just try to find some time huh? I make time to check my email and my fantasy football team! Oh well I'll try! Anyways, until next week!!

Cheers!

The Beerbuddha

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Beer Review: Williamsburg Alewerks "400" Ale























OK, so I was going to go into all this stuff about how I am originally from Virginia and how Virginia is such an awesome state and talk about Jamestown and its 400th anniversary to lead up to this beer but I won't. This beer doesn't deserve it. I was SO disappointed with this beer I have given it a new rating that we haven't seen here before on The Beerbuddha: Drain Pour. For me to give it this rating is such a disappointment because I really looked forward to reviewing the beer and giving everyone the lowdown on this brewery out of my home state. Well, hopefully I will be able to with the other Williamsburg Alewerks brew I have. Well, until then here is my review of this beer.

Brewery: Williamsburg Alewerks

Beer: "400" Ale

Style: American Brown Ale

ABV: Not Listed

Recommended Glassware: Pint Glass

Serving Type: Pint Glass

Appearance- Nice dark, amber brown with little to no head and no lacing.

Smell-A nice nutty and sweet aroma. Nice hints of roasted malts and caramel.

Taste- Horrible! There is this bad sour taste that just ruins this beer. Ugh, this beer became a drain pour.

Mouthfeel- Medium body with very little carbonation.

Overall- A HUGE disappointment! I really hope the beer went bad and this taste wasn't intentional. Started off great but then went south! I don't even think the Jamestown colonists would have consumed this swill.

Score: Photobucket

Friday, September 12, 2008

Beer vs Wine



Place: Cork and Bottle
3700 Orleans Ave
New Orleans, LA 70119
(504)281-4384

When: Wednesday September 17th, 2008

Time: 6:30pm

Price: $25

Who:

Team Beer: Dan Stein(Steins Deli), Derek Lintern, The Beerbuddha

Team Wine: Jon Smith(Cork and Bottle)

Come on out on Wednesday and help us answer the ultimate question: Which goes better with cheese, Wine or Beer?

For reservations call Cork and Bottle: 504-483-6314

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Beer Video Of The Month

Beer Review: Shipyard Brewing Pumpkinhead Ale























Ah fall, my favorite time of year. I love seeing the leaves change to wonderful reds, yellows and oranges and getting away from the oppressive New Orleans heat and feeling the cool, crisp air it brings. The fall means football, baseball World Series, Halloween, Thanksgiving and a whole gang of great fall seasonal beers.

One of those seasonal styles I always look forward to in the fall is the Pumpkin Ale. The Pumpkin Ale is fall in my opinion. Yeah, there are Oktoberfest beers but there is just something about Pumpkin Ales that really get me in the spirit of fall.

Here in New Orleans we are already starting to see an influx of seasonal beers. Hell, I already have a list of Christmas beers I'm supposed to be looking at and placing an order for. In terms of Pumpkin Ales we only get three here in the New Orleans area: Buffalo Bills Pumpkin Ale, Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale and Coors' Harvest Moon Pumpkin Ale. You have to remember, fall isn't a great season down here in the deep south. We go from hot to cold and there is no in between. Being from Virginia, I'm used to a full four seasons, fall being one of them so I'm always in a constant state of reminiscing when September and October come.

Anyways, enough talk and on to the first review of the whopping three pumpkin beers we get in Louisiana.


Brewery: Shipyard Brewing Company

Beer: Pumpkinhead Ale

Style: Pumpkin Ale

ABV: 4.5%

Recommended Glassware: Pint Glass

Serving Type: Sam Adams Glass

Appearance : This beer poured a clear, straw gold and had a small white head which dissapated quickly. Lacing was non existent

Smell: Nice canned pumpkin pie filling smell. Nice hints of nutmeg and cinnamon.

Taste : Same as the nose, the nutmeg and cinnamon are there. Has a very weak taste of pumpkin pie. This beer just falls flat for some reason though. It just really doesn't taste exactly like a pumpkin pie more like the spices that go into a pumpkin pie. Kind of disappointing actually.

Mouthfeel : Thin and watery and way too overcarbonated. The beer leaves a bad sweetness in your mouth as well.

Overall : Very unimpressed. My first pumpkin beer of the season and this one falls flat on its face. It's as if the brewer made this beer strictly for novelty purposes and not for quality.


Score:Photobucket Image Hosting 2.5 out of 5 Buddhas