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!

BEST LOCAL BREWERY

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!

BEST NEW LOCAL BREWERY

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!

BEST BEER STORE SOUTHSHORE

Stein's Deli

I used Beeradvocate.com 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.

BEST BEER STORE NORTHSHORE

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 Beeradvocate.com it wins this category easily.

BEST BEER BAR SOUTHSHORE

Avenue Pub

Again I used Beeradvocate.com 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.

BEST BEER BAR NORTHSHORE

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.

BEST CASK ALE

NOLA Blonde with Citra Hops

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

BEST COMEBACK BREWERY AWARD

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.

WORST BREWERY ROLLOUT

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!


BEST BEER DINNER

Brooklyn Brewing at Boucherie

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

BEST NON LOCAL BREWERY

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.

HUGE DISTRIBUTION GRAB OF THE YEAR

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!

BEST BREWPUB

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.
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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!

Cheers!

The Beer Buddha

6 comments:

Nora said...

I, of course, agree with the more local brewpubs. What is the deal with that and the law, is it you can't brew beer and sell it at the same location? I am working on alternate plans for that.

Great picks, though you forgot to award me as best new New Orleans beer blogger, but that's OK.

Eric Ducote said...

The Chimes isn't really 'Northshore' and can't compete with The Avenue Pub as far as beer bars go, but it's still every bit deserving of a B+ rating. If you ever do feel like heading this way, let Dustin and I know, we'll go drink with you and share some homebrew!

The Cove and Port Royal definitely have more beer, but no tap lines, which hurts a lot. And no food, which hurts a little.

The Beer Buddha said...

Nora,

It was too obvious that you were the best!

Eric,

Honestly the winner of the best of the "Northshore" which is anything NOT New Orleans should have been The Barley Oak but they only had 4 reviews on BA so I stuck to my rule of 10 reviews or more. I felt really bad cause they truly deserve it but it wouldn't be fair if I changed the criteria for them.

Cheers!

BB

Karlos said...

I humbly accept this Beery award on behalf of everyone at Bayou Teche Brewing (all five of us).

We always will cherish this moment, as it is the very first (and only) award our tiny brewery has ever been given. We will forever be grateful the Beer Buddha for not only this auspicious award, but for also turning us on to the 'Up on the Roof' beer tasting benefit for the East Jefferson General Hospital.

Hope you enjoy the Grenade beer; next time I’m in New Orleans we can share a few pints of the Boucanee.

Merci Beaucoup

Karlos Knott
Bayou Teche Brewing

Anonymous said...

What are you referring to with magic hat?

They are a Vermont brewery and make some of the best craft beer in the states.

The Beer Buddha said...

Their roll out into New Orleans was pathetic. I expected more from them. They also only roll out with Magic Hat #9 for about 6 months and nothing else. It's more with their roll out and how they handled their New Orleans sales rep rather than the quality of their beers. And what's with the condoms?

Cheers!

BB

PS And I will have to respectfully disagree with your comment "make some of the best craft beer in the states" but as long as you like it that's all that matters.