Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Beer Review: Big Flats 1901

Unlike a lot of other beer bloggers out there I do my best not to discriminate. I don't drink craft or imports only. I try to find the love in all beers. I'm notorious for being seen at Avenue Pub drinking a Miller High Life and I don't care. As I've said many times on this blog I'm a beer geek not a beer snob.

Whenever a new beer enters the market I want to get my hands on it and let you readers know what I think. And I promise you I will judge that beer appropriately according to it's style. Sometimes the beer just sucks that bad and others we find are better off than expected.

That brings me to Big Flat 1901. I was contacted via text by a buddy of mine Travis Combel regarding a beer he saw at Walgreens for $3.49. Yeah he said $3.49. No, that's American dollars not Pesos. I looked it up and it looks like Walgreens has their own beer. It's pretty common amongst chain grocery stores and drug stores to have a brewery contract brew some beer for them to sell. I'm sure many of you remember Schwegmann's beer or K & B beer. Both of those were brewed by Dixie Brewing here in New Orleans.

Stolen from someone on Flikr

Anyways, I HAD to pick some of this up and give it try. $3.49 for a six pack? Unreal. AND it comes in cans which is very smart marketing with Mardi Gras right around the corner. Perhaps it could be the perfect cheap Mardi Gras beer? Let's check the review and see....

Brewery: Says Brewmaster's Choice but it's Genesee Brewing Co.

Beer: Big Flats 1901

Style: American Adjunct Lager

ABV: 4.5%

Louisiana Availability: Yes. Only at Walgreens.

Appearance: From the can the beer pours a very clear golden color with tons of bubbles and huge white head which dissipates quickly.

Smell: Has a very grainy quality to the aroma. Not much else. At all. Even after they use the "choicest hops". Their words not mine.

Taste: Can we say adjunct grain? That's ok though because let's be honest it's a cheap American Adjunct lager. And for the price this one really isn't all that bad. On that note enjoy this one VERY COLD.

Mouthfeel: Watery and highly carbonated.

Overall: I picked this up at Walgreens for $3.49. No that's not a typo. $3.49. A six pack. Should we expect this one to be the next Pliny? Of course not. But for the price it really isn't all that bad. I say if money is tight and you need a beer get yourself to Walgreens.

Score: Photobucket 2.5 Buddhas out of 5

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Beer Buddha's 2010 Beery Awards

So with 2011 right around the corner I decided to come up with my own little award to shine a light on those in Louisiana that are doing their part in making Louisiana a better place for beer and also beer related highlights from the past year.

After racking my brain for about 20 minutes I came up with the Beery Award. It sounds kind of dumb but it works. I'm sure some you may be offended that you aren't on the list and I say don't be. Just take it as constructive criticism. If you aren't on the list and you think you should be maybe you need to work a little harder. Just maybe. Some of you may be pissed because you are on the list. My answer is oh well. On that note I say let's get on with the awards!


NOLA Brewing

Still somewhat of a newcomer but old enough to be judged properly I'm gonna break the mold and go with NOLA over Abita because NOLA really continues to impress with their beers. They continue to do the cask beer which in my opinion can help break up the monotony which happens in the craft beer world. What I mean by that is there isn't much loyalty amongst craft beer drinkers so you have to keep them coming back for more and the cask ales that NOLA does really does keep us coming back. Irish Channel Stout didn't hurt either! Great brew!


Bayou Teche Brewing

Without a doubt this goes to Bayou Teche Brewery. Talk about blowing up. These guys are everywhere right now and as a team they show up to every event which is pretty cool. I predict we're going to see more coming from these guys really soon. Hell, I already have a bottle of Granade in my fridge ready for a review!


Stein's Deli

I used to be the judge of this one. With 35 reviews and a solid A+ rating this one can't be argued. I think the only thing holding Steins back is the inability to drink while eating one of those incredible sandwiches.


Acquistapace's Supermarket

Now I'll admit that I've never been here but I hear nothing but good things about this place and again with 17 reviews and an A on it wins this category easily.


Avenue Pub

Again I used in order to be impartial but come on. I've said it a million times. There is NO better beer bar in Louisiana. 26 reviews on BA and an A? Nuff said.


Chimes Restaurant and Oyster Bar

Again another bar I've never been too. Mainly cause I have no reason to go to Baton Rouge. Ever. But this was the only beer bar across the lake that had more than 10 reviews on BA which was my minimum amount of reviews to even qualify. With 15 reviews and a B+ review this place wins.


NOLA Blonde with Citra Hops

If you tried this one you'd understand. It was close with Parish Brewing Canebreak with Hibiscus.


Heiner Brau/Covington Brewhouse

Henryk Orlik from Heiner Brau could be a marketing genius. I'm not really 100% sure whether he changed his recipes up for his Covington Brewhouse line or if he is slowly phasing out Heiner Brau and focusing on Covington Brewhouse. Either way his Covington Brewhouse lineup is doing really well. Could it be because the local name? I've had the Bock. Pilsner and Strawberry and all three are solid brews. In my opinion his Strawberry smokes Abita's. Now Heiner Brau never really went anywhere but creating the Covington Brewhouse lineup surely created a resurgence for his company.


Magic Hat Brewing

Do you remember this one? Yeah, me neither. And I was invited. And 4 months later they fire their sales guy because Independent Brewers United is bought out by North American Brewers. Stay classy Magic Hat!


Brooklyn Brewing at Boucherie

Sorry but this one was incredible. The food was incredible and Garrett Oliver was actually there. Made a big difference.


Stone Brewing

This one was actually tougher than I thought but not much. I based my ratings on regular line up availability, specialty brew availability and frequency of brewery rep visits. Stone Brewing wins because of Jason Armstrong. He is a rep that pays real attention to New Orleans. We get a lot of specialty beers and have all of their regular lineup. I have to admit Brooklyn Brewing came in second because they do a good job of sending the specialty brews and well, that fantastic beer dinner.


Southern Eagle and Saint Arnolds Brewing

In the beer world this was similar to the Saints signing an at his prime Jim Brown at running back. HUGE GRAB! Saint Arnolds has been around and brewing since 1994 and has never left the state of Texas with no interest in doing so. Until this year. Somehow Matt McKiernan worked his brew doo magic and convinced Saint Arnolds that their first and only venture out of Texas should be to Louisiana. Great job guys!


Gordon Biersch

Well, this category isn't all that difficult considering we only have 2 that I know of. Crescent City Brewhouse and Gordon Biersch. One is a tourist trap and the other is a chain. I went with who makes better beer and Gordon Biersch is the answer hands down. I think it's time we have some local brewpubs open up in town that cater to the locals.

Well that's it. Hope you enjoyed the 2010 Beery Awards. If you didn't like my picks please leave some suggestions and if you have any ideas for more categories for 2011 let me know!


The Beer Buddha

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Have a Beery Christmas: 5 Great Gifts for your Resident Beer Nerd

I know a lot of you are trying to figure out what will be the best present for your spouse. If that spouse is a beer lover well then you came to the right website because I'm going to give you what I feel are 5 of the coolest gifts you can get for your resident beer nerd.

5) A gift card to your local beer store. This is the most simple gift and one of the best because not only does it allow your beer nerd to pick out his or her own beers but it keeps your money local. I would recommend a minimum of $20 on the gift card as that'll still allow them to get a very nice selection and is reasonable for a family on a budget.

4) Beer Glassware. Now unless your beer nerd is like me and has too many beer glasses they could use some "proper" glassware. Beer, like wine, should be consumed in proper glassware or style specific glassware. Each style of beer has its own style of glassware. There are a lot of stores in the New Orleans area where you can get some generic glassware such as Williams & Sonoma or even your local beer store but if you prefer to shop online my recommendation would be Beer Geek Shop as their website is simple to use and they have a nice selection of beer glasses at reasonable prices.

3) Beer Books. I love reading about beer and I think that books always make a great gift. So a book about beer is the best idea right? Here is a list of four books that I've read and enjoyed the most.

Brewmaster's Table by Garret Oliver: This book is perfect for the beer nerd who likes to pair their food and beer.

Great American Craft Beer: A Guide To The Nations Finest Beers and Breweries
by Andy Crouch: This book is kind of like a Craft Beer 101 book. Perfect for beginners and any self proclaimed beer expert.

Brewing Up A Business: Adventures in Entrepreneurship from the Founder of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery by Sam Calagione: Your beer nerd want to start a brewery? Well even if they don't this book is an inspirational read about the entrepreneurial spirit of one of craft beers most celebrated owners.

The Naked Pint: An Unadulterated Guide to Craft Beer by Christina Perrozi and Hallie Beaune: Kind of an all beer guide to beer. This one covers styles, food pairings and keeps you entertained the entire time!

2) Old school beer Memorabilia. I'm always a sucker for old school beer stuff from New Orleans brewing past. And it's really easy to find thanks to websites such as ebay. Come on, you know an old school Jax Brewing clock would look great on your wall!

1) A kegerator. I really don't need to say anything here but duh. What beer nerd doesn't want their own personal beer dispenser.
Photo Courtesy

Well there you have it. I think it's a pretty damn good list but if you want to add to it in the comments please feel free because I know there are other great beer gifts out there!


The Beer Buddha

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Beer Review: The Bruery Saison Rue

I love stories or movies in which the little guy succeeds against all odds. You know what I'm talking about. You know the one where that scrappy kid from Goonies is trying out for Notre Dame football and keeps getting his ass kicked and he just won't quit because he has daddy issues and his brother is a douche and then the dude from Swingers shows up and is like, RUDY! RUDY!! Yeah Rudy, that's right. In my opinion there are two new breweries right now that are doing just that- Cigar City and The Bruery. Bucking traditional approaches of small, steady growth these two breweries seemed to have gone balls to the wall and it's paying off for them. Here is the moment you expect me to post a picture of Rudy Ruettiger but no, I give you THIS instead:

Yeah I just did that. Bet you didn't see that one coming at you huh? And if you're reading this via email and aren't getting pictures or videos you just totally missed it. You're welcome to those they DID get to see it.

Anywho, The Bruery from Placentia, California just celebrated their second anniversary this past summer. The demand for their beers is insane. In two years they've gone from start up brewery to rock star brewery. Hell, they're available in Florida for crying out loud. This past summer during a trip to the House of Mouse I was lucky enough to pick up a couple of bottles from these guys and one of them was the Saison Rue. We cracked open the bottle this past Friday night at our weekly Friday Pint Night at Avenue Pub. I keep telling you guys to come out via my Facebook page so no excuses and no whining about how you weren't invited. Here is my review:

Brewery: The Bruery

Beer: Saison Rue

Style: Saison/Farmhouse Ale

ABV: 8.5%

Louisiana Availability: Of course not.

Appearance: This beer poured a hazy amber with a nice foamy white head.

Smell: Interesting hints of tart green apples, pepper and a slight hint of fruity hoppiness.

Taste: Now don't take this the wrong way but main the flavor that dominates here is....Jagermeister. I know, I know but that's what I tasted. The Bruery website doesn't say they use anise but man that's what I got the most of. I also got slight hints of green apples, barnyard mustiness and pepper but the anise just dominated the taste for me.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a lot of carbonation.

Overall: An absolutely great brew but the anise just kept throwing me off. I swear I tasted Jagermeister and it was driving me crazy. Don't worry Patrick Rue I I'm pretty sure I was the only one meaning my taste buds just suck. Oh well, I still enjoyed the hell out of it though and will grab another bottle whenever I see it.

Score: Photobucket 4 out of 5 Buddhas


The Beer Buddha

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Beer Review: Dog Bite High Gravity Lager

Just what we needed!!! More high strength brews marketed towards the poor urban areas of New Orleans!! And if you think I'm wrong check out video number 1.

Notice their focus on the 10% ABV and the size of the can. I know it doesn't seem like they're focusing on the hood but I promise you they are. Watch this little promotional spot for Dog Bite in New Orleans.

Yeah. I really don't have much to say about this one. Let's just get straight to my review. Video style:

Beer: Dog Bite HG Lager

Brewery: Rock Wall Brewing. AKA Genessee Brewing

Style: American Malt Liquor

ABV: 10%

Louisiana Availability: Yes, unfortunately.

Score: Photobucket


The Beer Buddha

Friday, November 26, 2010

Beer Review: Great Northern Brewing Company Frog Hop Fresh Hopped Pale Ale

Comparisons. We always make them no matter what we're talking about. Take for example NFL Running Backs. I'll say John Riggins. You may say Walter Payton. Both were great in their own way but as much as I love John Riggins it's fair to say that Walter Payton was probably a better running back than The Diesel. Here in New Orleans we have the po-boy or poor boy sandwich. EVERYBODY has their favorite roast beef po-boy. I prefer Parkway Bakery and others may prefer Parasol's(now Tracy's).

The beer world is no different. And just like everything else there is always that benchmark you compare everything to. When it comes to American Pale Ales the benchmark that all others get compared to is Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. SNPA is the gold standard of pales ales and well, it's not really fair to do that because many pale ales will be different due to the endless possibilities of ingredients used.

I was recently introduced to a brewery in Montana called The Great Northern Brewing Company. These guys and gals were nice enough to send out some samples to New Orleans for me to taste and review. The last two beers I have had from these folks have been solid beers and I hoped the Frog Hop would be no different. I cracked this bad boy open while preparing our family Thanksgiving feast yesterday. Here is my review:

Brewery: Great Northern Brewing Company

Beer: Frog Hop Fresh Hopped Pale Ale

Style: American Pale Pale

ABV: 5.0%

Louisiana Availability: NONE

Appearance: Pours a clear golden color with a huge, fluffy white head.

Smell: Grainy aroma with hints of citrus, pine and grass.

Taste: Similar to the nose there is a nice graininess with hints of citrus and pine. Nice slight hoppy bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with medium carbonation.

Overall: A very well balanced fresh hopped pale ale. Very easy to drink. A perfect beer to introduce to someone who is new to the wonderful world of hops as it is slight in its bitterness and well balanced.

Score: Photobucket 3.5 out of 5 Buddhas


The Beer Buddha

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Avenue Pub's New Menu with prices

This came last night from Polly. Prices and food look good:

Our new Menu with prices and cheese selections/beer pairings. Kitchen reopens for evening hours Tuesday at 4pm, we reopen for dayshift of the day after Thanksgiving. New Menu, New Chef, New price point..please give us feedback as you try the different items.

The Roast Beast – $5.75 A "hold in one hand "sized New Orleans Classic served on a small bun with sautéed onions, roma tomatoes, and a healthy smear of garlic aioli.

Beer pairing: Stouts, Brown ales, scotch ales

The Crabby Patty - $12.50A six ounce New Orleans crab cake sandwiched between a Kaiser bun with a tomato-basil aioli, fried leaks, with lettuce and tomato. A Half & half mix of La lump & claw meat with spices & a little bit of panke bread crumbs to hold it together.

Beer Pairing: Belgian wits, wheat beers, superb with Hitchino White nest ale, Blanc de chambly or Blanche de Bruxxelles

Pub Burger- $7.50 A homemade, handformed 6oz burger, cooked to order, with PLOT and cheddar cheese. Add Bacon$1 and $1 Bleu Cheese $1 Add Homemade Chili $1

Beer pairing: what doesn't go with a good cheeseburger? Our favorite= NOLA Hopitoulas or Bayou Teche.

Grown Up Grilled Cheese- $7.50 Drunken Goat & a secret blend of 2 other artisanal cheeses From St James Cheese Co, melted to gooey perfection, with a touch of sage, on sourdough bread.

Beer pairing: Just about anything. You can cut the richness of the cheese with a good pale ale(Stone, Sierra or Moylans)or enhance it with a rich Belgian ale( Brother Theolonius, Rochefort) or a nuanced belgian wit(Blanch de chambly or Blanche de Bruxxelles). Also great with a good earthy saison!

Cake Eaters- A Trio of delicious pan seared cakes! $9.75

Sweet Potato with brown sugar honey butter and minced andouille sausage.

Loaded Baker Cake with cheddar, bacon and chives, topped with a generous dollop of sour cream.

Risotto Cake made with a creamy feta, tomato and fennel risotto.

Beer pairings: stout, brown ale or any spiced ale.

Artisanal cheese board from St James cheese co. $11.50

Rotating cheese, candied bacon & fruit selected to pair with our rotating beer selection

Beer pairing: Just about any beer you want but especially good with pale ales & IPA's

Green Eggs and Ham- $5.75 Herb scrambled eggs wrapped around salted country ham, with a garlic cream cheese spread. It creates a nostalgia inducing pinwheel.

Beer pairings: Eggs & Belgians are just about a perfect combination, try La Fin Du Monde or any of our fabulous rotating Belgian Abby Ale taps.

Red Beans and Rice Wontons- $5.50 Creamy spicy red beans, stuffed in to wonton wrappers and fried to golden brown perfection. Served with a rice wine and mandarin vinaigrette. New Orleans tradition just got better.

Beer Pairing: Brown ale, stout, porter or IPA. this is a dish that can hold up to a hop bomb like Moylans or Stone.

To Die For Fries- $6.50 Waffle fries smothered in a cheddar garlic béchamel.

Add Bacon, Jalapeños or Homemade Chili. French fries without fixens' available for $4.75

Buddha’s Temptation
- $7.00 Bleu cheese stuffed apricots, wrapped in bacon, skewered and deep fried, served with a balsamic reduction. Created by Craig Geiske & used with his kind permission.

Mini Tacos- $7.50 7 tacos, smothered in cheese sauce, sour cream and chives.

Beer pairing: Just about any beer you want but espcially good with pale ales & IPA's

Elaborate Thanksgiving Beer and Dinner Pairing

OK so I've thought about this for a couple weeks. I was going to come up with this elaborate Thanksgiving beer pairing guide but I just couldn't do it. Not that I can't but rather I just didn't really care all that much to do it after thinking about it.

So before you curse me to the bowls of hell for not caring about a beer and food pairing hear me out. Thanksgiving is such an odd holiday to pair beer with especially here in Louisiana. There is cajun fried turkey, regular turkey, turducken, tofurkey, turturken, okay so I stole that last one from an episode of How I Met Your Mother but still. Hell, some people don't even eat turkey but ham with their meal. And then we have the dressing. No, not stuffing but dressing. There is oyster dressing, corn bread dressing, crawfish dressing, sausage dressing, shrimp and rice dressing etc, etc. Notice I haven't even gotten to the other sides yet.

At the end I just decided that you should just drink whatever beer you want to drink. Who cares if it pairs well with your food. As long as you like it and you think it goes with whatever you're eating then who cares. Personally I'd buy something local like Abita, NOLA or Bayou Teche. Most local beers are brewed specifically with Southern Louisiana cuisine in mind so will pair well with almost anything we have.

Whatever you decide to drink remember what Thanksgiving is truly about. No not Indians and Pilgrims. But rather a time you can get together with friends and family on some random Thursday, get hammered, watch football and make fun of that weird uncle who's gone batshit crazy. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!


The Beer Buddha

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thanksgiving Recipe: Beer Baked Mac n' Cheese

Photo courtesy of the LA Times.

This is the Beer Baked Mac N' Cheese Recipe from the Rackhouse Pub in Denver, Colorado. I will be making this one Thanksgiving Day!! The recipe comes courtesy of the LA Times.

Rackhouse Pub Beer Baked Mac N Cheese

1 cup (2 sticks) butter

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup amber beer(I recommend something local like Abita Amber)

2 cups half and half

1/2 pound Brie

2 packages (16 ounces) cream cheese

1 1/2 cups crumbled Gorgonzola cheese

2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese, divided

1 box (16-ounce) penne pasta, cooked and drained

Salt and pepper

1/2 cup panko or bread crumbs

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a medium, heavy-bottom pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour to form a light roux. Slowly whisk in the beer and half and half.

3. Add the Brie and cream cheese to the sauce, stirring until the cheeses are melted and incorporated. Stir in the Gorgonzola, cheddar and 1 cup Parmesan cheese.

4. Stir in the pasta, taste and adjust the seasonings as desired with salt and pepper (some of the cheese will be salty and the mixture may need only a little salt, if any).

5. Pour the mixture into a 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Top the mixture by sprinkling over the remaining Parmesan cheese and panko crumbs. Place the dish in the oven and bake until the sauce is bubbly and the toppings are crisp and golden, about 1 hour.

6. Cool slightly before serving.


The Beer Buddha

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

J'anitas Update

I have it on good authority that J'anitas has found a new home at the Rendon Inn. Congrats to J'anitas and the Rendon Inn!!!


The Beer Buddha

J'anitas Leaving Avenue Pub

So, it's official. J'anitas, the culinary team of Craig and Kim Giesecke, will be out of the kitchen at Avenue Pub as of November 21st. The huge success of Avenue Pub and J'anitas has made it very difficult on both parties. The kitchen was too small to organize the amount of food business the Pub was seeing on weekends. Beer customers were having to wait for seats being occupied by non alcohol drinking customers who were there for the wonderful food and well, it's a beer bar not a restaurant. Both Polly and Craig made many attempts to appease customers but in the end this seemed like the most logical decision.

Here is a letter sent out last night to Mug Club members explaining the change in more detail:

After 18 months J'anitas and the Avenue Pub have decided to separate their businesses. We here at the pub have become close to Craig and Kimmie and wish them the best. We sincerely hope Craig's wonderful cooking pop up in a restaurant near us soon. They have a couple of great options they are looking at but in the meantime if anyone knows of a possible lunch and early dinner establishment please let them know. They have their own facebook page but you can always email me with the info and I'll pass it along to them. They will be in the pub until Sunday November 21st.

We know this announcement will come as a disappointment to many of our customers. Please know that as the owner I take our menu offerings and the service that accompanies it as seriously as I do the craft beer we work so hard to bring in. As we move forward into 2011 we will continue to work hard at insuring our beer is the best available anywhere in the state and that we have delicious, reasonably priced food to accompany those beers.

Transition Schedule
November 22nd the Pub kitchen will be closed for cleaning and improvements.
Evening hours (4 pm till)will resume on Tuesday November 23rd with the new menu
Daytime hours will resume on Friday November 26th with the new menu.

A little bit about our new chef Joel White.
Joel is a craft beer lover with lengthy experience in very busy commercial kitchens. We look forward to the special pub fare menu items he has created for our craft beer drinkers. His concept is upscale pub food like handmade burgers, risotto cakes and crab cakes on a bun with house made bechamel, house roast beef with horseradish aoili. Consistent with the Pub's focus this food will be the perfect accompaniment to craft beer. Old favorites like the mini tacos and cheese fries will stick around but have a little flair added from Joel. Craig's signature Buddha's Temptation( named for the Beer Buddha, a regular customer) will remain with Craig's gracious permission.

Here is a little teaser menu from Joel I also received with the email:

The Roast Beast
- A "hold in one hand "sized New Orleans Classic served on a small bun with sautéed onions, roma tomatoes, and a healthy smear of garlic aioli.
Beer pairing: Stouts, Brown ales, scotch ales
The Crabby Patty - A six ounce New Orleans crab cake sandwiched between a Kaiser bun with a tomato-basil aioli, fried leaks, with lettuce and tomato.
Beer Pairing: Belgian wits, wheat beers, superb with Hitchino White nest ale, Blanc de chambly or Blanche de Bruxxelles
Green Eggs and Ham- Herb scrambled eggs wrapped around salted country ham, with a garlic cream cheese spread. It creates a nostalgia inducing pinwheel.
Beer pairings: Eggs & Belgians are just about a perfect combination, try La Fin Du Monde or any of our fabulous rotating Belgian Abby Ale taps.
Red Beans and Rice Wontons- Creamy spicy red beans, stuffed in to wonton wrappers and fried to golden brown perfection. Served with a rice wine and mandarin vinaigrette. New Orleans tradition just got better.
Beer Pairing: Brown ale, stout, porter or IPA. this is a dish that can hold up to a hop bomb like Moylans or Stone.
Cake Eater- Three delicious pan seared cakes!
Sweet Potato with brown sugar honey butter and minced andouille sausage.
Loaded Baker Cake with cheddar, bacon and chives, topped with a generous dollop of sour cream.
Risotto Cake made with a creamy feta, tomato and fennel risotto.
Beer pairings: stout, brown ale or any spiced ale.
To Die For Fries- Waffle fries smothered in a cheddar garlic béchamel.
Add Bacon and Jalapeños
Add Homemade Chili.
Beer pairing: Just about any beer you want but especially good with pale ales & IPA's
Mini Tacos- A classic SIN item. 7 tacos, smothered in cheese sauce, sour cream and chives.
Beer pairing: Just about any beer you want but espcially good with pale ales & IPA's
Pub Burger- A homemade, handformed 6oz burger, cooked to order, with PLOT and cheddar cheese.
Add Bacon and Bleu Cheese
Add Homemade Chili
Add Bacon
Beer pairing: what doesn't go with a good cheesburger? Our favorite= NOLA Hopitoulas or Bayou teche La 31.
Buddha’s Temptation- Bleu cheese stuffed apricots, wrapped in bacon, skewered and deep fried, served with a balsamic reduction.
Grown Up Grilled Cheese- Three types of artisan cheese, melted to gooey perfection, with a touch of sage, on sourdough bread.
Beer pairing: Just about anything. You can cut the richness of the cheese with a good Pale( Stone, Sierra Nevada or Moylans) ale or enhance it with a rich Belgian ale( brother theolonius, rochefort) or a nuanced belgian wit( Blanc de chambly or Blanche de Bruxxelles). Also great with a good earthy saison!
Artisanal cheese board to arrive soon!

rotating cheese selected to pair with our rotating beer selection

Both J'anitas and of course Avenue Pub have been wonderful to me and the rest of the New Orleans beer community. I have feeling that this break up will result in some great things for both parties. Stay tuned!


The Beer Buddha

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Beer Review: Great Northern Brewing Company Snow Ghost Winter Lager

I'm one of those weird guys that feel certain styles of beer should only be consumed during certain seasons. Don't get me wrong, if you want to drink a russian imperial stout during the middle of summer that's your prerogative.

Yeah I just did that. Anyways, I'm just one of those guys that thinks darker beers should be consumed in cooler weather. A stout during the oppressive Louisiana summers just doesn't work for me. That's why I enjoy the fall and winter so much.

Yeah, yeah I know the winter beers do come out around the middle of September but that's a whole new post for another time. For me a dark, flavorful beer is perfect for the colder winter months.

Just yesterday a package from the folks at Great Northern Brewing Company arrived at my doorstep with some of their seasonal and specialty line up brews. Today was pretty damn cold and I felt that it was the perfect time to crack open the Snow Ghost they sent me.

             If you don't recognize this pic then I lose respect for you.

Here is my review:

Brewery: The Great Northern Brewing Company

Beer: Snow Ghost Winter Lager

Style: Munich Dunkel Lager (per BA)

ABV: 5.9%

Louisiana Availability: None

This beer poured a nice dark brown with a nice ruby hue. It had a nice foamy, tan head with great sticky lacing.

Smell: Wonderfully rich aroma of coffee and roasted malts.

Taste: Wow. Great rich and complex flavors of roasted malt, chocolate and toffee with a moderate but well balanced bitterness from the hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with medium carbonation.

Overall: A fantastic seasonal from these guys. Wish we could get this down in New Orleans.

Score: Photobucket 3.5 out of 5 Buddhas


The Beer Buddha

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Beer Review: NOLA Brewing Irish Channel Stout

NOLA Brewing released their Irish Channel Stout this past Tuesday and I was lucky enough to try it on cask this Friday night at Avenue Pub. I must say I think NOLA has another hit on their hands with this one. Not sure what their plans are in terms of keeping this a seasonal or year round offering but as a seasonal this one is solid. I think a stout in the heat of a New Orleans summer would be a slow seller but that's just my opinion. Anyways, get out there and drink this one New Orleans!

PS I have it on good authority that the Red Ale that will be making an appearance around Mardi Gras will be called Flambeaux Red.

Here is my review of the Irish Channel Stout:

Brewery: NOLA Brewing Company

Beer: Irish Channel Stout

Style: Dry Stout

ABV: 6.8%

Louisiana Availability: Yes, seasonal.

Appearance: The beer pours a dark black with a huge, foamy tan head. Lacing was present throughout. NOTE: I noticed this by looking at others beers since the beer I tasted was in a mug from the Mug Club at Avenue Pub.

Smell: Incredible hints of coffee, bittersweet chocolate and roasted malts.

Taste: Bittersweet chocolate is the most evident flavor in this brew but there are also hints of coffee. A very nice dry stout with a nice bitterness from the hops as well which creates a subtle complexity that lures you in for another taste. Be careful because this bad boy comes in at 6.8% alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Despite being a stout it's actually more medium bodied with little carbonation(which could be a result of being on cask)

Overall: Could this be one of NOLA Brewing's best beers? Very close. I'm still partial to Hopitoulas but NOLA has a true winner on their hands with this one. Good job guys and gal.

Photobucket 4.5 out of 5 Buddhas


The Beer Buddha

Thursday, November 4, 2010

2nd Annual Broad Street BrewHaHa

Just saw this in The Gambit:


WHAT: Broad Street Brewhaha

WHEN: Saturday, November 13th, from 11AM to 4PM

WHERE: 300 N Broad Street, at Bienville, on the ROOF of the former Schwegmanns grocery store

DESCRIPTION: 'a celebration of New Orleans' beer- and coffee-brewing traditions,' the Brewhaha will have all of the local microbrewers, as well as the Coffee Roasters of New Orleans, serving their beer and coffee. There will also be music, food, and vendors from the Broad Street Flea Market.

COST: admission is FREE; beer, food, and crafts will be for sale


NOLA Brewing
Lazy Magnolia
Heiner Brau
Bayou Teche
Coffee Roasters of New Orleans

Broad St Brewhaha
Sponsoring organization: Broad Community Connections

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Beer Dinner: Crescent Pie & Sausage Company and NOLA Brewing

Just saw this from NOLA Brewing. Menu looks freakin' awesome! Here ya go:

Join the NOLA Brew Crew at Crescent Pie and Sausage Company on Tuesday, November 9 for a special 4-course beer dinner. We'll be pairing four of Crescent Pie & Sausage's delicious dishes with one of our local brews plus an aperitif to get the night started.

Aperitif will be served at 6:30, seating at 7:00. $65 per person, limited seating. Please call 504-482-2426 or 718-288-1256 to make your reservation today!!


a variety of house-made sausages paired with 7th Street Wheat - wheat beer made with fresh lemon-basil

First Course
Beer braised jumbo shrimp with arugula & fennel vinaigrette paired with NOLA Blonde Ale dry hopped with Citra and Centennial Hops

Second Course
Brat style ham shank with three onion merliton hash and a mustard cream sauce paired with the Hopitoulas IPA with triple the dry hops

Third Course
Seared & glazed duck breast with dried cherries and collard greens paired with a NOLA Brown Ale aged with dark cherries.

Fourth Course

Chocolate pound cake with caramel and vanilla ice cream paired with the Irish Channel Stout.


The Beer Buddha

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

REMINDER! NOLA Brewing Irish Channel Stout Release Tonite!

Don't forget that NOLA Brewing's newest seasonal release, Irish Channel Stout, is coming out tonite at Le Bon Temps!! The party starts at 6pm and ends at 9pm. For all those working late tonite you can head over to Avenue Pub and they will have a release at 10pm. Oh and give some props to NOLA's new website! Love it!


The Beer Buddha

Beer Review: Southern Tier Iniquity

Road trips are the best. I love visiting other cities and towns. Getting to experience their culture, food, drink, etc is an incredible thing. Sometimes we get wrapped up in our own world and never get this experience.

My wife and I have been married for nearly 13 years and we've made it a point since day one to try and take big and small trips throughout the year. Being a beer nerd one of the things that I like to do when planning a trip is to check on the breweries, beer stores and beer bars available in the town/city we are visiting. It's pretty easy to do thanks to the internet. It's real easy if you utilize's Beerfly Directory

Anyways, on a recent trip to Orlando to visit my family and take my kid to Disney we made a stop at The Liquor Loft in Tallahasse, Florida. I wrote about that store here. On that trip I was lucky enough to grab some great beers. One of them is Southern Tier's Iniquity which is a Black IPA or Cascadian Dark Ale. I just got around to writing a review on it so here ya go:

Brewery: Southern Tier Brewing Company. Tells you pretty much everything beer related you can do in a given town.

Beer: Iniquity

Style: Black IPA/Cascadian Dark Ale(per BA)

ABV: 8.9%

Louisiana Availability: NONE

Appearance: This brew pours a nice dark black with ruby highlights. The head is a nice and frothy tan color. Lacing present throughout.

Smell: The aroma has a nice piney hoppiness with hints of citrus and roasted malt, chocolate and caramel.

Taste: GREAT brew! As in the nose it has a nice hoppy bitterness with hints of roasted malt, chocolate, caramel and toffee. The roasted malt in the IPA really creates a well balanced brew.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with medium carbonation.

Overall: Incredible brew!!! The Black IPA is a style we're seeing more of and I love them!

Score: Photobucket 4.5 out of 5 Buddhas


The Beer Buddha

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

New Orleans Beer Spotlight: Dorginac's Food Center

Most of the grocery stores in New Orleans get a pretty bad rap from us beer nerds for their beer selection. Usually if they have a craft beer selection it's because they only care about the money it can make them and the selection usually goes to crap because you need someone to look after that selection. It's important to have someone that knows the product, can hand sell the expensive stuff and knows when a product is not going to do well. You can't solely rely on your distributor to tell you what to do. Most grocery stores aren't willing to pay for a full time beer person or they get a wine specialist to run the beer selection which can sometimes work but sometimes it doesn't.

Dorignac's first came onto the New Orleans beer nerds radar when Dan Stein from Stein's Deli spent some time working there. After he left so did most of the beer nerds. Obviously like the children from Hamelin we followed our pied piper.

Lately though I had heard some rumblings that Dorginac's beer selection was still something to be considered so yesterday I took a little trip out to Metairie. I must say that I was pretty damn impressed. They obviously have all of the macro beers necessary in all shapes and sizes(even a 6-pack of 8oz Buds!) but they also had a damn good import and craft beer selection as well. Just some of the beers I noticed were Bear Republic, Mikkeller, BrewDog, NOLA Brewing, Abita, Lazy Magnolia, La Fin Du Monde, Rogue, St. Peters, Duvel and many others. They even had some German mini kegs.

I asked who the person in charge of the beer selection and was given a card for David Burley so if you're picking up some beer at Dorginacs's make sure you thank David for contributing to the ever growing craft and import selection here in the New Orleans area!


The Beer Buddha

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sam Adams and Weihenstephan Collaboration To Be Seen in New Orleans

                                  Pic courtesy

If you've been paying attention to the beer world like myself you would have read about Sam Adams collaboration with famed German brewery Weinhenstephan. And well, if you didn't hear about it you can read it at

Why am I wasting your precious time by telling you about this wonderfully awesome collaboration? Why because I have it on good authority that we're getting this beer here in New Orleans that's why! Supposedly it's going to be extremely limited and only a select few locations will actually receive an allotment.

I have no idea of the price but have a feeling it will be up there. As the article states there will be 3 different beers and the first will be Infinium. I was told we should see it here pretty soon perhaps November. Let's keep our fingers crossed that we get it!

                                pic courtesy


The Beer Buddha

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Beer Rumor: St. Arnolds Coming To New Orleans

I have heard a rumor from a reliable source that we should be seeing St. Arnolds entering the New Orleans market very soon. As soon as I get more details I let everyone know what's going on.


The Beer Buddha

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Beer Review: Black Star Double Hopped Golden Lager

The lager. Probably one of the most misunderstood and wrongly blasted styles off beer there is by beer geeks(snobs?) Even the mention of lagers makes the beer snob froth at the mouth and spout of a diatribe about the big evil empire, BMC(Bud, Miller, Coors).

Many forget that Sam Adams, Brooklyn Brewing, Laguintas, Yuengling and many other American breweries produce very quality lagers. It's unfortunate to watch many newbies become enraptured in this growing hate of the lager. I used to hear many newbies make blanket statements regarding their hate or dislike of ales and now I'm hearing it regarding lagers. It's as if liking lagers will mean they won't be accepted into the beer geek crowd or something.

I for one get strange looks and comments when I am seen drinking Miller High Life at Avenue Pub. The Beer Buddha shouldn't drink macro beers! It's not right! NOOOOOOOOOO!!!! Whatever. I drink what I like(and what's available to me). I guarantee that if Yuengling was available in Louisiana I'd have a case available to me at all times that's for sure!

Anyways, I was lucky enough to receive a sample in the mail of Black Star Double Hopped Golden Lager from Great Northern Brewing Company out of Whitefish, Montana. This dry hopped lager is hopped with Mittelfruh and Saaz hops and made with 2-row malted barley. No adjunct grains are used in this beer so all you purists should be happy! Cool side note before I get to the review. Black Star is carried on all Virgin America Airline flights! Here is my review:

Brewery: Great Northern Brewing Company

Beer: Black Star Double Hopped Golden Lager

Style: American Pale Lager(source: BA)

ABV: 4.6%

Louisiana Availability: None

Appearance: Black Star poured a clear, golden straw color with a huge, fluffy white head. Lacing was present throughout.

Smell: Instantly hit with malty sweetness with slight hints of spiciness from the hops.

Taste: This is definitely an all malt brew. Very crisp and clean flavors with hints of malty sweetness and a typical lager graininess.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and clean with a medium light body.

Overall: A solid lager. I was fortunate enough to receive both a sample in the bottle and a sample in the can and I would say the can tastes much better. Perfect for grilling out on those hot summer days. And at 4.6% abv a somewhat sessionable brew.

Score: Photobucket 3 out of 5 Buddhas


The Beer Buddha

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Stone Vertical Epic 101010 Release New Orleans

So if you didn't already know New Orleans will be getting Stone Brewing's newest bottle in their Vertical Epic Series 101010. This years VE is an ale brewed with Muscat, Gewurztraminer and Sauvignon Blanc grapes as well as chamomile.

Those of you who are night owls had an opportunity to try this brew at Avenue Pub last Sunday 10-10-10 at 12:01am. Me? No, I was asleep dreaming of unicorns and beer fairies.

Anyways, be ready because the bottles will be arriving here soon. I'm hoping to see them in town either this week or next but not sure. I will let everyone know on The Beer Buddha Facebook page as soon as I see them. As usual the place to get them will be Stein's Deli or Cork & Bottle. Remember to support your local bottle shop!


The Beer Buddha

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Belgian Beer Fest at Avenue Pub

Starting next week Avenue Pub will begin to focus on Belgian style beers. Here are the details courtesy the Pub:

Starting next week we will focus on Belgian beers and very high quality Belgian styles made by US and Canadian breweries.
Each tasting during the next four weeks will focus on these beers and be accompanied by an Amuse Bouche plate intended to enhance the beer's flavor. Unlike most of our tastings you will get to choose the beers you want to taste. A ticket will get you 5 pours either from the bottles we are pouring that night or any Belgian draft on the list. Because its impossible to know how long a keg will last us its difficult to tell you at this point which drafts will be online for each tasting. Suffice it to say they are all great and many are very hard to get. At any point during the month you will see on draft exceptional examples of all the Belgian styles: IPAs, Pale ales. Wits, Saisons, Sours, Triples & doubles. We found only one Belgian draft stout. Exceptional but hard to come by. The beers for the first week are set. Look for an email each Tuesday to fill you in on exactly what beers will be options for the next nights tasting.

You can come in any time during the week to drink the drafts. On the Wednesday night tastings we will open up the specialty bottles and pour those in in four ounce sizes. You do not have to participate in the tastings in order to purchase a 4 ounce pour of any of these draft selections. The Amuse Bouche plates are only for the tasting participants. Reservations for the tasting are appreciated and will help us make sure to have enough Amuse Bouche plates for all that want them. Available from J'anitas will be Flemish beef stew if you want an authentic meal to pair with your Belgian beers.

Wednesday Oct 20th @ 7:30

On draft:

Petrus Aged Pale ale( small batch sour)
Piraat Triple IPA
Witterke Belgian Wit
Dieu De Ciel Derniere Volante hoppy belgian pale ale
Stone Cali-belgique
Bottle openings
Golden Draack dark belgian triple
Monks Cafe sour flemish Red Ale
Troubadour Magma Belgian IPA
Troubadour Obscura Strong Belgian Ale

Amuse bouche:
Buddhas temptation, smoked havarti in filo dough, imported cheeses
$18 tasting includes tax but not gratuity. please dont forget to tip.

Addtional bottles that will appear on the Wednesday night tastings:

Vichtenaar Oude Bruin
Kasteel Rouge
Kasteel Triple
De Ranke Saison
Triple Carmelite
Duchess De Bourgonge
St Bernardus Abbey Ale
Rochfort 8
Rocherfort 10

Drafts that will rotate for the tastings as kegs blow:

Geants Goliath triple
De Ranke Guldenburg double
Columba Corsican wit
Blaugies Saison d'Epeautre
De la Senne Corsican Wit
De La Senne stoutrik
De La Senne Equinox
De Ranke Noir Dottignes
Petrus Oude Bruin
La Rulles Triple
De Glazen Toren, Jan de Litche belgian wit
Hitochino White Nest Ale


The Beer Buddha

PS And remember on most Friday nights you can join the NOLA Beeradvocate group upstairs for some beers! To find out times and dates you can join our Facebook page by clicking the link.

NOLA Brewing Irish Channel Stout Release

NOLA Brewing is releasing it's Irish Channel Stout!!! Here is the information:

When: Tuesday, November 2 · 6:00pm - 10:00pm


Le Bon Temps
4801 Magazine Street
New Orleans, LA

More Info:

Join us for the release of our third seasonal beer this year, the Irish Channel Stout. This is an American style stout that has sweet malt flavors of caramel and chocolate, complimented by a crisp bitterness produced by roasted barely and American Hops. The complex malt bill of pale and roasted malts result in this well balanced stout that is smooth, rich, dark and delicious!
ABV 6.8%


The Beer Buddha

Abita Brewing Home Brewer Competition

Attention Home Brewers!

How would you feel about your beer being the next Abita Select? Well here is your chance! Just received this via

Home Brewer's Competition
Abita Brewing Company Tasting Room
21084 Hwy 36 Abita Springs, LA

Saturday, November 13th, 2010

Attention home brewers. We’re proud to announce the 2010 Abita Home Brewers Contest, Saturday, November 13, 2010. It’s an open competition for all brew styles and there is no entry fee.

The Grand Prize winner will receive the “Andy Award” named in honor of our first Home brew contest winner Andy Thomas, who created the base recipe for Abita Andygator many years ago. The 2010 “Andy Award” winner’s recipe will be brewed and offered by the Abita Brewing Company as a limited edition draft Abita Select. Other great prizes of home brewing equipment will be awarded to second and third place winners.

All contestants and AHA members are invited to the brewery on November 13. Competing brewers will have an opportunity to taste some of the entries, sample Abita’s beers (including some special cask brews) and food while waiting to learn the winning brew. Contestants need not be present to win. More details and complete contest rules coming soon. Now’s the time to start brewing, your creation could be the next Abita “Andy Award” winner. Good luck & cheers!
Questions? Contact us at

Must be 21 to attend. Please drink responsibly.

Cheers and Good Luck!!!

The Beer Buddha

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

La Cote Brasserie Oktoberfest Beer Dinner

La Cote Brasserie will be hosting a local brewery(Heiner Brau) Oktoberfest beer dinner on Thursday October 28, 2010 at 7:00pm. Tickets will be $60 per person, inclusive of tax and gratuity. You must make reservations and they can be made by calling the restaurant at 504-613-2350.

Here is the menu:

Tuna Carpaccio
Avocado kolsch vinaigrette, Bechnel Farms meyer lemons
Heiner Brau Kolsch

Rock Shrimp Louis Salad
Grilled tomatoes, arugula, parmesan crisp
Covington Brewhouse Ponchartrain Pilsner

House Made Country Sausage with Tasso
Pickled red cabbage, La Cote mustard
Heiner Brau Festbier

Biscuits and Gravy
Sunset sweet potato biscuit, Bayou Bock braised short ribs, braised greens
Covington Brewhouse Bayou Bock

Chocolate Pound Cake
Maerzen syrup, house made fig jam ice cream
Heiner Brau Maerzen


This dinner sounds damn good! Just writing about the biscuits and gravy is making my stomach rumble!!! Make your reservations now cause it WILL sell out!!!


The Beer Buddha

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Beer Review: Cigar City Big Sound Scotch Ale

My dad's family is from Tampa, Florida, My dad and all his brothers attended Jesuit High School and I remember many trips down to Tampa to visit my grandparents and the rest of the family. I especially remember the cuban sandwich we used to get from some place I don't remember and I also remember always going to The Colonnade restaurant and getting a plate of the fried wild Florida gator! Yum!

I was always to young to drink beer went we went to visit and when I was of legal age the only craft brewery in town at the time was Ybor City and well, it wasn't all that good. Like Louisiana, Florida wasn't really a craft beer state. Fast forward to 2008 and my how things have changed.

Again like Louisiana, craft breweries have been popping up right and left in Florida and one of them is Cigar City in Tampa. Buy unlike many breweries in the country it seems Cigar City operates with less rules and more fly by the seat of their pants attitude which has made them a highly coveted and award winning brewery. Owner Joey Redner and Head Brewer Wayne Wambles have created a brand that not only has seen a 400% growth in 12 months and two medals at the Great American Beer Festival but also landed them on's 10 Hot Start-ups list.

I am fortunate enough to have family in Florida(my parents live in Orlando) as I mentioned before so whenever I go visit I make sure to stop by Knightley Spirits in Orlando and grab some bottles. I was recently lucky enough to have a friend bring back two bottles of Big Sound Scotch Ale and a 110K+OT. If you find yourself in Florida make sure you do yourself a favor and grab some Cigar City. Here is my review of the Scotch Ale:

Brewery: Cigar City

Beer: Big Sound Scotch Ale

Style: Wee Heavy/Scotch Ale

ABV: 8.50%

Louisiana Availability: None

Appearance: This brew poured a nice deep copper color with a nice solid off white head. Lacing present throughout.

Smell: Wonderful aroma of caramel, tobacco, roasted malt and dark fruit.

Taste: The taste in similar to aroma. Caramel and dark fruits dominate. Slight tea like bitterness which balances the sweetness well. Nice booziness comes across.

Mouthfeel: This is one full bodied brew with very little carbonation.

Overall: Incredible brew! Perfect brew for the colder nights! On a side note I actually marinated some pork shoulder in this brew and it was incredible.

Score: Photobucket 4.5 out of 5 Buddhas


The Beer Buddha

Beer Cap Folk Art!!

I'm a big sucker for folk art. Folk artists can take anything around them and turn it into an incredible work of art. New Orleans has a great selection of folk artists to choose from with the most famous being Dr. Bob and his Be Nice or Leave signs or my favorite Mardi Claw and her Dia de Muerte pieces.

Recently while messing around on Twitter(yes you can follow me on Twitter at @TheBeerBuddha) I discovered a new one around town. The reason I found her was her beer related twitter handle @BrewSleuth. I noticed this person was from New Orleans and I'm always looking to gather as many beer writers from the area as I can. Instead of a beer blogger I found out she was a local artist and I loved her stuff. Obviously I'm not going to post this unless their is some sort of beer relation and well there is. Check out her site!


The Beer Buddha