Thursday, April 29, 2010

Beer Video Of The Month: April 2010

 I know its the end of April but I had to post this. It was hilarious!


The Beer Buddha

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Thank You Letter to Rogue Brewery

The Beer Buddha(right) pre-beer enlightenment.  I have no idea who those other dudes are.

To Rogue Brewery,

All beer nerds have that one beer that started them on the road to beergeekdome. They can regale you with great stories about their discovery of a beer that put them on the current path to their beer enlightenment. We all have that story. But do we all have the original bottle of that one beer? I do and now I'm going to bore you with my story.

It was May 20th in 1996 and I had just turned 21. Like most people who turn 21 I felt that I was now a mature adult and I should start acting like one and drink better beer. Yes, I thought the road to maturity began with drinking better beer. Go figure.

Anyways, it was going to be no more Red Dog or Ice House for me, I was 21 now dammit! So I head to the grocery store near my house in Algiers with my new license which proclaimed I could indeed purchase alcohol legally now. I was ready!

So I head over to the beer aisle in all its macro glory and begin my search for something "different". Now I don't remember the beers that I looked at that day. The only thing I remember is the beer that caught my eye. It was a big 22oz bottle with a skeleton sitting on a barrel. Immediately I am drawn to this beer because the label is so much cooler than anything I've ever seen. And the name Rogue Dead Guy Ale. How frickin' cool is that name? I was hooked so I made my purchase and headed home.

That night as I drank my Dead Guy Ale(out of the bottle of course, oops)I kept thinking to myself how amazing this beer was. It was so good compared to what I had been drinking. It actually had....taste. From that moment on I was always on the prowl for something new and different and I have well over 1000 bottles in boxes to prove it. My path to beer enlightenment began that day. So thanks Rogue for helping me start my path. There will always be a place in my heart and room in my belly for Rogue.


The Beer Buddha

Saturday, April 24, 2010

American Craft Beer Week 2010

For the second straight year we will have an American Craft Beer Week here in New Orleans. ACBW is a celebration of small, independent craft brewers across the country. Here is the current run down of events taking place in New Orleans.

Monday 17th 6pm Avenue Pub Abita Cask Conditioned Ale and tasting

Tuesday 18th Scarlette O'Hara's Beer dinner with NOLA Brewery

Tuesday 18th 7PM Rendezvous Covington Brewhouse Strawberry

Tuesday 18th 6pm Lagers in Metairie Abita Select tasting

Tuesday May 18th 9pm DBA Abita Tasting

Wednesday May 19th Capdeville before and after Wednesday at the Square NOLA and Sierra Nevada tasting

Wednesday May 19th 7PM: Monkey Hill Bayou Teche LA-31

Wednesday May 19th 5pm Bulldog Midcity Abita Select tasting

Wednesday May 19th 7:30pm Mellow Mushroom Covington Abita Tasting

Thursday 20th 7pm Bayou Beer Garden NOLA and Rogue tasting

Thursday 20th The Inn on Bourbon NOLA Tasting

Thursday 20th 7PM Fat Harry's Covington Brewhouse Pontchatrain Pilsner tasting

Thursday May 20th Abita beer dinner TBA

Friday 21st 4pm Steins Deli Stone, Harpoon and other craft beer tasting

Friday 21st 8PM Bruno's (Lazy Magnolia Southern Pecan tasting)

Friday 21st 9PM Rocco's (Lazy Magnolia N'awlins tasting)

Friday 21st 10PM Door's Pub (Covington Brewhouse & Bayou Bock tasting)

Friday 21st 7pm Barley Oak NOLA & Anchor Brewing tasting

Friday 21st 5pm Bulldog Uptown Abita Cask

Friday 21st 5pm Bulldog midcity NOLA & Unibroue

Saturday 22nd Avenue Pub All Day paid tasting event. There will be special kegs, multiple casks, beers sent in just for this event.

If you don't see times it's because I didn't see times either and you should contact the bar or brewery. On a side note I find it ironic that the one bar that always wins Best Beer Bar in New Orleans awards ALL the time is not on this list. Their unwillingness to participate in events such as this just solidifies the fact that they DO NOT deserve the title of Best Beer Bar in New Orleans. Do you here me Draft Magazine? Please take Cooter Browns off of your list. Plus their beer list hasn't been updated probably since the late 90s. No seriously, Rickenjacks isn't even around anymore and we don't even get Breckenridge here in New Orleans.


The Beer Buddha

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

So Fresh and So Clean, Clean

Irish Springs. Dove. Ivory. NOLA Brewing. One of these things is not like the other. Or is it?

When you think of soap you usually don't think beer but type in beer soap on Google and you get 4,700,000 results. Apparently it's more popular than you thought huh? It seems like everyone has beer soap nowadays. But you're saying to yourself that you like to support local breweries and you wish one of your local breweries sold beer soap. They do now.

Thanks to a collaboration with Sweet Olive Soap Works you can now get locally made beer soap using local beer. Along with soap made from Dixie and Abita you can also get some made with NOLA Brewing's Brown Ale, Blonde Ale and Hopitoulas Ale. You can pick these soaps up via the internet or you can take a trip down to the NOLA Brewery and buy them.

No longer can your spouse say, "You stink like beer go take a bath!" Now if someone would just make beer shampoo! Oh wait.


The Beer Buddha

Monday, April 19, 2010

Look Away! Look Away! Look Away! Dixie Land.

August 2005. Hurricane Katrina. I don't need to go into details. Whether you lived in New Orleans or not you know what happened. Thanks to our wonderful US government and local government the levees were never taken care of properly and approximately 80% of the city ended up underwater. A lot of homes and businesses were lost. Forever.

One of those businesses was New Orleans very own Dixie Brewing Company. Rumor has it that Dixie had stopped production about 5 months before Katrina but it was the storm that dealt the final blow. Now the Dixie Brewing building just sits there on Tulane Ave as a reminder of what used to be.

But for Dixie what used to be was never all that great. Ever since the supposed 1975 chemical spill which tainted the beers flavor sales have not been stellar. I say "supposed" chemical spill because I've heard rumors saying it was tainted water supply not chemical floor cleaner which is the standard line given. Either way sales have not been pretty.

When the Bruno family took it over in 1986 they inherited a brand with dismal sales and also a $14 million debt. According to sources Dixie was producing 50,000 barrels a year right before Katrina hit. I'm a little skeptical. That's a lot of beer. Let's put that in perspective using two local breweries. NOLA Brewing Company is a new brewery and produces maybe somewhere around 3000 barrels per year. In 2009, Abita Brewing produced approximately 90,000 barrels of beer. Abita is the 15th largest craft brewery in the country. You can get Abita in almost every state in the US. I don't recall Dixie being that popular outside the state of Louisiana. Are you seriously telling me that Dixie produced 50,000 barrels? If they were selling that much beer then they wouldn't have laid off their employees months before the storm. Yup, you heard me right. They laid off employees before the storm. Dixie was suffering so I'm sorry but I just don't believe that number. In fact, I think Dixie sells better now after Katrina then it did before Katrina. People love the nostalgia.

Anyways, the point of this post isn't to harp on Dixie but to give ideas to revitalize the brand. Like it or hate it, Dixie is a New Orleans icon and needs to be back home in the Crescent City. Instead it's being produced under contract by the Minhas Brewery in Monroe, Wisconsin and distributed by Distinguished Brands International which is an importer out of Littleton, Colorado. WAKE UP BRUNO FAMILY!!! You are missing out on a golden opportunity and The Beer Buddha is going to help. The following is my list of what the Bruno family should be doing to revitalize the Dixie brand:

1) Get a Facebook page. Everyone and their grandmother has a Facebook page. I see that the owners Joe and Kendra have their own so how hard could it be.

2) Get your own Dixie website. No seriously, their is no Dixie website. HELLO??

3) On that website you are going to construct you will sell t-shirts and other Dixie merchandise. Everyone wants a Dixie t-shirt. I just bought a cool Dixie beer bottle opener shaped like an axe off of eBay. I should be able to buy these off your soon to be constructed website. And when you sell t-shirts please make sure to have Buddha size(3xl). You could also sell cool old school metal Dixie coolers, Dixie crawfish trays, etc, etc.

4) Dixie pubcrawls or other Dixie events. I have NEVER seen a Dixie event. EVER. Perhaps promoting your brand would be a good thing. You could hire me. I'll do it real cheap and promise a decent turnout.

5) Hire a sales representative for the area. You may have one but I'll tell you now they aren't doing a good job. Right now in Louisiana EVERYONE wants to support local but don't rely soley on that fact. You need someone in the field promoting your brand because the distributor isn't doing it. Come to think of it I'm not 100% sure I know who your distributor is and I can tell you with almost 95% accuracy who distributes what. I wanna say it's Crescent Crown but not sure.

6) Maybe you can get the Dixie Brewery building listed as a protected landmark or something. I think they give out money for that. Maybe then you could fix up the building.

7) AND if I'm not mistaken you have been around long enough that you are grandfathered in and have the ability to sell straight from your brewery. HELLO?? That's a lot of money you could make. I'd be throwing some serious parties in that space once a week. And charging.

8) Allow your brewmaster to brew crazy, off the wall beers. Selling seasonal beers and special release beers is where it's at. Give your new brewmaster freedom to brew.

9) You need to realize that old beers are hip right now. Brands like PBR, Schlitz, Old Style, etc. are very popular right now. They, especially PBR, have a incredible marketing campaign right now. Hop on your board and ride this wave man! You're missing out!

and finally...

10) You need to realize that Dixie has been a New Orleans staple since 1909. You just had your 100th anniversary and did....nothing. You missed out on a huge opportunity. How could you miss this? Quit the poor me attitude. Yes, Katrina hit and your building was underwater and you had stuff looted. Who cares? Get over it. You needed new equipment anyways. You are Dixie Brewing. You've been alive and kicking for 100 years. The brewery is NOT a burden and if you view it as such I'm sorry. Jax Brewery. Gone. Falstaff Brewery. Gone. Regal Brewery. Gone. Dixie Brewery. Still alive. You may be that old dude in the nursing home who gums his food and scares himself when he farts but your still alive. Embrace life. Bring Dixie home. Oh and get insurance next time for crying out loud.


The Beer Buddha

Sunday, April 11, 2010

New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival aka The No Local Beer Festival

Right around the corner starting April 24th is the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Here in Louisiana we have festivals for crawfish, oysters, strawberries, etc, etc. I wouldn't even begin to know how many festivals a year take place in our fair state. What I do know is that the Jazz Festival tops them all.

The first jazz festival took place in 1970 and according to the jazz festival website the concept is "a large daytime fair with multiple stages featuring a wide variety of indigenous music styles, food booths of Louisiana cuisine, and arts and crafts booths... So it's a local festival that has local food, local arts and crafts and local musicians. So what is it missing? Local beer.

Well, you had to see that coming. Why the hell else would a local New Orleans beer blogger write about Jazz Fest if it didn't have to do with beer? Hello? Mcfly?

But seriously, this really pisses me off. Miller Light? I know, I know, they are a sponsor but come on Jazz Fest people. You're making a shit ton of money on this festival. The LEAST you can do is take less money from Abita and at least have local, Louisiana beer. Or maybe, this is a genius idea, allow ALL local breweries to set up booths there at the festival. WOW what a concept. You do it for the food vendors you need to do it with the local breweries. Yeah, yeah, I know, the laws don't allow the breweries to distribute themselves but either way you can let the whopping three distributors all take part IF they serve local brew only.

Serving nothing but local beer would be a win for the local economy. How many people attend Jazz Fest per day? We'll say 200,000. We'll cut that in half assuming that maybe half will be drinking beer. So that is 100,000 people BUYING and drinking local beer. That's a lot of money staying right here in the state. Do the right thing Jazz Fest people! SERVE LOCAL BEER ONLY!!! I think I may start a petition to get you guys to serve local beer only. I wonder if it'll work? Hmmm. Perhaps a local beer movement? Maybe wearing shirts to Jazz Fest that state don't buy beer at Jazz Fest until they serve local beer? Hmmmm. I may be onto something.


The Beer Buddha