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 Beernews.org

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 Beernews.org.

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 Beernews.org 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 Beernews.org


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 Abita.com:

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 friends@abita.com.

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 Entrepreneur.com'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

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Product Review: Beer Savers

You ever have that moment where you're so eager to crack up that 750 ml of something awesome that you don't think about the fact that you can't finish it by yourself? And don't be that douche that says, "Oh I'm awesome and I can finish any beer you put in front me" cause that's bullshit. We've all been in this situation and we all have our ways of saving beers until the next day.

Most of us use wine or champagne paraphernalia which works pretty well. Vacuum pumps are usually the best in my opinion because it extracts the oxygen and reseals it with the rubber stopper. But unless you plan on saving beer often or drink wine spending $20 is just a bit much.

I was recently fortunate enough to be contacted by Christian Lavender of Beer Savers to demo his product. Beer Savers are silicone bottle caps that are designed to fit right on most sized beer bottles. They have many different uses for them from saving your beer to helping identify your beer when out on the town. They can even keep your bottles clean and sterile if you're a home brewer.

I went ahead and put the Beer Savers to the test by using one of my bottles of Southern Tier Iniquity and a bottle of Cigar City Big Sound Scotch Ale. I really wanted one beer that was big and boozy as I'm not so sure something weaker would hold up well under any circumstances but also wanted something hoppy to see how the hops hold up. I put the Beer Saver on the bottles and put it in my fridge overnight. When I took the caps off I was welcomed by an immediate hiss which was a good start. Both bottles tasted fine too. Success!

With the bottle of Iniquity I noticed something that I don't think I can really hold against the Beer Saver as it was really my fault but I accidentally shook up one of my bottles when I was walking around the yard and well....see for yourself.

As I said shaking up the bottle isn't smart but what you didn't see is it popped off the first time with little shaking. I just walked from my backdoor to the front yard and POW! the cap just popped off. My 4 year old daughter sure did get a kick out of it. The beer didn't.

Anyways, I dig this product. I wouldn't use it for saving beer because I usually don't save beer but I think this is cool for parties or home brewing for sure. A 6-pack costs $12.99 and a 12-pack costs $19.99. Go to the website and check them out today!


The Beer Buddha