Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Beer Review: NOLA Brewing Smoky Mary

So I have already written about NOLA Brewing's Smoky Mary once already. But you guys have been asking my thoughts on the beer itself. Today I had a chance to try the actual product that will be distributed to the general public so I felt this was a good time to review the beer. This beer will officially release September 6th.

Let's quit all this talking and get to the review:

Brewery: NOLA Brewing

Beer: Smoky Mary

Style: Rauchbier(as per brewery)

ABV: 5.3%

Louisiana Availability: Yes after 9/6

Price Range: $6

Appearance: Had this on tap at the brewery. Poured a nice golden amber with little to no head. Lacing present throughout however.

Smell: Nice aroma of toasted bread, caramel and an ever so subtle smell of smoke.

Taste: Nice malty sweetness which is balanced perfectly with a slight smokiness. Didn't really detect a whole lot of hop bitterness. Maybe a slight hoppiness but your mouth is drawn to the smokiness of the beer more than anything. A lot of "smoked" beers are just too much. Thankfully this one is not assertive and is an easily drinkable "smoked" beer. It's like they smoked an Oktoberfest style beer only it's an ale not a lager. Confused? Me too. Either way it's a tasty brew.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with medium carbonation.

Overall: Once again NOLA Brewing continues to amaze with their specialty beers. Would love to see this one in 22oz bottles!

Score: 4.5 out of 5 Buddhas Photobucket


The Beer Buddha

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Beer Fridge Fridays: August 26, 2011

Today's beer fridge come from Becki Chall! She decided to show us her Pilsner!!!

Want your beer fridge featured here? Send us your pics! Send all pics to


The Beer Buddha

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

NOLA Brewing Jumps on the Smoked Beer Train with Smoky Mary

NOLA Brewing releases their smoked beer called Smoky Mary on September 6th!!! If I'm not mistaken the beer is named after the Ponchartrain Railroad which was not only the first railroad west of the Alleghenies but also the second oldest in the country. According to the website it was nicknamed Smoky Mary because it used coal and "belched smoke and left a sooty residue in its path".

I've had the luxury of trying this one and loved it! Trust me! Get on over to Avenue Pub and try this one! Here are the details:

Where: Avenue Pub
When: Tuesday September 6th
Time: 6pm-9pm

Join us for the Smokey Mary Premier Pub Stall. We'll start and end this pub stall with our friends at Avenue Pub! Come by at 6:00 and get yourself acquainted with our latest seasonal brew, Smokey Mary.

Our Smokey Mary is, in our humble opinion, an awesome ale.

We took the Munich malt from our malt bill and smoked it with local pecan wood for 2.5 hours. We then put that malt back into the recipe of a "Fest" style ale.

ABV – 5.9%

See you then!

Alright folks I hope to see you there!


The Beer Buddha

Tin Roof Perfect Tin Releasing Next Week in New Orleans

I just heard from a Southern Eagle employee that we will see Tin Roof Perfect Tin cans next week in stores. Be ready!


The Beer Buddha

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Keg and Barrel's 2nd Annual Outlaw Homebrew Competition

I don't usually post stuff regarding beer events in other states mainly because I'm a New Orleans/Louisiana niche blog. For obvious reasons I focus on this area. But recently I was approached by John Neal who is the owner of the Keg and Barrel in Hattiesburg, MS. He invited myself and my pallet to be one of the judges of the 2nd Annual Outlaw Homebrew Competition.

I know the decision as to whether or not The Beer Buddha will be in attendance has really been eating up the beer folk of Mississippi. Well, I'm here today to announce that yes, I will be there and am looking forward to being a judge at one of the most prestigious homebrew festivals in the Southeast. Remember I am from New Orleans so bribes will be accepted. Money, beer, kegerators, it's all good. The more expensive the better your chance of winning.

Here are the details of the competition:

Keg and Barrel’s 2nd Annual Outlaw Competition

Date: October 8th 2011
Time: 12pm-3pm
Place: The Keg and Barrel, Hattiesburg, MS

To Register as a Homebrewer, visit our website to download the registration form and rules

Tickets will go on sale September 19th.

Our goal for the Outlaw Competition is to bring brewers together to learn, share and experience homebrewing at its best. Last year we had about 30 brewers enter and about 63 different beers. Tickets to attend sold out in a few days.This event is private event for homebrewers and ticket holders. We hope to see the beer community come together for an afternoon to meet other homebrewers in the area, sample every ones beer, listen to some music and really just have fun (and if you take home a couple of awards that's not too shabby either.)

Drink Beer!

See ya in Hattiesburg people! Good luck!


The Beer Buddha

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Beer Review: Shmaltz and Terrapin Reunion Ale '11

One of the great things about the craft beer community is that they will always take care of their own. There is an amazing camaraderie there that seems to be unmatched in other aspects of the drinking industry.

Reunion Ale is a perfect example of that spirit. Brewed on behalf of Virginia Maclean, this beer raises funds for Insititute for Myeloma and Bone Cancer Research. I am not an eloquent writer so wouldn't do anyone justice by attempting to go into a long and drawn out story so here is what was on the side of the bottle:

Teaming up with Shmaltz Brewing for the first time, Terrapin Beer Co. returns for a third year as a production partner for Reunion ’11. We brew Reunion each year in memory of our dear friend and partner in this venture – Virginia MacLean. Virginia lost her battle with Multiple Myeloma in 2007. It was her wish that we continue to raise funds an awareness on behalf of The Institute for Myeloma and Bone Cancer Research (

This year’s beer is a dark ale brewed with cocoa nibs [from Nashville-based Olive and Sinclair], vanilla and chili peppers. It was inspired by a fantastic dessert that we used to share with Virginia at our favorite restaurant. This brown ale leads with a sweet and subtle spicy aroma. The flavor begins with complex malt overtones and quickly gives way to a chocolate and vanilla mix of satisfying bliss. Just when you thought it was over, the heat from the chilies sneaks in and coats your tongue with tantalizing heat.

Many thanks to all who have supported this project and have helped us honor Virginia’s memory.

Cheers – Pete and Alan

To learn more you can also visit Reunion Beer: A Beer for Hope

Here is my review:

Brewery: Shmaltz and Terrapin

Beer: Reunion Ale '11

Style: Brown Ale

ABV: 7.3%

Louisiana Availability: Yes. I bought mine at Steins Deli.

Price Range: $6.50

Appearance: The beer poured a nice dark chocolate color with a huge, rocky off white head. Amazing lacing throughout.

Smell: Wonderful aroma of molasses, dark brown sugar and chocolate

Taste: You are immediately hit with a dry, chocolate/cocoa flavor. What follows is an amazing interplay of flavors such as chocolate, vanilla, caramel, tobacco and cane syrup. The beer leaves an amazing chocolate bitterness in your mouth and leaves your tongue with the slightest tingle from the chili pepper. You immediately want more.

Mouthfeel: A medium body with medium carbonation.

Overall: An amazing beer with wonderful flavors. Perfect for those cold winter nights. This would make an amazing winter seasonal.

Score: 4.5 out of 5 Buddhas Photobucket


The Beer Buddha

Friday, August 19, 2011

Beer Fridge Fridays: August 19, 2011

From reader Evan Bauer!!!

We wanna see yourbeer fridge!  Send your pics to


The Beer Buddha

Monday, August 15, 2011

Louisiana Beer Road Trip: Tin Roof Brewing

Recently my wife wanted to take a nice little day trip to visit Louisiana's state capital in Baton Rouge. I could honestly give two craps about Baton Rouge due to it's association with that other school up there but the wife wanted to go so of course I went. The up side of visiting BR was I got to work in a visit to Tin Roof Brewing Company.

I've had their beers before but it had only been at beer festivals and well, I don't review beers from beer festivals. It's just a personal thing I believe in. In my opinion the beer isn't being served in its optimal environment so who am I to "judge" that beer properly. But what better way to judge a beer than straight from the brewery itself? There really isn't one.

The brewery is located close to the river and about a mile from that other schools campus. Apparently it used to be a Sears distribution center and is a decent size. As we walked in we noticed the tanks but our eyes were immediately drawn to the tower of empty cans sitting in the middle of the brewery. It was so cool to see and know that these guys were so close to getting their product out there in something other than draft.

We met with co-owner Charles Caldwell and a little bit later with other co-owner William McGehee. They showed us around and explained their process and expressed their excitement over getting the cans and also the canning line. Charles said that he was a bit overwhelmed by the amount of cans(90,000+) he had to order due to the minimum order. The canning line pumps out 35 cans in one minute. If my math is correct I think that 90,000 cans translates to roughly 42 hours worth of canning beer and I believe roughly 234 barrels of beer. That's 36 gallons in a barrel and me translating ounces into gallons and then into barrels. Yeah I could be wrong. Overall translation: That's a shit ton of beer.

The place was a decent size but the ceiling wasn't very high which can be a bad thing since it can and does affect the size of their tanks. In the picture below you'll see that they are short and squat. I believe Charles said they were 30 barrel tanks. In the end they'll have to work some long hours or change facilities because just like in Jaws, They're gonna need a bigger tank. Or was the boat? Whatever.

Despite the size of the brewery they made damn sure to ensure they have a beautiful kick ass bar complete with muther fucking Kenny Powers. I really liked the bar and think something like that should be built in my back yard. I may need to recruit my buddy Riki Fink because I'm sure he has mad bar building skills. You hear me Riki?

Overall these guys are cool as shit and the beer is damn good. I love that Louisiana is slowly but surely building an amazing local brewery scene and I feel so privileged to be a part of it! Thanks Charles and William for the awesome visit!!

Oh and here is my review of Perfect Tin Amber!

Brewery: Tin Roof Brewery

Beer: Perfect Tin Amber

Style: Amber Ale

ABV: I have no clue

Louisiana Availability: Yes, of course.

Price Range: Around $5.

Nice copper, golden color with a beautiful, frothy off-white head.

Smell: Wonderful aroma of caramel, sweet toffee and nuts with a slight hoppy aroma.

Taste: Nice aggressive maltiness balanced well with a hint of hops. Toasted bread, caramel and honestly a slight tobacco(Red Man)flavor.

Mouthfeel: Nice medium body with medium carbonation.

Overall: A fantastic brew that will capture a wide drinking audience. Inoffensive yet still flavorful. It's important to do this in Louisiana especially in a college town and Tin Roof has managed to do this well. Oh and GO GREENWAVE!!!!!

Score: 4 out of 5 Buddha's Photobucket


The Beer Buddha

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Avenue Pub Goes Smoke Free!!!! (sort of)

The issue of smoking in bars and restaurants is a very touchy issue especially here in Louisiana right now. There are a lot of groups out there that are trying to force restaurants(This is a done deal already), bars and casinos to become non smoking. Since I don't smoke I don't see it as an issue but the rights of smokers has to come into play somewhere. It's a pretty serious issue.

My personal belief is that I don't want to have to sit in a room full of smoke especially when I am trying to enjoy a nice craft or import beer. Smoking ruins the better beer experience for not only the non smoker but the smoker as well. My dad quit smoking about 5 years or so ago and swears he can taste his beer better than when he smoked. He must be telling the truth because he now regularly goes out and buys craft beer especially one of his favorites Avery's The Kaiser.

One of my favorite craft beer destinations here in New Orleans, The Avenue Pub is a smokers bar and I put up with the smoking because A) it doesn't bother me too much(until John Coker blows smoke in my face!)and B) No other bar in the city that offers great craft selection is smoke free. My wife on the other hand isn't a fan of the smoking and makes me strip down to my skivvies on the porch when I get home from a night of craft beer appreciation at the Pub.

Today however I received an email from Polly at Avenue Pub that took me by surprise. Here it is(all typos are hers because I'm too lazy to fix them- sorry Polly!!):

The interior of the balcony will be smoke free until 11pm. Even those of us who smoke generally agree that good beer is more tasty in a non smokey room. Smoking will be allowed on the exterior balcony and in the downstairs bar during these times.

If you been in the bar in the past month you have noticed that the pub staff is trying to set a good example when it comes to smoking. Staff is no longer smoking behind the bar and for the most part not inside the pub at all during busy business hours. I'm not saying you wont see a graveyard bartender puff a cigarette or two at 6am....but most of us don't really care at that time of morning anyway:) a lot of us are smokers so its been a real adjustment but we think we are pulling it off with a minimum of crankiness. We know these events are only half measures for those who are really bothered by second hand smoke but we hope those in the muddy middle will come out and support these events as we try to make the pub a nicer place for everyone to enjoy really great beer! If you like appreciate this effort please make sure to say something nice to your bartender. Words of encouragement never fall on deaf ears.

The links are for the Facebook event and we encourage you click on them for more details!

Ommegang Rollout Wed august 17th

NOLA Brewing Cask ale Friday August 19th at 5pm
Blonde ale dry hopped with Zeus & amarillo hops

Friday Sept 9th Bavarian Cask Lager event 5pm
Mahr's Hell, Mahr's Pils , Mönchsambacher Lager

Wed Sept 15th Rare & little known sours tasting ( Zwanze week event)

Friday Sept 16th Cantillon St Lamvinus tapping 5pm

Saturday Sept 17th Zwanze tapping 2pm till

Friday Sept 23rd Bavarian Cask Lager event
Mahr's Bockbier, Mahr's U, Bayer Theinheim Landbier

Friday Sept 30th Bavarian Cask Lager event
Weissenohe Monk's Fest (Eucharius Märzen), Mönchsambacher Lager, Mahr's Pils

Friday Oct 7th Bavarian Cask Lager event
Mahr's Bockbier, Bayer Theinheim Landbier, Mahr's Hell

Friday October 14 Bavarian Cask Lager event
Weissenohe Monk's Fest (Eucharius Märzen, Löwenbräu Büttenheim Kellerbier, Mahrs U

Stillwater Artisanal ale rollout Wed October 19th

October 27th 12 Percent rollout
with Tilquin gueuze and brian Ewing From 12 %

This is great news for us non smokers. We do however need to remember our smoker friends out there and be understanding of the crankiness we may experience. Remember smoker friends we still love you.


The Beer Buddha

Friday, August 12, 2011

Beer Fridge Friday: August 12, 2011

From reader Jeanetta Adkins!!!

We want your beer fridge pics! Send all pics to!


The Beer Buddha

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Beer Buddha's 40oz Face Off

Sometimes you gotta shake things up a bit. If you take yourself to seriously then shit gets boring. Not that I ever take things too seriously but there are a lot of beer bloggers out there that take themselves WAY too seriously and never seem to have any fun. Granted this is a small number of beer bloggers but they are out there.

Recently the wife and I had decided to invite some friends over for a potluck style dinner and game night. I thought this was the perfect opportunity to do a blind tasting of some beers. And the sick and twisted mind of The Beer Buddha picked 40oz beers.

I figured that living in New Orleans we could help the beer drinking public by having a blind tasting of 40oz beers in order to find which one tastes the best. Call it public service. And when I say 40oz I mean the malt liquor kind. Not just any 40oz.

If you haven't been to New Orleans we will describe it as overly urban. So finding a store with a wide selection of 40oz shouldn't be a problem. I'll just walk into a store in a not so great neighborhood and pick what I need. I was wrong. I went to 4 different stores(one being in the Lower 9th Ward)and my selection was HORRIBLE. I found Old English 800, King Cobra and Steel Reserve. I couldn't find Colt 45 or Micky's. My buddy Riki was able to find Micky's in cans but that was it. I guess the gangsta rap days of the 90s are truly over.

So we went into the tasting with 4 beers: Old English 800, King Cobra, Mickey's(in cans)and Steel Reserve. The beers were mostly what we expected. Not much flavor or aroma. One did stink pretty bad which turned out to be the OE 800. I think "ass" was the descriptor used for that aroma. Although it totally could have been one of my dogs Elvira or Falstaff farting. Not sure.

At the end of the night however the voting turned out to be pretty damn close with 3 votes going to King Cobra and 2 votes going to Steel Reserve. The funny thing about the whole tasting is the misconception that malt liquor has this extremely high alcohol content when in fact to us craft beer drinkers it's pretty tame. Not one of the beers had an ABV over 7%(Our Steel Reserve was only 6% for some reason). That's pretty average actually.

I do like the 40oz bottle as a receptacle and would love to see craft breweries put beers into 40oz bottles. I know that Dogfish Head did it with their Liquor De Malt and it was pretty successful. I doubt we'll ever see it though. There is an unfortunate stigma attached to the 40oz bottle. But then again there was a stigma to cans and look what is happening with that.

Overall I thought this was a lot of fun and we'll be doing it again! Be on the lookout for the next blind tasting! Maybe light beers? Or a 40oz Part II if we find more selection!


The Beer Buddha

Monday, August 8, 2011

Scales & Ales

What: Scales & Ales

When: Friday September 16th 8:00-11:00pm
Where: Audubon Aquarium of the Americas
Price: General Admittance tickets are $35. Patron tickets are $75 per person. Sponsor packages start at $500


The Beer Buddha

Pelican Brewing Co.: New Brewery Starting Up On North Shore

Not too many details but the name of the brewery is Pelican Brewing Co. and they will be located in Mandeville. According to their Tweets on Twitter they have a target start date of beginning 2012. I have requested a Q & A interview so hopefully we'll learn more. In the meantime you can visit their Facebook page and Twitter page.


The Beer Buddha

Friday, August 5, 2011

Beer Fridge Fridays: August 5, 2011

Sent via Travis TeeCee Combel

Want your beer fridge featured here? Send us your pics! Send all pics to


The Beer Buddha

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Beer Review: Newcastle Werewolf

I'm a freak for the fall. If you are a regular reader of this blog you already know that. There is just something about it. Perhaps it's a nostalgia thing. Growing up in Northern Virginia the fall was always a special time for me. Football, Halloween, beautiful fall weather and the color change of the leaves. Living in New Orleans you don't really have the change in temperature(no seasons here, just hot and cold) or even the leaves changing like in Virginia. You'd think I'd be used to it by now having lived here since 1995.

Of course, I still look forward to football, Halloween and the somewhat cooler temperatures but the one thing I really look forward too is fall seasonal beers!! The fall seasonals always tend to be maltier, use lots of spices and go quickly since, just like Christmas decorations in Walmart, they tend to get pushed out of the way for "holiday" beers. In my opinion the maltier brews work well with the colder temperatures. And I just don't think a pumpkin beer would work in the summer. Just my opinion.

I was recently contacted by Elizabeth from Formula PR which handles the marketing for Newcastle and she said that Newcastle would be releasing a fall seasonal and asked if I would interested in reviewing it. I said of course and it arrived the next day via our friends at FedEx.

I was going to try and put off the review a bit since it was July but it appeared that in other states they already have this on the shelf so I figured it was time. Here is my review:

Brewery: The Caledonian Brewery Company Limited

Beer: Newcastle Werewolf

ABV: 5.0%

Style: English Brown Ale

Louisiana Availability: No

Price Range: Unknown

Appearance: Beer poured a ruby red with a huge, frothy off white head. Lacing present throughout the life of the beer.

Smell: Nice malty aroma with the sweet hint of berries and a nice slight grassiness. Dominate aroma of bread and yeast.

Taste: Strong malty flavor with hints of berry, bread and yeast. Slight metallic hint which disappears as the beer warms up. Slight bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with medium high carbonation.

Overall: Not a bad brew. Great for those crisp falls. It was supposed to have been released in September but seems to have been released in July. I wish we would see it here in New Orleans but I don't think we will.

Score: 3.5 out of 5 Buddhas Photobucket


The Beer Buddha

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

NOLA Brewing Coozie Contest: The Beer Buddha Entry

Ok so here is my entry in the NOLA Brewing coozie contest!!

If you can't make it out it's my foot crushing a beer can. And I'm sure I will be one of many to use the Obama phrase. Still it was fun to do and my daughter actually took the photo and she is 5! Get you entries in!!!


The Beer Buddha

Monday, August 1, 2011

NOLA Brewing Coozie Contest

NOLA Brewing is letting you design the coozies for their cans!!! Here are the details from their website:

In case you haven’t heard, we’re launching a canning line in the coming months. You know what you need when you drink beer out of a can? A coozie! And, that’s where you come in.

We couldn’t decide on the best coozie design to release with our cans so we’re putting it to you. Submit your coozie design to and we’ll upload the best images to Facebook and let you, our fans, vote on who wins.

We will accept entries starting Monday, August 1 at 3:00 pm CST through Friday, September 2 at 5:00 pm CST. You can submit up to three designs. Designs can be up to three colors and can include slogans, images — anything you want! If you’re not a graphic designer (we understand!), feel free to doodle or draw an image and scan it or take a photo and upload it that way.

Beginning Saturday, September 3 at 8:00 am CST through Sunday, September 11 at 10:00 pm CST, you can vote on your favorite coozie design. We will announce the winner on Monday, September 12 at or around 10:00 am CST.

‘What do I get if I win?’ you might be asking yourself, well – if your design is chosen we will print your design on a limited run of coozies to be released with our cans and they will be given out at the Can Release Party.

So, what are you waiting for? Get to designing and send us your best NOLA Brewing Coozie idea!

NOLA Brewing reserves the right to refuse any design for any reason. Additionally, NOLA Brewing owns all rights to the designs submitted even if your design is not chosen.

Good luck!


The Beer Buddha