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.


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!!!


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

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


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!!


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!!


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:


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: 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