Sunday, January 30, 2011

3rd Annual Stein's Deli Beer Tasting 2011

Once again Dan Stein held his Stein's Beer Day and once again it was impressive. I missed last years due to living in Florida but was at the first one and the one last night. It's nice to see how the New Orleans craft beer market is increasing. A lot of people came out last night! Floriano from International and Matt and Kyle from Southern Eagle represented the distributors that showed up. Not sure why Crescent Crown and Glazers didn't show. Their loss.

The beers that were consumed were many. Just a list of some of the beers that I was able to log into Untappd were:

Cantillon Saint Lamvinus
Allagash Dubbel
Southern Tier Choklat 2009 and 2008
Boulevard 21st Anniversary Fresh Hop Pale Ale
Sam Adams Utopias
Boulevard Harvest Dance Wheat Wine
SKA Brewing Decadent Imperial IPA
Alesmith Anvil Ale

Others I remember trying:

Midnight Sun Panty Peeler
Surly Smoke
Surly Furious
Russian River Consecration

They seriously had A LOT of beer flowing. I couldn't keep up with everything I was trying but had a blast being able to try all those beers, meet a lot of new people and hang out with old friends(even if one did throw up in my Jeep on the way back to his hotel).

The beer scene in New Orleans is getting better and better every day. Three years ago the Beeradvocate tastings began with 5 people and now there is around 75+ showing up to each event. Amazing! Thanks to Dan Stein and his crew for hosting the event and I look forward to the summer tasting we'll be having. Not sure where we will be having the event but stay tuned!


The Beer Buddha

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Avenue Pub Named to Rate Beers Top 50 Best Beer Bars 2011 List

Congrats to Polly and her crew for being named to Rate Beers Top 50 Best Beer Bars for 2011!!  Much deserved!  Here is the full list:

Best Beer Bars 2011

Place              Name City               Award

1. Kulminator Antwerpen, BELGIUM Gold

2. Ma Che Siete Venuti a Fà Roma, ITALY Gold

3. Redlight Redlight Orlando, Florida UNITED STATES Gold

4. The Porter Beer Bar Atlanta, Georgia UNITED STATES Gold

5. Bakushu Club Popeye Tokyo, JAPAN Gold

6. Akkurat Stockholm, SWEDEN Gold

7. Brick Store Pub Decatur, Georgia UNITED STATES Gold

8. Avenue Pub New Orleans, Louisiana UNITED STATES Gold

9. Sergio’s World Beers Louisville, Kentucky UNITED STATES Gold

10. Chez Moeder Lambic Fontainas Brussels, BELGIUM Gold

11. Mikkeller Copenhagen, DENMARK Gold

12. Rich O’s Publick House New Albany, Indiana UNITED STATES Gold

13. Capones Restaurant Norristown, Pennsylvania UNITED STATES Gold

14. Uber Tavern Seattle, Washington UNITED STATES Gold

15. Birch & Barley / ChurchKey Washington, Washington DC UNITED STATES Gold

16. In de Verzekering tegen de Grote Dorst Eizeringen, BELGIUM Gold

17. The Trappist Oakland, California UNITED STATES Gold

18. Sherwood Pub Nicorvo, ITALY Gold

19. Trappeze Pub Athens, Georgia UNITED STATES Gold

20. ’t Brugs Beertje Brugge, BELGIUM Gold

21. Local Option Chicago, Illinois UNITED STATES Gold

22. Brouwer’s Cafe Seattle, Washington UNITED STATES Gold

23. Tony’s Darts Away Burbank, California UNITED STATES Gold

24. BQ - Birra artigianale di Qualità Milano, ITALY Gold

25. barVolo Toronto, Ontario CANADA Gold

26. Oldsmar Tap House Oldsmar, Florida UNITED STATES Gold

27. The Cock and Bull Pub Sarasota, Florida UNITED STATES Gold

28. HopCat Grand Rapids, Michigan UNITED STATES Gold

29. Papago Brewing Company Scottsdale, Arizona UNITED STATES Gold

30. Nederlands Biercafe ‘t Arendsnest Amsterdam, NETHERLANDS Gold

31. Proof Tallahassee, Florida UNITED STATES Gold

32. Armsby Abbey Worcester, Massachusetts UNITED STATES Gold

33. Max’s on Broadway Baltimore, Maryland UNITED STATES Gold

34. Zlý Casy Prague, CZECH REPUBLIC Gold

35. Bierproeflokaal In De Wildeman Amsterdam, NETHERLANDS Gold

36. Wellington Birmingham, West Midlands ENGLAND Gold

37. Teresa’s Next Door Wayne, Pennsylvania UNITED STATES Gold

38. Sugar Maple Milwaukee, Wisconsin UNITED STATES Gold

39. Chez Moeder Lambic Saint-Gilles Brussels, BELGIUM Gold

40. Brews Cafe Granville, Ohio UNITED STATES Gold

41. Pivovarsky Klub Prague, CZECH REPUBLIC Gold

42. La Cave Du Vin Cleveland, Ohio UNITED STATES Gold

43. Toronado San Diego San Diego, California UNITED STATES Gold

44. Hamiltons San Diego, California UNITED STATES Gold

45. The Thirsty Monk Asheville, North Carolina UNITED STATES Gold

46. Rattle ’N’ Hum New York, New York UNITED STATES Gold

47. Cardinal Stavanger, NORWAY Gold

48. Abbey DeLand, Florida UNITED STATES Gold

49. Spuyten Duyvil Brooklyn, New York UNITED STATES Gold

50. Monk’s Café Philadelphia, Pennsylvania UNITED STATES Gold

PS It's also nice to see my friends over at Proof in Tallahassee making the list!  Those guys were great and deserve to be on the list!


The Beer Buddha

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Beer Buddha Interviews: Lorin Gaudin

Uh oh!!! The Beer Buddha Interviews are back!! This time I decided to expand beyond the craft beer community and get some opinions from those not involved in it on a regular basis. The one person I felt would be a great first interview was New Orleans foodie goddess Lorin Gaudin! Lorin is the creator of FiveOhFork and the author of Lorin Gaudin's Tasty Blog. You may recognize her from the morning news on WGNO where she has done some tasty morning food segments. To figure out all that she is involved in would mean me asking for her resume which probably isn't all that necessary but trust me it's a lot. If it's a New Orleans food question you have she is one to definitely talk to. Here is my interview with her. Enjoy!

1) New Orleans is known for it's cuisine. Why do you think the craft beer market is so slow to take off here?

I think people are just starting to truly understand the flavor and style nuances of beer - that there's more to beer than they thought.

2) I get a lot of crap for my weird infatuation for cheap beers. What is your favorite cheap beer and why?

I have a secret lust for Busch Beer because during college I used to drink it alongside 7-Eleven burritos as my "meals" on Spring Break in Destin

3) Eric Estrada or Larry Wilcox and why?

Neither. Those cats aren't my type.

4) If you were stranded on a deserted island and had one beer available to you which beer would it be?

Celebrator - it's like all the food groups and chocolate for dessert, rolled into one beverage.

5) What is your favorite food and beer pairing?

Dopple bock and white chocolate

6) It's Mardi Gras season! What's your favorite parade route beer?

What am I eating? This year, it'll likely be Bayou Teche's LA31

7) Journey or Hall & Oates?

Hall & Oates, duh.

There you have it. Hope you enjoyed it! How could you not when you have a Hall & Oates video attached? Seriously. I'll be looking for more people to "interview" so if you have any recommendations let me know! I'm still working on getting Jeremy Shockey so if you know him give him my email address!


The Beer Buddha

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Beer Review: Hamm's

You probably know by now I have a strange infatuation with cheap beers. Not sure why. Maybe sometimes I just need a beer without all the complexities and hype. Maybe I just need something cheap! Either way I'm always on the lookout for those cheap yet tasty beers.

Recently a buddy of mine who writes the Missouri beer blog Show-Me Beer sent over some beer goodies in a recent trade we conducted. I had requested some Hamm's and he delivered. Granted I did get some other beers but those are for a different set of reviews.

Hamm's is one of those regional breweries similar to Lonestar, Dixie and Narragansett. Well known in it's region but not so well outside it. Originally hailing from St. Paul, Minnesota Hamm's at one time had breweries in San Francisco and other cities but eventually was purchased by Miller in 1999.

They were well known for their jingle and their cartoon bear mascot which you can see in the clip below:

I honestly found it to be nice lager. Something to drink while cooking out on the grill during the summer or after(during?)mowing the lawn. Here is my review of the beer:

Brewery: MillerCoors

Beer: Hamm's

Style: American Adjunct Lager

ABV: Unknown

Louisiana Availability: NONE

Price Range: $5.00 per 6 pack

Appearance: The beer poured a clear, golden yellow with a nice frothy white head which dissipated quickly. No lacing present.

Smell: Sweet grain aroma with a metallic tinge to it.

Taste: Very crisp, clean and refreshing brew. Slight lemony sent from hint of hops. Slight grain flavor with a nice sweetness from the malt accompanied by a creamed corn flavor.

Mouthfeel: Thin body with high carbonation.

Overall: Perfect beer for the summer. As far as adjunct grain beers go this one is one of the best. As with most cheap lagers I recommend ice cold and in a can.

Score: Photobucket 3 out of 5 Buddhas

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Beer Review: Bayou Teche Brewing Biere Noel

I love seasonal beers. To me they're the perfect reminder of the season that's coming. For example when you start seeing those pumpkin beers start to come in around September you know fall is right around the corner. Not only are seasonal beers great for friendly seasonal reminders but they also present the chance for a brewery to really express themselves in ways their regular lineups sometimes can't.

Last night I was fortunate enough to receive a sample of Bayou Teche's Biere Noel which will be a winter seasonal released next year. Aged in oak barrels and spiked with Cherry Bounce which is a Cajun liquor this beer is perfect for winter. It has a nice warming booziness for those cold, winter nights. Here is my review!

Brewery: Bayou Teche Brewing

Beer: Biere Noel

ABV: Unknown

Louisiana Availability: Seasonal Winter. Releases next year.

Price Range: Unknown

Appearance: This beer poured a wonderfully dark chocolate with a massive, rocky, tan head. Lacing was present throughout.

Smell: Nice boozy aroma with hints of chocolate, toffee and burnt sugar. Reminds me of the wonderful smell that comes from the Domino sugar plant in Arabi across the river from my house.

Taste: Huge chocolate and toffee sweetness in the front with hints of cherry from the Cherry Bounce. Finishes very dry. Nice flavors from the oak barrels balances out the Cherry Bounce. (Cajun liquor made with moonshine, cherries and cane sugar)

Mouthfeel: Medium body with medium carbonation. Very dry.

Overall: Wow. Great winter seasonal from Bayou Teche! Looking forward to being able to get this regularly next year!

Score: Photobucket 4.5 out of 5 Buddhas


The Beer Buddha

PS Hey Bayou Teche! Releasing these beers in 22oz or 750ml bottles would be a great idea!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Abita Strawberry Releases Today!

For those of you that enjoy your "Strawbita" you'll be happy to know it releases today!! You should be able to find it in every store that sells beer in New Orleans. Enjoy!


The Beer Buddha

Monday, January 17, 2011

Beer Review: NOLA Brewing Flambeau Red

Lately local craft brewery NOLA Brewing has been on a nice little streak with their seasonal beers. We had Hurricane Saison(which wasn't one of my favorites but did well on the market) and the Irish Channel Stout which received 4.5 Buddhas from me here on this blog. I had said at the time that I felt Irish Channel Stout could possibly be one of their best beers next to the Hopitoulas but I guess opinions change. Especially when they keep one-upping their own brews.

Today I was fortunate enough to stop by the brewery and try their newest creation Flambeau Red. This red ale is named after the men who carry large torches on poles that light the way for the floats and night parades for Mardi Gras. This was originally done before we had electric street lights but is a tradition still carried on today. If you look carefully at that bad ass label you'll see the masked guy with the torch.

Picture borrowed from Mardi Gras Digest

So what about the red ale? In one word: Wow. I think NOLA once again has proven themselves a powerhouse to be reckoned with in Louisiana. I have a feeling this will be my favorite brew and I will be upset that it's only a seasonal. Anyways, on to the review:

Brewery: NOLA Brewing

Beer: Flambeau Red

ABV: approximately 5%

Louisiana Availability: Yes; Seasonal. Will release around end of February beginning March

Price Range: Not on market yet.

Appearance: Huge reddish tan head. Color was a deep ruby amber color.

Smell: Wonderfully hoppy(citrus and pine) with hints of caramel and toffee.

Taste: Wow. Had a nice caramel maltiness with a wonderfully balanced hoppiness too it. And what an incredible balance as well. The hops were cranked up a bit but not too much. Its great because the sweet maltiness greets you in the front and then at mid palate you are greeted with that wonderful hoppiness.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with medium carbonation.

Overall: Wow. Dare I say I think this will be one of NOLA's best beers? Yeah I'll say it. Be ready New Orleans because I think NOLA has another winner on their hands.

Score: Photobucket 4.5 out of 5 Buddhas

Atlanta Brewing Company Looking at Louisiana distribution

This morning on BA I saw a post by Beeradvocate member optimator13 saying Atlanta Brewing Company was looking at entering into the Louisiana market at some point this year. After a quick phone call to the brewery it was confirmed that they in fact are looking to enter into the Louisiana market in about "6-8 months". They just need to get the distributor situation hammered down.

I got to experience this beer when I worked at Chans Wine World in Destin, Florida. It was a solid brewery that sold very well. Looking forward to seeing yet another craft brew enter the market!!


The Beer Buddha

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Beer Buddha's Beer Geeks Guide To Mardi Gras

So you've decided to head to Nawlins for good ol' Mardi Gras! You and your people, be it your wife, girlfriend, husband, boyfriend, college buddies, whatever, are piling into a car and headed down for a rambunctious time of drinking and partying New Orleans style.

There's only one problem: You are a beer geek and aren't real excited about the prospect of drinking shitty beer the whole time. Well, that's where I come in. This is The Beer Buddha's Beer Geeks Guide To Mardi Gras.

I say guide as if this is going to be some sort of awesome 10 page guide. It isn't. It's more of a list but we're going to call it a guide because I like the sound of it. So anyways, in this guide I will discuss how to make the best of Mardi Gras while being able to maintain your beer geek status. I will tell you best retail places to shop for beer, best places to catch a parade while drinking better beer, best beers to drink while on the parade route and much, much more.


Most likely if you're coming for Mardi Gras this is where you will spend most of your time. The following places are my recommendations on where you should be able to find good beer:

1) Club Decatur- They have a decent tap list with beers like Stone, Sierra Nevada, NOLA and Abita. They also have a decent bottle list. I would recommend getting bottles. Not sure the last time those taps have been cleaned.

2) Rouses on Royal St.- This is a grocery store but they've got a great selection of beer. Stone, Bayou Teche, Abita, etc. REMEMBER: You CAN walk around the streets with beer but it needs to be either in a can or a plastic cup.

CBD/Warehouse District

This is the area located according to the City Planning Commission: Iberville, Decatur and Canal Streets to the north, the Mississippi River to the east, the New Orleans Morial Convention Center, Julia and Magazine Streets and the Pontchartrain Expressway to the south and South Claiborne Avenue, Cleveland and South and North Derbigny Streets to the west. Basically it's the area with all the big buildings not in the French Quarter. Not much going on in this area beer wise but here is my pick:

1) Gordon Biersch- There is no beer to go option but if you want to get away from the crush and chaos of the crowd this is a great place to get fresh beer and good food.

2) Ugly Dog Saloon - Good beer and great BBQ. Nuff said.


If you're looking for good music go to Frenchman Street. If you're looking for good music and good beer go here:

1) dba- Owned by the same guy that owns the one in NY. The one in New Orleans however seems to focus more on music than beer. Still has a good beer selection though.


For all tense and purposes we're going to just use the term Uptown. There is more to Uptown than just Uptown but we'll just make it easy. I'm sure people will want to argue with me but let it go. Again we're trying to make it easy for the tourists.

1) Avenue Pub- In my opinion there is no other place to go bar wise. You can catch almost ALL the parades from right here and also have the best beers in the city to choose from. Please note that the beers will be served in plastic cups because of the no glass outside rule and because it'll get way too busy in there for them to serve in proper glassware.

2) Steins Deli- If you're looking for a great selection to take back to your hotel room look no further than Steins. You can't drink on premise but you can stock up here. Make sure you get a sandwich and tell Dan the Eagles suck. He might give you a discount for saying it.

3)Slice Pizza- Damn good beer selection and even better pizza! AND located right on the parade route.

4) Squeal- This BBQ joint has a very nice selection of craft beer while also having some kick ass BBQ. Oh and the BBQ tacos kick major ass!

5) Whole Foods- It's Whole Foods. You've been to Whole Foods I'm sure. This one on Magazine St has a great beer selection.

6) Breaux Mart- This small locally owned grocery store also located on Magazine St has a nice diverse selection of craft and imports. They even have a section devoted solely to local beers.

7) Cooter Browns - a legend in New Orleans. Nice beer selection on tap and huge bottle selection. DO NOT go by their online beer list as it hasn't been updated in a long time. They have beers on the list that aren't even distributed here. I would highly recommend the cheese fries, Radiator's Special and the NOLA Philly.

8) The Bulldog - Large selection of beers on tap and decent bottle selection. Nice outdoor patio which can be irrelevant in cold weather. Check out the outside fountain made from taps and also make sure to try the Crawfish Banditos.

9) Le Bon Temps - This place is a true dive bar and can get rowdy at times. I've seen(yes seen- I used to live right down the street) someone who had been shot right out front of the bar. That being said it's a must go to in my opinion because it's a great neighborhood bar. You can get NOLA on tap here as well. The night to go is Thursday nights to check out the Soul Rebels Brass Band. Go early cause it gets packed.


If you're in Midcity it's only because a local dragged you to see Endymion. But if you find yourself out there here is where you go!

1) Cork & Bottle- I'm gonna give you a disclaimer here. I WORK AT CORK & BOTTLE AS THE BEER GUY. But since I'm The Beer Buddha you'd think you'd want to make the trek and find out what I'm up to. Great beer selection and I even carry the cheap stuff like PBR and Miller High Life.

2) The Bulldog Midcity - See The Bulldog Uptown. The difference is there is a lot more space at this location. Crawfish Banditos still apply.


If you're at a Metairie or Northshore parade you aren't at Mardi Gras. It's like your best friend feeding you store brand mac and cheese instead of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese. It's not the real thing. Whoever the friend was that convinced you that this was Mardi Gras lied to you. They aren't really your friends.


1) Don't be a douche. Tip your bartender.

2) You are "allowed" to drink outside. Make sure it's either in a plastic cup or in a can.

3) BE CAREFUL! Like any major urban city New Orleans can be dangerous. We have our share of crime so always beer aware.

4) Downtown generally equals the "adult" Mardi Gras whereas Uptown is mostly the "family" Mardi Gras. Gray areas occur.

5) If you don't like crowds Mardi Gras isn't the place for you but Uptown would be your best bet.

6) NOLA Brewing makes these things called draft packs. PERFECT for parades in my opinion. It's a full case of craft beer for around $40.

7) Showing your boobs and or junk is still a crime. You could still get arrested for this.

8) Unlike the parades you've been to our floats throw stuff off of them so like your old football coach from high school said, "Keep your head on a swivel!" Or if you played golf, "FOUR!!!!" Getting a smack in the face from some beads isn't fun so pay attention.

9) Yes it's true the beads aren't jewels or anything valuable but be careful. People will fight and claw for those damn beads. And DON'T pick them up off the ground cause you may have a little old granny stepping on your hand to get them.

10) Just because there is trash on the ground doesn't give you the right to throw more. Please respect our city and look for a trashcan. If it's full at least get the garbage in the general vicinity of the can.


1) It's a marathon not a sprint.

2) Most places charge for bathrooms but if they don't please try and buy something.

3) Know what you want before you approach the bar and order everything all at once. It'll make your life and your bartenders life much easier.

4) Get off your cell phone when ordering from your bartender.

5) TIP your bartender!

6) Don't play Jimmy Buffet on the jukebox over and over again.

7) Bringing food to the bartenders would be a nice gesture since most of them have probably not had something to eat for over 9 hours. Makes a great impression.


1) Southern Star Buried Hatchet Stout- Damn good stout in a can.

2) Southern Star Bombshell Blonde- I'm not a big fan but people like it and it's craft beer.

3) Heiner Brau Kolsch- The perfect beer for the parade route in a can.

4) Big Flats 1901- Yeah I said it. At $3.49 for a six pack you can't go wrong.

5) PBR- Cheap and good.

**So as you have noted I don't have Oscar Blues, Yuengling or New Belgium Fat Tire listed. It's because they don't distribute here.**

Well that's it folks. Hope you find this helpful when you come for Mardi Gras. I know for a fact that some of my local readers will be adding to the list so make sure you check the comments as well.


The Beer Buddha

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Beer Review: Heiner Brau Kolsch

January 8th was the beginning of the Mardi Gras season here in New Orleans. If you've never been to Mardi Gras all I can say is my words won't do it justice. It's just an amazing time and I highly recommend you come here for it.

One "issue" with Mardi Gras is finding good beer you can consume while taking in the parades. Technically you aren't allowed to have bottles on the streets. It happens but it is my recommendation that you avoid doing this. That leaves you with cans(Or NOLA Draft packs!)but the cans option here in New Orleans is pretty limited.

Well yesterday I received an email from Jay Breaux of Breaux Mart Supermarkets who is one of The Beer Buddha sponsors. He told me that during a tour of Heiner Brau Brewery he was able to convince Henryk Orlik(owner of Heiner Brau) to use his canning system to can some Kolsch for him. Henryk agreed on the condition that Breaux Mart take the entire run of beer. Lucky for us Jay agreed.

Heiner Brau had canned in the past but for whatever reason he decided not to do it anymore. I have my speculations but I'm not going to get into here. Anyways, I hope Henryk rethinks his position as New Orleans needs a good can option especially right around Mardi Gras. I stopped by Breaux Mart yesterday and picked up a six pack of the Kolsch. Here is my review:

Brewery: Heiner Brau

Beer: Kolsch(cans)

Style: Kolsch

ABV: ?

Louisiana Availability: Yes at Breaux Mart only

Price Range: $7.99

Appearance: Clear, pale golden color with a nice fluffy, white head which dissipates quickly. Nice, sticky lacing present throughout.

Smell: Nice dry, hoppy perfume aroma.

Taste: Starts off with a nice malty sweetness and finishes with a mild grassy hop bitterness. Has a nice dryness about it.

Mouthfeel: Dry, medium body with medium carbonation.

Overall: Great beer. I'm glad Jay Breaux from Breaux Mart emailed me about this. He asked Henryk to can this beer for him and he did. Granted Breaux Mart had to take the entire amount but who cares. This is perfect for Mardi Gras!

Score: Photobucket 4 out of 5 Buddhas

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Top 5 Breweries That'll Be Coming To Louisiana in 2011 (Cause We're Gonna Bug Them Enough They'll Say Okay)

There are a lot of American craft breweries that in my opinion have no excuse not to be in Louisiana. Many of them are being distributed in Texas and Florida. Let me show you what that looks like:

Here is Texas:

Here is Florida:

Now here is a map of the United States:

As you will note Louisiana is in-between Texas and Florida. So that means they skip over Louisiana to distribute in either of these two states. Now I'm no genius but most beer deliveries are via a truck and if they are delivering in Texas and then to Florida or vice versa that means they are driving straight through Louisiana on I-10 to get to the other state. Come on breweries show us some love!

Now I know, Louisiana isn't that strong of a craft beer market but we're getting there. It's the whole "you build it they'll come" theory. You bring you're beer here and the local craft beer market will grow. I promise. We've already seen the market grow in the last two years. Some of my fellow beer people will argue that we'll be flooding the market because the market won't support it but if you trust your brand enough you'll be fine.

Here are some major talking points as to why you should be in Louisiana:

1) We have New Orleans. That means you can come visit New Orleans and you can call it a business trip. Just ask Jeremy Cowan from Shmaltz Brewing. He does it often.

2) We're a music town. many of you claim to be music lovers. Well there is no better town for that.

3) Mardi Gras. If you have your beer in cans I need say no more if you don't you can come for Mardi Gras and call it a business trip.

4) We have some of the best food in the country. Beer dinners anyone? Some of these local restaurants have been waiting for you guys!

5) New Orleans is an emerging craft beer market. Get your foot in the door now while the market isn't flooded.  Yeah I don't have a cool picture here.  I couldn't think of one to look for.

Okay so let's get on with the list. These are my top 5 breweries that should be distributed in Louisiana because they have no valid reason not to be.

1) Laguintas: Come on Lagunitas you guys are everywhere but in Louisiana. We want you guys here!!! COME ON ALREADY!!!

2) Dogfish Head: Dear Sam Caligione, I know you just dumped a lot of beer because I watch your new show Brewmasters but come on man show us some love. You're in Texas and you're in Florida. From a logistics standpoint Louisiana just makes sense. OH and you can come visit and find unique ingredients for your beer! We're Louisiana, we're full of unique ingredients!

3) Great Divide: Another company that distributes in Texas and Florida. You can just drop some off on your way to Florida!

4) Sweetwater Brewing: Hey, your vibe and our vibe just work together man and we're not that far away. You guys distribute right there in Alabama. Soooo close!!!

5) Avery Brewing: Again. Another company that distributes in Texas and Florida. It just makes sense Mr. Adam Avery that you just have a truck drop some beer of here in Louisiana. And I think you have family nearby so there is another reason. That and I just made cupcakes with some Mephistopheles and need more bottles.

Ok there you have it. I wonder what the chances of having any of the owners or brewery reps actually responding to this blog post is? I tell you what, at the top right hand corner there will be a poll. Vote on which brewery you think will respond. Oh and I'll have a none option too. And on that note if any breweries need any help finding a distributor just ask. Help me, help you.


The Beer Buddha

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Beer Review: Monk's Cafe Flemish Sour Ale

I love sour beers. Oud Bruins, American Wild Ales, Lambics, etc. I love them. Not sure why but right now I'd say sours are my favorite style. Of course this could change at any moment so I reserve the right to change it but for now sours are where it's at!

In New Orleans there is a strange lack of American craft beer choices. Don't get me wrong we are getting better! We now have Stone, Brooklyn, Saint Arnolds and Harpoon to name a few but compared to other beer markets we are lacking. One thing I think the New Orleans market does well is imports. Thanks to Steins, Avenue Pub and Shelton Brothers the New Orleans market has a plethora of imports.

Now I'm sure you can tell if you are a dedicated reader of this blog I'm more of an American craft beer guy but I do enjoy some imports every once in awhile. Dare I say I feel imports are starter beers to the better stuff? I think so. (THAT oughta get a rise out of some people huh?)

Anyways, this post isn't about import vs American although that should be another post for another time for sure. Over at Cork & Bottle where I am a consultant I brought in some Monk's Cafe and it being a sour I bought a bottle to try. Here is the review!

Brewery: Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

Beer: Monk's Cafe Flemish Sour Ale

Style: Flanders Oud Bruin

ABV: 5.5%

Louisiana Availability: Yes but can be difficult to find sometimes

Appearance: This beer poured a reddish brown with a huge fluffy tan head. Lacing present throughout

Smell: Wonderful smell of tart, dark cherries and wood.

Taste: Nice sweet, tart and sour taste of cherries. Starts off sweet and dives into a nice sourness. Has a nice oakiness which helps cut the sourness. Also has nice hints of citrus. The sweet and sour is balanced well.

Mouthfeel: Heavy mouthfeel with high carbonation.

Overall: Fantastic sour in my opinion. Nice too sour but rather well balanced with the sweetness.

Score: Photobucket 4 out of 5 Buddhas


The Beer Buddha

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Beer Review: Bayou Teche Brewing Grenade

Over the past three years I've taken considerable efforts to be involved in the local Louisiana beer scene. I've seen us go from one "craft" brewery to nearly 5 and counting. Despite all the obstacles that Louisiana breweries have to traverse in order to open we are slowly seeing them open and flourish.

One of those breweries is Bayou Teche Brewing in Arnaudville, Louisiana. I could go into a long history of the brewery which I would get all my information from their website or I could just let you read it on their website. Yeah, you can read it on their website. Why the hell would I regurgitate to you that which is already on their website? I wouldn't. So if you want their history visit here.

One thing I will tell you is these guys(and gal) are awesome. They show up to practically every event. When it comes to brand support these folks certainly get an A+ from me. And like your typical Cajun they don't just show up they SHOW up. They did an event not to long ago at St. James Cheese Company and my buddy over there Justin Cheese Trosclair said they knocked it out of the park. It's things like this that build brand loyalty.

I've been fortunate enough to have the Grenade before on tap at the WYES beer tasting at NOLA Brewing and the beer is fantastic. I think it loses a step when bottled but it's still a solid brew. Here is my review of the beer:

Brewery: Bayou Teche Brewery

Beer: Grenade

ABV: Not listed. I would guess around 5%. Perhaps someone from the brewery can comment.

Louisiana Availability: Yes. Year round.

Appearance: Grenade poured a honey gold color with a nice white head which dissipated quickly. No lacing present.

Smell: A nice guava like aroma with a low hop character but malt forward which adds a nice bready/grainy aroma.

Taste: The flavor is very malt forward with a nice tartness from the passion fruit aka granade. Very slight hop bitterness

Mouthfeel: Medium body with medium carbonation.

Overall: A nice fruity wheat beer for those damn hot Louisiana summers. I've had this beer on tap at the WYES beer tasting and it loses some of that fruitiness in the bottle BUT is still a solid brew. I think that's one of the toughest jobs of a brewer is to maintain that flavor in the bottle that you taste on draft. Especially when someone else is bottling for you. Overall though another solid brew for Bayou Teche and another win for Louisiana!!

Score: Photobucket 3.5 out of 5 Buddhas


The Beer Buddha