Monday, June 28, 2010

Beer Rumors 6/28/2010: Mellow Mushroom New Orleans

A lot of times I'll see something open up in Baton Rouge or Covington and wonder why the hell aren't they in New Orleans. When people think of Louisiana they only think of one city. New Orleans. What possesses companies to move to any other city in this state first? I guess I'll never understand it.

Anyways, one of those businesses is Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers. There is one in Baton Rouge and one in Covington. Seriously? WTF? I'll allow my anger to subside but only because I have received some information stating that they are in fact coming to the New Orleans area. In fact, my source tells me they are looking at an Uptown location and hoping to open by November. For those of you that like pizza and beer like myself this is great news. Their pizza is great and their beer is usually a nice selection. I'll keep you up to date if I hear anything else!


The Beer Buddha

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Beer Buddha 2nd Anniversary Party Reminder


Wanted to remind everyone of The Beer Buddha 2nd Anniversary Party on July 9th. Hope everyone is able to come out. You can visit the official Facebook page and sign up.

The voting ended last night and the Brooklyn beer that will be available for purchase is going to be....Brooklyn Buzz Bomb. The Buzz Bomb is a braggot style ale which is an old style of beer which is a blend of beer and mead with spices and herbs. I had a sample of it the other night and it's incredible. The Avenue Pub will also be pouring some North Coast Red Seal cask ale for the event. I really look forward to this one as well.

It is rumored that J'anitas will be doing something special with Buddha's Temptations that night. Not sure yet but I bet it's going to be awesome!

As for giveways here is the list again:

$50 giftcard to Barley Oak
2 Tickets to Stein's Deli Beer Class
4 Tickets to Avenue Pub Wednesday Night Tasting(excludes high end tasting)
Buddha's Big Ole Box O' Beer and Schwag

How could you possibly miss this event? You would be crazy to miss this!!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Abita Save Our Shore Charity Pilsner

Unless you live in a plastic bubble you know about the oil spill down here in the Gulf of Mexico. It's bad. Real bad. And I'll be honest I haven't seen Kanye and other celebrities coming down here to help raise money. Whatever.

Anyways, Abita Brewing HAS stepped up in a great way to help raise money. The SOS(Save Our Shore)Charitable Pilsner according to Ron Swoboda of Crescent Crown will be "releasing at the end of July." 75 cents of each bottle sold will be donated by Abita "to the rescue and restoration of the environment, industry and individuals fighting to survive this disastrous oil spill."

According to Abita's website the SOS Pilsner is a unfiltered weizen pils. I think this is a fantastic idea and can't wait to try this brew!! Keep on the look out for it!


The Beer Buddha

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Beer Buddha 2nd Anniversary Prize Raffle

Here is a list of some of the prizes we will be raffling off for the party:

$50 gift card to the Barley Oak
2 tickets to Steins Deli Beer Class
4 tickets Avenue Pub Wednesday Night tasting(excludes high end tastings)


Buddha's Big Ole Box O' Beer and Schwag!!
Box includes:
Jolly Pumpkin Bam
Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary Fritz and Ken's Ale
Harpoon Island Creek Oyster Stout
Bell's Hopslam
Dogfish Head Olde School barley wine
Magic Hat #9
Allagash Tripel
Sweetwater Happy Ending
Brewdog/Stone Brewing collaboration Bashah
and brewery schwag including stickers, key chain, koozie and coasters

Stay tuned cause there could be more to come!!! Hope to see you there!


The Beer Buddha

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Beer Buddha 2nd Anniversary Party

So this July 1st will be the 2nd anniversary of my beer blog. I felt that I needed to celebrate somehow and what better way than with a shindig at my favorite New Orleans beer bar The Avenue Pub. So get your livers ready New Orleans beer lovers and come on down to the Avenue Pub on July 9th at 6:30pm.  I would love to see as many of you down there as possible!! We will be doing a raffle giving some prizes away and The Avenue Pub will be putting one special Brooklyn beer on tap for that event.  YOU get to vote on that beer.  You have two choices: Brooklyn Blast Pale Ale or Brooklyn Buzz Bomb Ale.  The poll is in the top right hand corner of the blog!!


The Beer Buddha

PS No, the beers aren't free! Who do you think I am Ricky Stratton?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Beer Review: Lone Star Beer

Ah, the lager. One of the must under-appreciated beer styles amongst the beer geeks. Immediately the beer geek will associate lagers with the big boys Bud, Miller and Coors. The smarter beer geek will understand that German lagers are some of the best available but alas that's not what I'm talking about.

I am in fact reviewing an American Macro Lager. I can feel the collective shudder of beer geeks everywhere. But if you know me and you are a regular reader you know there is no shame in my game. I will always try to find the good in a beer no matter who makes it. I don't care if you are a brewing behemoth pumping out lagers every second or if you're a small brewer pumping out less than 3000 barrels per year. Granted just cause I'm trying to find the good in a beer doesn't mean I always will hence the Game Day beers.

Anyways, I have a weird fascination with the regional macro beer companies like Hamms, Narragansett and even locally Dixie. I really can't explain it but it's my goal to try as many of these breweries as I can. I know that Hamms and Narragansett are making huge comebacks but they aren't available here in New Orleans. Anyone want to send me some???

On a recent trip to Texas a friend of mine picked up a sixer of Lone Star 16oz cans. I've been drinking them ice cold and straight from the cans and I must say they aren't bad. They are great for the hot summer. My recommendation though would be to buy the cans(less chance of skunking and oxidization)and get them real cold. Anyways, here is my review:

Brewery: Pabst Brewing Company/G.Heileman Brewing Co.

Beer: Lone Star Beer

Style: American Macro

Appearance: I have no idea. I drank it straight from the can as it should be.

Smell: Very sweet malty aroma with hints of grain and breadiness.

Taste: Similar to aroma with malty sweetness with hints if grain/cereal taste. Hop presence is minimal to non existent except for the slight bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Thin body with high carbonation.

Drinkability: Not a bad beer at all. Lets be honest they aren't trying to be the next hop bomb or coffee stout. It is what it is. A simple American lager. I recommend getting these in cans and serving them extremely cold. Great beer for after mowing the lawn or while you're grilling.

Score: Photobucket 3 out of 5 Buddhas


The Beer Buddha

Friday, June 18, 2010

Beer Review: Magic Hat #9

Sometimes there are nice perks to being a beer blogger. Once in a Blue Moon(pun intended)a brewery will send you a nice package in hopes that you sample and review it. Recently I was lucky enough to get one of those sample packages from Magic Hat Brewery. They have just recently entered into the Louisiana market with their #9 and that's what they sent me.

I'll be honest I've had #9 before and didn't like it at all. I had it on draft at the Mellow Mushroom in Destin, Florida and fully expected the same experience this time around as well. I usually reserve judgement of a beer until I have at least had it twice so I've never reviewed #9 on this website.

The package they sent me was your typical package(information folder, sticker, koozie) except for this:

Yes dear readers they sent me condoms. Now I've been married for 12 years now and have one kid so obviously I don't need to tell you anymore regarding my usage of condoms but I can tell you it's been awhile. I'm not even sure I know anyone that uses them. Actually I may but it's not really a topic of conversation when drinking beer with my boys. Maybe that's the thing behind the name Magic Hat. They named themselves after condoms? Perhaps someone from the company would be kind enough to explain the whole condom thing. Rumor has it that condoms, games and other "beer events" seems to be part of their whole schtick. Not sure why a brewery needs a schtick but whatever.

Anyways on to the review:

Brewery: Magic Hat Brewery

Beer: #9

Style: Fruit/Vegetable

Recommended Glassware: Pint Glass

Appearance: This beer pours a a golden amber with a nice white head. A little lacing is present.

Smell: Whoa! Amazing apricot aroma. Very powerful apricot presence with hints of grain and slight hint of hops.

Taste: Huge apricot sweetness with a mild hop bitterness and graininess. To me it's apricot sweet in a good way.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with medium carbonation.

Drinkability: This beer is a good beer for summertime. Nice crisp beer with hints of apricots. This beer has potential here in New Orleans if sold properly. I have a feeling it'll most likely be marketed to the ladies because well that's the misperception of women and beer- women like fruity beer.

Score: Photobucket 3 out of 5 Buddhas


The Beer Buddha

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Southern Eagle Becomes A Serious Craft Beer Player in New Orleans

Perennial craft beer underdog Southern Eagle has shown that they want to be serious players in the local craft beer market by recently adding a new employee. This is huge. It's like when the New Orleans Saints signed Drew Brees huge.

Last Monday Matt McKiernan the former marketing and sales guy for Lazy Magnolia Brewery in Kiln, Mississippi began his new job as craft beer guru for the local New Orleans Bud distributor and I feel his presense will make them a true player in the craft beer market.

Southern Eagle has already showed some promise by grabbing the rights to Lazy Magnolia, local brewery Bayou Teche and also their short stint with NOLA Brewing showed they have the sales ability to sell good craft beer. Adding Matt to the mix will hopefully be the final piece to the puzzle.

In my opinion we have some breweries that are or should be looking to be coming into the state here pretty soon and Matt's reputation should help Southern Eagle land those breweries. Good luck Matt!!


The Beer Buddha

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Beer Review: 7-11 Game Day Ice and Game Day Light

So 7-11 decided it would be a good idea to hire someone to brew their own beer for them called Game Day. Sometimes this can be a really smart business decision. Sometimes creating your own beer can just be a huge waste of money. Especially when that beer sucks.

In the case of 7-11 I'm assuming some head honcho who pushes pencils all day and never actually steps foot into any stores saw how much money they were making from the big boys(Bud, Miller, Coors) and thought it would be a great idea to have a 7-11 beer. And then he looked and saw that most of his sales came during football season and thought they should call it Game Day. The one thing he didn't think about was the fact that macro beer sales are actually down and also that to sell beer it at least had to taste somewhat good. For 7-11 Game Day all I can say is...EPIC FAIL. Here is the reviews for both beers:

Brewery: City Brewing Company

Beer: Game Day Ice

Appearance: Pale yellow in color with a huge, rocky white head which dissapates very quickly. NO lacing present at all.

Smell: Very sweet maltiness. Slight hints of cat pee.

Taste: The 5.5% alcohol is noticeable. I taste corn, bread, malt sweetness.

Mouthfeel: VERY carbonated and thin body

Overall: Ok I have an appreciation for well done macro lagers but this one is not one. Honestly this is a drain pour for me. I wouldn't recommend this to anyone. Do not pass go, do not collect $200.

Score: Photobucket

Brewery: City Brewing Company

Beer: Game Day Light

Appearance: very pale yellow color with a huge white head which stayed around longer than its Ice counterpart.

Smell: Corn and malty sweetness. At least no cat pee.

Taste: There really is no taste to it. I'm really trying here to detect something but... I got nothing.

Mouthfeel: Very high carbonation but very thin and watery body.

Overall: I tried. That's really all I can say. This beer has no value to add to the current beer market. Not even those who drink the big boys BMC stuff will appreciate this one because there is nothing to appreciate about this beer. I predict that this beer won't last very long.

Score: Photobucket


The Beer Buddha

Monday, June 14, 2010

Avenue Pub Rare Beer Auction and Tasting

Polly of Avenue Pub has come up with a great way to help Gulf Coast families who have been effected by the BP oil spill. She will be hosting a rare beer auction and tasting at the Pub. The date has yet to be announced but as soon as it is I'll post it. We need donations of beer folks! Even if you don't think you have great beer in your area think again. If any of you have any questions about breweries in your area that may be desirable for the auction please email me at If you have a special beer you don't have a problem donating please contact Polly. It'll be going to a great cause!! I gave up my 2009 1.5 liter bottle of Sweetwater Festive Ale for the cause! The details from Avenue Pub's website are below:

Gulf Coast Families Benefit

A Rare Beer Auction and Tasting event to benefit the fisherman and their families affected by the BP oil disaster.
As you know, the gulf coast has been devastated by the BP oil spill. We still don't know how bad it will get but even initial estimates are overwhelming. BP is by law responsible for the clean up, however , due to a rare and seldom used law their damage liability is limited to the value of the "vessel' that sunk. In this case that means the value of the actual oil rig. This means that while they will be held responsible for the clean up, the families that have lost their livelihoods (in many cases permanently) will receive very little in the way of damages. Their way of life is many cases forever.
The Avenue Pub is organizing a benefit for the Gulf Coast Relief. We want to help the fisherman and their families who have been affected by this disaster. Our plan is to hold a paid tasting and Rare Beer Auction. The pub will donate the entire proceeds from the event to a relief organization that works directly with the individuals affected on the gulf coast. I will not subtract the costs of the beer that I have to pay for - I will donate that also. The ring for the evening, plus the tips my staff makes, will go back to the cause.
We are working with a gulf coast potter (same man who made our mug club mugs) to come up with a signature mug. His is one of the businesses that have been devastated by the lack of tourism so a purchase of a mug will do double duty.
Jac Currie, of Defend New Orleans, has come on board with his "Defend the Coast" t-shirts. He has also approved the use of his "Defend The Coast" artwork for use on the mugs.
 One individual has offered to match tips up to $500 for the night and we will solicit other people for this same goal.
We are planning on a date in July or August. We have requested a Saints player to be a celebrity bartender, so we dont have a firm date yet but it could be as early as July 13 or as late as August 23rd.
What you can do to help:
  1. Please consider sending one or two very rare and highly desirable bombers for us to auction off. To maximize the money raised, this needs to be a bottle that is not available in La - or even most places in the country. These bottles can be shipped directly to the distributor. I will provide the 501C3 information if you request it.
  2. Please contact anyone you know in the industry...especially breweries or distributors that are not located in La to see if they would be willing to donate a rare or special bottle. (send them a link to this page).
  3. Email me with any other ideas or ways your can help. (Beer T-shirts, jackets..anything we can sell to the people that attend to raise more funds)
  4. Spread the word! Email, Facebook, Twitter, blogs...
  5. Join us in supporting this event and the families of the Gulf Coast.
I have a small budget that I plan to use for the costs of the event. This means that if you are able to round up an incredibly rare bottle that needs to be paid for I can do that. The cost of the beer served that evening is part of my donation to the cause.


The Beer Buddha

Friday, June 11, 2010

Thanks For Voting

Ok so the voting on whether I should review beers or not is up and I must say I'm very happy with the turnout. 43 people voted and 86% voted for me to keep reviewing versus the 13% that voted no. So there you have it, I'll keep reviewing.

Over the past week I've been thinking about and I think I can make it pretty fun and interesting. I've got some ideas up my sleeve and think you guys will enjoy them. Thanks again for voting and thanks for reading the blog!


The Beer Buddha

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Beer Buddha Hits The Road: Liquor Loft in Tallahassee, Florida

Road trips are awesome. My wife and I are always up for a good road trip and at least once a year we make it to Orlando to see my family. The kid wanted to go to Disney World so of course we took her to see the Mouse. I, on the other hand always have other plans when we go on road trips.

Whenever I go on a road trip I always check's Beerfly Guide to see what kind of beer stores, breweries or brewpubs they may have in the area where I'm going. For a beer nerd it truly is helpful.

On my trip to Orlando there is one place I always make a point of going which is Knightly Spirits. This time around I did go to Knightly but also made a detour on the way home and hit up Liquor Loft in Tallahassee. I cannot stress to you enough how pleasantly surprised I was. In my opinion one shouldn't drive past Tallahasse without stopping here! Anyways, here is my review:

Name: Liquor Loft/Proof

Location: Tallahassee, Florida

Type: Beer Store/Beer Bar

Atmosphere: The place is small but adequate for the product they have. I'm pretty sure they had wine and liquor but honestly I didn't check as I was only interested in the beer which was around the corner. They had about 600 beers to choose from.

Quality: GREAT selection. If it is available in Florida these guys do their damndest to get it in. I saw Southern Tier, Terrapin, Victory, Magic Hat and all sorts of other beers and all sorts of sizes available. There was a cooler on the right side and room temperature beers on the left.

Service: Mike and Ryan were the two guys who helped me and they were very engaging and extremely knowledgeable about the product. Even made great recommendations. I left to eat lunch next door and came back to take pictures for my blog and they ended up calling Byron, the owner, who came down to the store. Very cool! I think they even actually checked out the blog too! Thanks guys!

Overall Experience: Amazing. There is no reason to even search out another store in Tallahassee and perhaps it may be worth skipping anything in the Panhandle to make a trip over here. They showed me the bar next door, Proof and damn it was awesome. About 25 beers on tap and the selection was top notch. I even saw some Swamp Head beer which is fairly new to the area. It was also mentioned that they occassionally do cask conditioned beers.

Score:Photobucket 5 out of 5 Buddhas


The Beer Buddha

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Beer Review: Bayou Teche LA 31

So it appears that by an overwhelming margin readers want me to review beers. I appreciate the feedback and will leave the poll up until June 11th just in case. But I thought today would be a great time for a review. I had an opportunity last night at the WYES Private Beer Tasting to meet some of the crew from Bayou Teche Brewery out of Arnaudville, LA and drink some of their new beer. I won't tell you what it is but it was incredible and was brewed with passion fruit.

Anyways, I was informed that Bayou Teche had been told that "The Beer Buddha doesn't like LA 31." It's interesting how rumors get around and I guess I should be happy that I'm known well enough that I am the subject of a beer rumor but seriously. The first time I had Bayou Teche LA 31 was out of a bottle to which I didn't know the conditions it had been through. The bottle I had was not a good bottle of beer. I reserved my judgement until I had it again. I do my best not to judge a beer until I have enough of it to judge it. A perfect example is New Orleans Beer Company Pirates Blood. I've tried this beer twice and I can honestly say this is the most vile beer I have ever tasted. But anyways I have had Bayou Teche LA again, and again, and again and I continue to enjoy it. So without further ado I start my beer reviews again with Bayou Teche LA 31.

Brewery: Bayou Teche Brewery

Beer: LA 31

Style: American Pale Ale

Recommended Glassware: Pint Glass

Appearance: The beer was a nice golden orange with nice white head. Lacing present throughout and creates nice webbing.

Smell: Nice pungent hop aroma with hints of citrus.

Taste: Nicely balanced pale ale. Has a wonderful hop kick which is balanced nicely with the malty sweetness. The hops provide a nice citrus flavor. I could drink this all day.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with medium carbonation.

Overall: This is a very well done pale ale. I originally had a bad experience with this beer in the bottle but on draft it was very drinkable and what one should expect with a pale ale. With this company Louisiana is slowly becoming a serious contender for great breweries in the South.

Score: Photobucket 4 out of 5 Buddhas


The Beer Buddha

Friday, June 4, 2010

To Review, Or Not To Review, That Is The Question

So I had come to a decision recently that I wasn't going to review beers anymore on The Beer Buddha. I just felt that it seemed somewhat pretentious and that wasn't what I wanted out of the site. I want to really focus on all the beer happenings here in New Orleans.

Last Friday at our weekly NOLA Beeradvocate Pint Night one of my fellow imbibers and reader of the blog asked me to do more reviews. I explained that I had decided I wasn't going to do them anymore and gave him my reasoning. He got me thinking though. Do the reviews actually help my readers? Do they actually read my reviews? Do they actually like my reviews?

I know the reviews have certainly helped me out in terms of understanding beer better but I wasn't sure if you, the reader, wanted to read my reviews. So I've decided that I'm going to leave it up to you guys. On the right you'll see a poll. It's simple: To review or not to review. Vote now!


The Beer Buddha

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Gimme My Vortex Bottle Cause the Mountains Just Turned Blue

Miller Lite Vortex

Coors Light Cold Activated Bottles, Cans and Windows

The other day while sitting watching a baseball game a commercial for Miller Lite Vortex bottle came on. Vortex bottle? WTF is a vortex bottle? Is that kind of like rifling? Does it make the beer shoot faster into your mouth? Seriously. Why? And the cold activated cans from Coors. Seriously? Do we really need the mountains to turn blue for us to know that your beer is cold enough.

What these two gimmicks tells me is that these two companies(I haven't seen Bud come out with anything yet)are more concerned with marketing than with the quality of the product. Now granted I've known this but come on this is just reaaaalllly bad. Are there really that many people who are falling prey to this seriously bad marketing? Do they really think it's going to taste any different than before? I wish I was in the meeting where the dude or chick who came up with the idea spewed that nonsense forth.

When the hell are the big guys going to learn. It's the taste not the marketing.


The Beer Buddha

Southern Beer Dinner Decadance June 3rd

When Dan Stein of Steins's Deli throws a beer dinner you know you're getting an incredible treat. This time around he has combined forces with Chef Donald Link of Calcasieu, Herbsaint and Cochons for a Southern style beer dinner and they have created a menu that rivals most beer dinners I've attended or even seen the menu for. With dishes like Veal and Apple Pig in a Blanket served with beer ketchup paired with NOLA Hopitoulas or Smoked Quail stuffed with Head Cheese paired with Bayou Teche Bouchanee you're bound to give your taste buds the orgasm they've been looking for. Breweries represented are: NOLA, Heiner Brau, Abita, Bayou Teche and Lazy Magnolia. Tickets are only $75 and that is inclusive. Below is the menu. get tickets now because these beer dinners can fill up quickly.


The Beer Buddha