Thursday, July 29, 2010

Official Beer Buddha Tee Shirts at Cafe Press

Ok so I took the plunge and "designed" some official Beer Buddha t-shirts over at Cafe Press. I have to admit they look pretty cool. If you get a minute go over there and check them out. The one below on the right is by far my favorite one. Nothing better than supporting your local Louisiana brewery!

I think right now all the money goes straight to Cafe Press but I'm thinking if a profit is made off of these t-shirts the money will go to a project I'm working on called The New Orleans Craft Beer Project. It's something I'm working on to try and get a New Orleans Craft Beer Week, a New Orleans Beer Festival and some other craft beer/New Orleans events to the area.


The Beer Buddha

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Beer Review: Abita Save Our Shore Charity Pilsner

So last week Abita Brewing released their SOS Charity Pilsner. You'd be hard pressed not to find case stacks in most stores. Rouses, Whole Foods and Winn Dixie all had 50+ case stacks in their stores. With .75 cents per bottle being donated to help restore our Gulf Coast after the BP oil spill how could you not want to go buy a bottle or even a case. Retail value is only $3.99 per bottle in most stores but I decided to call around and give you guys the best prices in the area:

Stein's Deli- $4.39
Martin Wine Cellar- $3.99
Cork & Bottle- $3.99
Whole Foods- $4.49
Rouses- $3.99
Winn Dixie- Uh, lady quoted me $7.99 and then when I laughed and questioned her price she said they don't sell it. My guess is if they carry it it's $3.99.

Either way those prices aren't bad for a 22oz bottle of beer that has money going to charity. I was surprised we didn't see more regional breweries doing something to help raise cash then again not many regional breweries have the cash Abita does.

Anyways let's get to the real reason for the blog post. I've been getting a lot of requests for my opinion on this beer. Local beers are always hard to review because a lot of times you are somehow connected to the brewery in some way and could skew your review somehow. I admit that I may be more forgiving to a local brewery then to one out of town especially when they are donating money to an event that has had such a dramatic impact on the environment in which I live. I'm screwed either way. If I give it a great score people say my vision was clouded because it was local. If I give it a shitty score locals freak that I don't like to support local products. That being said all I can say is that I judged this beer like I judge all beers local or out of state. On to the review:

Brewery: Abita Brewing

Beer: SOS Pilsner

Style: Weizen Pilsner(as per the brewery)

Appearance: This beer poured a nice bright gold color with a nice thin white head and nice effervescence.

Smell: Nice malty aroma with hints of lemon and a floral hoppiness.

Taste: Nice sweet maltiness balanced well with the hops. Creates a nice smooth flavor which is accompanied by a nice bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a nice medium carbonation.

Overall: An easy drinking pilsner with a great cause but nothing mind blowing here. Another lackluster brew from Abita. They always seem to get away with mediocrity and it has served them well. 75 cents per bottle is being donated to help from the oil spill which is great. I think the design of the bottle is incredible. More incredible than the product inside the bottle.

Score: Photobucket 3 out of 5 Buddhas


The Beer Buddha

Friday, July 23, 2010

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Product Review: Q3 Innovations' AlcoHAWK Personal Breathalyzers

You ever have that moment when you're done drinking at your local pub and you're ready to go home but not sure legally you should be driving? You feel like you can drive but that .08% BAC is pretty damn low. Take the risk or not? Now there is an easier way.

Recently I was contacted by a public relations company called Dittoe. They were promoting a product by Q3 Innovations who manufactures personal breathalyzer tests. Dittoe sent me a single-use disposable test which uses SmartCrystal Technology which lets the user know their Blood Alcohol Content(BAC) in seconds. If the crystals turn green I'm over the legal limit; yellow means I'm fine.

I figured the best time to try my samples would be after the New Orleans Beeradvocate Tasting we had this past Saturday. Nothing gets your BAC up like consuming tons of beer from around the world. Now granted I'm a very responsible drinker while out and about. You'll always see me with water and of course I don't sample every beer.

So around 10 o'clock the wife and I headed home which is good because according to the instructions you are supposed to wait 20 minutes before blowing into the devise. It took 15 minutes and I waited an extra 5 just to make sure I'm following the instructions. At the 20 minute mark I blew into the devise exactly as instructed and the crystals did nothing. They stayed yellow. I thought this was a bit weird since I had consumed a nice amount of beer and should at least be hovering around the legal limit and the test they sent me is for a BAC for .05. Our legal limit in Louisiana is .08.

Figuring it is broken I opened the other one and blew. Same thing. Yellow crystals. So I cracked open a beer and drank it just to see if the crystals would turn green and sure enough they did. So according to these two devises I was below the legal limit. Pretty far below too.

Honestly I'm not sure I'd trust "Crystal Technology" to keep me out of jail for drinking and driving but that's just me. These single-use disposable tests are only $10 for a two pack. I would rather spend the $49.95 for one of the many other tests they have on their website. Seeing a number rather than watching crystals change color is something I would personally prefer. But if you don't mind the crystals go to your local Walmart and they should have them on their shelves. For $10 it's not a bad deal!

Either way drinking and driving sucks and these items are great to make sure you don't get into that car and hurt not only yourself but someone else. The one thing we craft beer advocates need to be doing to separate ourselves from the BMC big boy crowd is teach responsible drinking. This is one of the many steps and thanks to Q3 Innovations for making these devises and thanks to Dittoe PR for contacting me and allowing me to sample and write about these products.


The Beer Buddha

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Growler List

So I've never seen the 2007 movie The Bucket List but I get the idea. A bucket list is a list of things you want to do before you die. Whenever I think about things that I want to do before I die it always includes beer related things. Calling it a bucket list just doesn't do it justice so I think I'm going to call it the Growler List. The Growler List is a list of beer related things you want to do before you die. I've put together some of my list. Here are ten things that I came up with. There is no real order. I just threw them down on paper. So here ya go:

The Beer Buddha's Growler List:

- Go to the Great American Beer Festival
- Visit Westvleteren Abbey
- Drink beer at Brickstore Pub
- Visit what is probably my favorite brewery Stone Brewing Company
- Drink a Maui Brewing Company CoCoNut Porter on the beach in Maui.
- Go to the Great British Beer Festival
- Take a beer tour through Europe
- Take a beer tour through America
- Meet Greg Koch
- Meet Garrett Oliver

There is obviously room for more but this is what I have so far. It's a work in progress. So what's on your Growler List? I'd love to hear it.


The Beer Buddha

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Gambit's Top 50 Bars 2010

Once again Gambit Magazine has released their Top 50 Bars list. I know that this list has to be a difficult list to put together for those guys since there are like 5 bars for every resident in New Orleans. Ok, maybe not that many but there is a damn lot of bars here.

Anyways, my focus is always on the beer bars on this list and where they fall so I could give to craps about the other bars. Every year is usually a yawnfest for me with your typical bars like Cure and The Columns and beer bars like The Bulldog and Cooter Browns but this year the folks at Gambit have been paying more attention.

Last year Avenue Pub, who had just begun to change themselves into the world renowned beer bar they are, ranked "49 or 50" according to owner Polly Adler. This year they rank number 5. That's a huge jump so congrats to Avenue Pub!! As you'll see Cooter Browns and The Bulldog are 24 and 27. Ouch. Not even in the Top 20. d.b.a ranked number 14 which is pretty good since their beer selection is maybe a little better than my own stash in my beer fridge.

But take note beer writers from other states. Cooter Browns is NOT the best beer bar in New Orleans. The people have spoken. And take note Cooter Browns and The Bulldog. Pick up your game. This is just embarrassing. Oh and d.b.a please fix your beer list. There is no Medecino. It's Mendocino and they don't make Racer 5. Bear Republic does. If you're going to pretend to be a beer bar at least get it right.


The Beer Buddha

Monday, July 5, 2010


It's that time of year again!! Every year The Gambit allows it's readers to vote for the best of New Orleans list. One of those categories is Best Local Blog. I would love to be voted at least in the top 3. Let's unite all beer lovers and get The Beer Buddha voted into the top spot!! If you click on the link it'll take you to The Gambit website. Scroll down until you see the extras section and you'll see the vote box! Vote early and vote often!!


The Beer Buddha

Friday, July 2, 2010

Avenue Pub Wednesday Night Tastings

This just in from Avenue Pub.

Shelton Brothers importers have just shipped in some rarities. These are European bottles from high end breweries that are really too expensive or too edgy to be sold in the Pub. To give you a crack at tasting them we have partnered with Cork & Bottle for the next two Wednesday tastings. We will work our way through some fabulous beer. If you discover that you love it you can RUN over to Cork & Bottle and buy them

Wednesday July 7th 7:30pm

Mikkeller has just released their series of beers based on 5 different yeasts commonly used in brewing. Just like they did with their single hop series this series give you the opportunity to explore the flavor profile of each different yeast because each base beer is brewed identically. only the yeast changes. I love trying these because later it allows me to recognize the ingredients in the beers I taste. Beer Buddha will be on hand to discuss these beers. price TBA( don't know how much the bottles are yet we will have the American, Belgian, Brett, Hefe, Lager.

Wednesday July 14th 7:30pm

Some very well received beers are on the menu.
Pannepot is on the BA top 100. I'll announce the price when I get the price on the beers.

De Molen Heaven & Hell

De Molen Bommen & Granaten

De Struise Pannepot

Mikkeller I Beat You

Mikkeller Tjekket Pilsner


The Beer Buddha

Ommegang Brewery and Louisiana Distribution

So I get a phone call this morning from a gentleman who says he works for Ommegang Brewery in Cooperstown, NY and that they are interested in coming to Louisiana. Pause. I'll let that sink in. Yes, I am serious and yes it is true, apparently I AM that important after all.

All kidding aside we discussed some information and it sounds like they are truly excited about coming into Louisiana. I think this is huge. Ommegang Brewery brews Belgian style ales and they are incredible. Three Philosophers anyone?

No confirmed dates or anything like that. As of now they are researching distributors so hopefully we'll hear more soon!


The Beer Buddha

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Beer, Radio and Classic Rock

So I was flipping radio stations this morning in the Buddha Mobile and I turned it to the lame "rock" station we have here in New Orleans 104.1. I was hoping they may be actually playing something that rocks and was happy to hear some AC/DC. Normally that'll fall to the classic rock station 95.7 but oh well. Anyways, about 4 songs in I notice that they are playing mostly classic rock songs and some 80s hair bands too.

Normally this station will play something that rocks like Rage Against The Machine and go to something whiny like Nickleback, Hinder or Green Day. Not that those bands are necessarily whiny but the station plays their whiny songs. I mean seriously how many damn times do we have to listen to Far Away or Boulevard of Broken Dreams.

Anyways, after hearing some good classic rock and 80s rock like AC/DC, Def Leppard and U2 I heard a plug saying they changed the station over to an "80s based classic rock" station. Now I hate that we don't have an alternative rock station but lets be honest the 104.1 Rock of New Orleans just plain sucked.

Here is a list of songs played during the first hour of the new station:

AC/DC – You Shook Me All Night Long
U2 – Pride (In The Name Of Love)
Guns N’ Roses – Welcome To The Jungle
Heart – Barracuda
Def Leppard – Rock Of Ages
Tom Petty – Runnin’ Down A Dream
Billy Squier – The Stroke
Autograph – Turn Up The Radio
Aerosmith – Sweet Emotion
Bon Jovi – You Give Love A Bad Name
Aldo Nova – Fantasy
Bryan Adams – Summer Of ’69
Van Halen – Oh, Pretty Woman
Yes – Owner Of A Lonely Heart
The Steve Miller Band – Jungle Love

RIGHT ON!! Not bad, not bad at all. But I guess you're wondering what the crap does this have to do with beer. The station is called, get this, The Brew. AWESOME!!! I wonder if they'll give a rats ass about the craft beer community. I certainly hope so! Maybe The Beer Buddha can get on air and talk about some good brews!! Dream On right! No pun intended. And if you didn't get the pun you're an idiot. And in honor of this new classic rock station in New Orleans I give you...Def Leppard!!!


The Beer Buddha

NOLA Brewing 7th Street Wheat Release

July 8th. Maple Leaf bar. 7-10pm. NOLA Brewing will be releasing their much talked about 7th Street Wheat. This beer which will be available through October in slims kegs and draft packs is an American style wheat beer with lemon basil added for flavor.

July 9th. For those of you who live on the Northshore there will be a release party at The Barley Oak from 6-9pm.

Here is description of 7th Street Wheat courtesy of NOLA Brewing.

Beer Description: American Wheat with Lemon Basil
ABV: 4.5%
IBUs: 15
Hops: Sterling and Crystal
Malts: 2-row, Vienna, Acidulated and Canada Wheat
Other Ingredients: Fresh Lemon Basil

I have to admit I LOVE the label!! Oh and the beer is perfect for summer!!


The Beer Buddha