Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmakwanzika!!!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Beer Buddha's 2012 Worst of Louisiana Beer List

I've been watching everyone come out with their "best of" lists lately.  All of them are great and captured the 2012 Louisiana beer scene well.  But nobody was willing to come out with their worst list.  I am.  Here ya go.  And if any of you take this too seriously you really should stop reading my blog.

1)  Worst Released Beer in Louisiana 2012:  Curious Traveler Summer Shandy

Sorry guys at Curious Traveler or Sam Adams or whatever you are.  I really disliked this one.  I like the idea of a shandy but tasting Pine Sol is just too much.  I feel a shandy is a beverage to be mixed on the spot not something you can bottle.  Just my thoughts.

2)   Worst Beer Let Down in Louisiana 2012:  NOLA Brewing/Stone Collaboration Pour Me Somethin' Mistah

Alright I will probably get some shit for this one and that's okay.  I was really let down by this beer.  Didn't like it.  Not sure why but I just didn't.  Perhaps being so mentally psyched for this brew screwed me on the taste.  It's very possible.  I tried it numerous times and me and this beer just didn't get along.  I still love me some NOLA Brewing.  Just not this beer.

3)  Worst Beer Release in Louisiana 2012:  Westvleteren 12

A lot of you didn't hear what I heard regarding this release.  If you had you would agree.  This beer release was the biggest clusterfuck since the Saints got rid of all their draft picks for Ricky Williams.  NO ONE but the abbey was allowed to profit from the sale of these beers.  The distributor, the store, no one.  Well except the assholes that sold their beers on ebay and the one local douchebag on Craigslist. They made more money than anyone.  And the whole point of the abbey maintaining SO much control was to make sure this kind of crap didn't happen.  Great job monks! You failed.

4)  Worst Louisiana City To Open a Brewery:  New Orleans

It's been 3 years since NOLA Brewing opened and we STILL only have one brewery in city limits. Hell, we have one opening in Chalmette.  Fucking Chalmette people!!???  WTF?  One opened in Lafayette.  One is opening in the Houma area.  We MAY have another one opening in New Orleans but not sure how far they have gotten with permits and shit.  We don't even have a brewpub opening that I know of.  Yes, yes, I know we have Gordon Biersch and Crescent City.  Our city laws suck and need to be changed.  No one in the city limits is encouraged to open a brewery with our crappy laws and that's bullshit.  And yes, our state laws suck too.  I think those are being worked on though.  We shall see.

5)  Worst Beer Distributor in Louisiana 2012:  ?

Yeah, I'm not going here.  I'm not that stupid.   Let me just give a shout out to Southern Eagle and Crescent Crown for doing a great job acquiring new beers and helping create more craft beer love in Louisiana.

6)  Worst Louisiana Brewery 2012:  Dixie Brewing

I'm giving this to Dixie in the hopes that the owners will realize the opportunity they have.  Bring it home.  Have one of our extremely talented people here in the state reformulate the recipe and sell the balls out of this beer.  Who the hell wouldn't want 16oz Dixie tall boys for a crawfish boil?  Get with it Bruno's!  My 6 year old daughter could do a better job with this local brand than ya'll.  Look at the success of Pabst and even Narragansett.  Sell it to someone who cares.  PLEASE!

7)  Worst Beer Bar in New Orleans 2012:  Cooter Browns

Dude.  Seriously  Stop going here for a great craft beer experience.  If you are looking for 17 big screen TVs to watch your Saints while you eat mediocre bar food and drink your Abita Amber okay cool.  Any place that is too lazy to update their beer list since the late 90s doesn't deserve your business.  Either that or they are illegally selling Breckenridge and they REALLY stocked up on some Dixie White Moose and Rikenjacks.   And dear Draft Magazine:  STOP putting this place on your damn lists.

That's it.  I only have 7.  Honestly we had so much awesome shit happen in the Louisiana craft beer arena coming up with this list was hard.  Yes, most of it is me just being stupid.  Some of it is me being serious though.  The Dixie thing for sure.  It's crazy to watch the owners just allow a brand that DOES have so much potential to just die a slow death.  The beer much like the old building is just a shell waiting to die.  Or to rebuilt.

Hope you enjoyed me having a little fun at the expense of others though.  Kirk Coco I still love you guys!


The Beer Buddha

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Gambit Bar Guide: In Forms We Trust, All Others Pay Cash

So tonight I got into a good Twitter discussion with some local NOLA Twits? Twats? Tweeters?   The discussion revolved around comments regarding The Gambit's 2012 Bar Guide.  The comments(one being mine) all complaining about certain bars being "left off" the list.  Obviously a list like this is going to get some complaints.  But it shouldn't.  It's not a "Best of" list.  It's a guide.  A guide that tells people "where to get their drink on, organized by neighborhood." It alludes to the idea that this was researched and written by staff members.  9 of them in fact.

Some notable bars left off the list are:  Avenue Pub, Crown & Anchor, 45 Tchoup, W.I.N.O., Loa, Sazerac Bar, Cure and Belocq.  So how were these bars not on the list?

The argument from The Gambit's side is that if a bar is not on the list it's because they didn't fill out the "form".  This form is sent out to all bars and is also on The Gambit's website.  If you don't fill out the form you don't make the list.  The form isn't too long and asks all sorts of questions like Type of Bar, Days of Service, Happy Hours, Specialty Nights/Events, etc.  I am curious here:  Does the form come with a self addressed stamped envelope?

Me being the beer nerd that I am my argument is form or no form you can't leave off what is arguably one of the BEST beer bars in the city.  It just seems kind of lazy to just send out forms and wait for them to be filled out and returned or for bars to take the time to do it online.   Maybe it's just me.

Now don't get me wrong I enjoy reading The Gambit and have had some of my beer stuff printed in it(probably no more after this though huh?) but seriously I have issues here.  In my opinion you can't put out a guide of places to drink in the city and leave off great bars because they didn't fill out a form and send it back.   If you continue leaving kick ass bars off the list you have to expect complaints.  The Gambit readers don't know about the forms.  In the opening to the guide it doesn't say, "This list is only those bars who had the time to fill out our form.  All others?  Too bad so sad."  If it did we would have nothing to complain about.  Except the retardedness of bars having to fill out forms to be in your guide.

Now to be fair this is basically free advertising for a bar IF they get the form in.  Tons of people read The Gambit and free advertising is free advertising right?  What do you think?  I'd love to get your opinion.


The Beer Buddha

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

40 Arpent Brewing Update

Photo courtesy mybeerbuzz.blogspot.com

This week 40 Arpent Brewing picked up their 10bbl brew house equipment from East End Brewing in Pittsburgh.  One step closer to seeing another brewery selling beer in Louisiana.  They will be located in Arabi, LA practically ON the river.   Nice looking location!


The Beer Buddha

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Westvleteren XII: Yet Another Update

So I found out a little more information on the Westy release. According to this site the following are Louisiana locations that are authorized to sell Westvleteren XII:

Whole Foods, Baton Rouge
Aquistapace’s Grocery, Covington
Whole Foods (Veterans), Metairie
Stein’s Deli, New Orleans
Whole Foods (Arabella Station), New Orleans

It appears our Gulf Coast friends in Mississippi will not be getting any and Alabama will be getting them at:

Hop City, Birmingham
The Nook, Huntsville

Shelton Brothers is saying that no matter where the beer is sold it should retail at $84.99 as this is the wish of the monks.  I haven't heard anything from our local retailers so I am going to assume this is the price that we will see.

As for breaking up the packs we won't talk about that because no one is supposed to be doing that.  I'll be honest, in my opinion this whole situation just seems amateur at best.  1) To force retailers to sell at a certain price seems illegal to me.  2)  To tell a retailer how they can sell a product?  Who the hell does that?  From what I gather it appears that retailers will be taking a loss or at best breaking even on this beer.

Too bad no one has the balls to tell the monks to stuff it and keep their beer.   That would be hilarious!  Restore your abbey now!  BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!  Ain't like the retailers are gonna be making any money off of the release anyway!   Hell, in some states the locally owned, small independent stores are getting the shaft anyway due to some bullshit exclusivity contract with Total Wine.

Remember, December 12th is the release date.  Good luck getting you some!


The Beer Buddha

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Beer Review: Bayou Teche Brewing Joie a Tous

Let me start off this post with the declaration that I dislike coffee.  Not necessarily the taste of coffee.  That I like.  But hot liquids I don't enjoy.  Never have, never will.  I even put enough milk in my hot cocoa to make it warm.  And there is no way you will see me drinking an iced coffee.  Nothing screams I have been castrated like ordering an iced coffee or a soy latte.

Thankfully beer companies put out beer that use coffee or uses coffee malts.  I think I can honestly say I haven't had a coffee beer I didn't like.    Recently I received an email from Bayou Teche introducing their Joie a Tous which is their Biere Joy-Mello Dubbel juiced on coffee steroids and aged in Jack Daniels whiskey barrels.  Brewmaster Gar Hatcher went into mad scientist mode and hand selected the 9 "most complex and mature flavors and blended them together to create this brew.

After about a week of searching I found some at Steins Deli.  Only 200 cases were made so I need to go find more.  I know Steins still has some but once ya'll read this you're gonna go buy it all up.  I know you.

Here is my review:

Brewery:  Bayou Teche Brewing

Beer:  Joie a Tous

ABV:  Doesn't say

Louisiana Availability:  Yes.

Price Range:  $8-$9 for a 22oz bottle

Appearance:  Poured a dark ruby gold.  Wonderful frothy, off white head.  Clinging lace throughout short life of the beer.

Smell:  Strong coffee aromatics with hints of vanilla, toasted coconut and caramel.

Taste:  As in the nose nice hints of vanilla, toasted coconut and caramel but the coffee flavors are more pronounced.

Mouthfeel:    Full body, smooth flavor with medium carbonation.

Overall:  An amazing blend of the beer, the coffee and the whiskey barrel characteristics.  Bayou Teche has truly outdone themselves with this beer in my opinion.    Probably one of my favorite beers from these folks!

Score:  4.5 out of 5 buddhas Photobucket


The Beer Buddha

Beer Christmas Gifts 2012: Support Local Edition

This year with all the talk of "fiscal cliffs", death of the Twinky and employees striking because they work at Wally World and only make like $2 an hour I wanted to make this years Beer Christmas Gifts post easy and locally focused.

Shopping local is extremely important.  A larger share of a locally owned businesses revenue goes back to the community.  And most local businesses are small businesses which are owned by someone who lives locally not some fat cat CEO in New York City making billions who doesn't actually do work.

This post will focus only on the local Louisiana beer industry but even if you're not lucky enough to live here you can still support your own towns beer industry.

Here is my list of great local Christmas buys for your beer geek:

1)  Local beer gift basket-  A couple stores in town will put together a gift basket for you.  Martin Wine Cellar is BIG on the gift baskets this time of year.  Go to the store and pick out some local beers and have the store gift wrap them for you.  It's a great gift!

2)  Buy schwag from your favorite local brewery-  Most breweries have a website or store where you can buy t-shirts, hats and other awesome stuff.  I know that NOLA Brewing has both.

3)  A gift certificate to your beer geeks favorite beer store-  This one is easy.  I would recommend about $25 or more.  This price will allow them to put together a nice array of brews.

4)  Buy a bar tab- Not sure how easy this one is but I'm sure a local bar can pull this off.  Supporting your local beer bar is a great way to shop and support local.

5)  Buy a homebrew kit-  Most towns have a local homebrew store.  Ours is Brewstock.  A homebrew kit is the next step for your beer geek.  I promise you it is.

6)  Support your favorite beer blogger-  Us beer bloggers don't get paid to do this.  We do it for the love of beer.  And probably the hope we can actually turn this into a full time gig.  Some of us even sell t-shirts online.  Shameless I know.

Let's keep it local and beery this year!


The Beer Buddha

My Weak Ass Failed Attempt At 31 Days of Pumpkin Beers: The Results

Okay, so I let everyone down in my attempt to drink 31 pumpkin beers in 31 days.  Without getting all bitchy and excusey let's just say a lot of crazy shit went down in October (my boss dying being one) and it didn't happen.  I did however get an opportunity to drink a decent amount of pumpkin beers that I would never have been able to drink without the help of my friends!  I'm not going to name everyone but you know who you are.

Here is the list of beers that I drank in order of which ones I enjoyed the best.  Remember though, this is MY list.  It's what I liked the best.  Just cause a beer is last on this list doesn't mean it shouldn't be first on your list.  Okay, yeah it does.  The beer that's last on this list should NOT be your favorite pumpkin beer.  There are always better ones out there.  Get out there and explore!!

1) Shlafly Pumpkin Ale
2) Southern Tier Pumking
3) Wasatch Pumpkin Ale
4) St Arnold Pumpkinator
5) Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale
6) Dogfish Head Punkin
7) Brooklyn Post Road
8) Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin
9) Oak Jacked Imperial Pumpkin
10) Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin
11) Jolly Pumpkin la parcela no. 1 pumpkin ale
12) Sam Adams Fat Jack
13) Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin Ale
14) Shipyard Pumpkinhead
15) Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin

 Well, there is my list. Yell and scream! Curse me out because your favorite isn't first or maybe it isn't even on this list. Yeah, there are only 15. Hell, we only get like 7 of these in this state! I got a homebrew from a friend that ranked in the top 5 on this list but didn't put it on here since you can't buy it. Thanks Chris!  I think if I can continue on this homebrewing kick I'm currently on I may try my hand at some pumpkin beer next year.


The Beer Buddha

Saturday, December 1, 2012

I Gots Me Some Parish Grand Reserve and Bayou Teche Joie A Tous Down At Da Steins Deli

Picked both of these beers up at Steins yesterday and today.  He seemed to have a decent amount of the Joie A Tous but is almost out of the Parish Grand Reserve.  Apparently Andrew Godley put some Mexican Brown in this beer and everyone and their Grandmother is buying some.  Baton Rouge apparently had riots over this stuff.  Just what I heard.   Rumor has it that Elio's has some Grand Reserve.  Yes, that Elio's.  Yes, the Elio's you went and bought beer at when you were under 21 when you were at Tulane in the mid 90s.  Okay.  No I didn't.  I would NEVER buy beer underage and no fine establishment in this city would EVER sell to minors.   Apparently they have a nice beer selection now.  I should go check it out.  

Anyway below are the prices at Steins.  I do not know how much they are elsewhere in the city.

Bayou Teche Joie a Tous Price:  $8.79

Parish Grand Reserve Price:  $14.99

Go get you some before it's too late!


The Beer Buddha

PS I saw some monks in Dan Steins beer storage area with machine guns guarding the Westies.  I asked them if I could buy just one and they told me, "GO TO HELL!  WE WILL BRING DOWN THE WRATH OF HIS HOLINESS JESUS CHRIST IF ANYONE ATTEMPTS TO SELL JUST ONE BOTTLE!   FULL PACKS ONLY!  Peace be with you."  So just saying.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

New Belgium Coming To Louisiana in 2013

Read this on Beerpulse today:

  (Fort Collins, CO) – New Belgium is headed to Louisiana and Alaska in 2013 and has a lot of new beers coming in the pipeline for next year, according to the company’s spokesman. BeerPulse caught up with Bryan Simpson last week to get the skinny on future plans. 

 “Both of those states are ones that we’ve been looking at for a long time,” says Simpson. “Certainly Louisana being contiguous to Texas makes a lot of sense where we have trucks already heading down there. We think Alaska is an interesting place. A lot of us just have an affinity for it and we have a couple folks who have lived up there.”

 The company is in the midst of building distributor profiles and timing is expected to be by early fall, similar to when the company entered Michigan 

 Simpson explains that the company is in a holding pattern of sorts when it comes to capacity so in order to add more-densely populated areas, they’d have to add more capacity than what they’re currently in the midst of adding.

 New Belgium is on pace to brew 775,000 barrels this year, up nearly 9% from last year’s mark of 713,000 barrels. With the addition of new tanks, annual capacity grows from 800,000 barrels to 925,000 barrels. 

 This is great news that most of us saw coming.  Looking forward to being able to buy Lips of Faith here in town!


The Beer Buddha

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

It's A Bit Early But Who Is Ready For Crawfish Season!!!

So I know it's not even Christmas yet but man I have been wanting some crawfish REAL bad.  There is just something magical about being at a table covered in newspaper with mounds of succulent crawfish, juicy sausages, spicy corn and potatoes and a nice, cold beer.  For me it's important to drink something local while eating crawfish.  It should be mandatory really.  There is nothing as odd to me as watching someone drink a Bud Light while eating some crawfish.

With crawfish season right around the corner(traditionally starts in January and runs until May) it's never too early to start planning some crawfish boils and what beers you want to serve.  I received an email from Karlos Knott from Bayou Teche Brewing today about a beer they will be releasing specifically for the season. Saison D’Écrevisses. Which literally means Crawfish Season.   Here is a description of the beer from Karlos:

 Brewing and tweaking five gallon test batches on the antiquated propane rig our brewery uses for weekend crawfish boils for inspiration, brewmaster Gar Hatcher crafted a biere to complement the spicy epitome of Cajun cuisine. Saison D’Écrevisses (Crawfish Season) is a Belgian-style Saison spiked with a generous amount of rye malt and then fermented with a distinctive Belgian yeast that gives this beer its dry and peppery finish. Finished with imported French Aramis hops, Saison D’Écrevisses has 24 IBUs and is 6% ABV. Our Saison D’Écrevisses is available in 22 oz. Belgian-style bottles and on draft during Louisiana’s traditional crawfish season (January to May). This Crawfish Season Ale is the inaugural beer brewed and bottled in Bayou Teche Brewing’s new Arnaudville Louisiana brewery.

Not sure about you but I am seriously looking forward to this one!   This beer sounds amazing and also sounds like it will pair really well with a huge mound of mudbugs in front of you.


The Beer Buddha

PS Still looking for some bottles of Joie a Tous!  Anybody see any around town?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

New Release: Parish Brewing Grand Reserve

Holidays kick ass.  Yeah they are a great time to spend with family and blah, blah, blah but it's also a time for breweries to release all their special holiday beers.  Halloween through Christmas/Hanukkah we begin to see an influx of specialty beers hitting the shelves.  Some think it can be overwhelming but it makes me feel like a kid in a candy store.  I want to try them all!  Locally we get some decent holiday release but I haven't seen one like this before.  If I have, sorry I forgot about it.

On November 30th Parish Brewing will be releasing their Grand Reserve.  This barleywine is only brewed once a year and comes in at 11% abv.  According to the website there will be only 1300 bottles available fir purchase.  I received a message from owner Andrew via Facebook and he stated that New Orleans will receive the most cases and will be available at specialty beer/wine shops.  He also stated that Avenue Pub will have a specially made cask which will be served Friday and that there will be a select amount of kegs available around town.

Looking forward to getting this one!  I will be grabbing a couple for drinking and storing.


The Beer Buddha

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Westy Update: The Correction Post

Okay so apparently there are a couple of corrections to make to my last post regarding Westys.

1)  Dan Stein will NOT be breaking the packs up.  The monks are not allowing packs to be broken up.

2)  Avenue Pub will NOT be selling but rather will be SAMPLING Westy's at the Trappist Event December 10th.  SAMPLING ONLY.  Because that would break the breaking up packs rule the monks have established.

There are more rules but these two are the only ones that needed correction from my last blog post.


The Beer Buddha

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Westy Update

Okay, so after Brenton over at The Ale Runner gave us some Westy info last week I did my best to find out more.  What I found was that it looks like mid December(possibly December 12th) release.  The price looks to be around $120 for a 6 pack and some glasses.

Retail wise I know that Steins Deli and Whole Foods have been allocated some because I have heard from both companies.  I do not know who else will receive any since no one else has contacted me.  Polly from Avenue Pub told me that they will be getting some but for on premise consumption only as she is a bar.

If I find out anything else I will let you know.


The Beer Buddha

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Bret Lyttle's Bed Review: SweetWater IPA

Some people go to church on Sunday's. Bret and his wife Sarah like to sit in bed and have a "Hair of the Dog Sunday".  Apparently after having a night of oysters, beer and vodka it was necessary for some good "hair of the dog" craft beer style.

He hit me up this morning via the Facebook/Skype app to bullshit and talk about the beer he was drinking this morning.  And this morning we were joined by his wife who eagerly wanted him to shut up so she could watch the Lions game.  Yes, the Lions.   Yes, the DETROIT Lions.

So after brief conversations about boobs, Christmas and more boobs we got down to the beer:  SweetWater IPA.

Here is the review:

Brewery :  SweetWater 

Beer:  IPA

Appearance:  Almost ruby amber in color.  Decent head and lacing present.  Not "Mr. Scrubby Fucking bubbles" head.

Nose:  Citrus, pine note.  Not the citrus pine note you get from the Northwest brews but the kind you see in Southeastern brews.(Note from BB:  I find this amazing that he can distinguish between the pine from the trees in the Northwest vs the Southeast.  A true tree man)

Taste:  Nice sweetness.  Hops are not overpowering.  Very well balanced.

Body:  Medium body.  Medium carbonation.

Overall:  Besides the Sweet Georgia Brown the SweetWater IPA is one of the best ones SweetWater brews.

Score:  4 out of 5 Buddhas Photobucket


The Beer Buddha

Friday, November 16, 2012

Westvelteren to Hit Louisiana

Check out the Ale Runner's post on Louisiana getting Westys!  This is pretty exciting.  I know I will be grabbing some bottles.  As soon as I hear anything I will let ya'll know!


The Beer Buddha

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Bayou Teche Releasing Joie à Tous (Joy to All) Next Week

I'm writing this post while listening to Christmas music.  I needed something to help me distress from all the work related BS in my life.  I swear one day I'm going to figure out how to be The Beer Buddha full time.

Anyway, just like Halloween all the craft breweries start to release their holiday beers fairly early.  I've been thinking about what beers would be perfect for the Thanksgiving meal or even a Thanksgiving digestif when I remembered an email I received from Bayou Teche

I really look forward to the emails I get from Bayou Teche.  They always seem to have something special in the works.  They've got a new Christmas beer coming out Thanksgiving week called Joie à Tous (Joy to All).  Not sure the exact date as all it said is "Thanksgiving week" but I'm sure we could find this one at Steins or Martin Wine Cellar.  Joie à Tous sounds perfect for that after Thanksgiving meal or even while putting up your Christmas decorations on Black Friday.  Yeah, that's when The Beer Buddha family puts them up!  Love me some Christmas!

Here is the official description of Joie à Tous (Joy to All) from Bayou Teche:

Bayou Teche Brewing is releasing a very special Christmas ale for 2012.  Joie à Tous (Joy to All) is a specially crafted release of our brewery's Biere Joi-Mello Dubbel.  Our brewmaster, Gar Hatcher brewed up a special edition of Biere Joi, and then doubled the amount of French Roast coffee in secondary.  The beer was then racked into freshly emptied Jack Daniels whisky barrels to age for several months.  While in the barrel the beer's coffee flavors melded with the whisky flavors still left in and picked up vanilla, toasted coconut, cinnamon, pepper, freshly baked bread and caramel from the charred oak.  After tasting samples from each barrel, Gar selected the nine with the most complex and mature flavors to blend for this seasonal release.

Think an Irish Coffee inspired Belgian beer.

The 200 case limited edition release of Joie à Tous (Joy to All) will be Thanksgiving week.  The biere will be available in 22 oz. Belgian-style bottles.

This beer sounds amazing!  I know I will be on the hunt for it next week!  Let me know if and where you find some!


The Beer Buddha

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

3rd Annual Outlaw Homebrew Contest

Once again I got to head out to Hattiesburg, Mississippi and judge the Outlaw Homebrew Contest which is hosted by Keg & Barrel.  This is an amazing event whose purpose is to basically give a big F U to the state of Mississippi for not allowing homebrewing.  Yeah, that's right.  Homebrewing is illegal in Mississippi.  I'm sure the good folks over at the political beer supergroup Raise Your Pints would not have put it the way I put it.  They would be more....politically...sensitive?

Raise Your Pints has worked very hard to make changes to the beer climate in Mississippi and as I'm sure you know it is working.  With the recent change in ABV laws the next thing on their agenda is getting the homebrew laws changed.  Would love to see that happen for all my friends out their in Mississippi!!

Anyway, he event was amazing!  Great beers(and some shitty beers) were had by all!  Along with great food and music this event is a must attend.  I would LOVE to see some New Orleans homebrewers next year.  Hell, I think I may have caught the homebrewing bug while out there talking to the homebrewers!  Maybe I will enter a beer!

Here are some pics from the event:

Thanks to John Neal for hosting the event (and inviting me!) and thanks to Raise Your Pints for getting things done for craft beer in Mississippi.


The Beer Buddha

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Beer Rumor: Kona Brewing Coming To Louisiana

I have it on good authority that Kona Brewing is coming to Louisiana.  According to my source he spoke with the Kona rep and it was mentioned we will see their beer released around the Superbowl.  Honestly I expected to see this beer sooner since we are surrounded by it having it in Texas, Alabama and Florida.

If you look at the below distribution map from their website you'll see they apparently don't like the middle of the country.

Very odd.  Either way glad to see them coming into the market.  I think they will do fairly well in the grocery stores.  I don't anticipate a huge bar presence.  I could be wrong though.  We shall see!


The Beer Buddha

31 Days of Pumpkin Beers

I love pumpkin beers.  The more like pumpkin pie the better.  I decided to really get into pumpkin beers this year and if you are following me on Facebook you noticed I started my 31 Days of Pumpkin Beers.  I will attempt to drink a pumpkin beer every day for the month of October and then at the end I will rank them.  It doesn't sound all that challenging but getting 31 pumpkin beers has been difficult.  In Louisiana we maybe have 7 available.  Many friends have stepped up and brought me beers and are shipping me beers.

Each night/day I will post a picture to Facebook(and try on here) of the beer I am drinking.  I will also put a list on the sidebar of the beers I have consumed.   At the end of the month I will look over my notes and scores and will rank them.

Stay Tuned!


The Beer Buddha

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

House of Shandy Beer Coming to Louisiana

Looks like Louisiana is getting Alchemy and Science's The House of Shandy.  If you aren't familiar with Alchemy and Science, they call themselves a "craft brew incubator" which is funded by Sam Adams.  It is a collaboration between Magic Hat's former owner Alan Newman and Sam Adams.  A subsidiary it was it looks like.

The House of Shandy is their first brand.

From their website:

We at The House of Shandy are excited to be offering one of the most refreshing beer styles in the world. Despite being readily available in Europe for generations, shandy’s have been relatively undiscovered in our “curious” US beer culture. Until now.

We are dedicated to bringing these refreshing craft beers to all curious beer drinkers. We look forward to continuing to produce a great tasting shandy AND to push the boundaries what a shandy can be.

At the end of the day, we’re a group of beer fans who like Shandy’s and will work hard to brew some great beers, with the added pleasure of introducing a new style of beer to the US. Join us, it’s quite a refresher.

The shandy tradition dates back to the 17th century and is typically beer mixed with a citrus-flavored soda or carbonated lemonade, ginger beer, ginger ale or cider. Today, English publicans pour a blend of traditional English ale with various lemon and lime beverages for their patrons though real lemons or limes are rarely used.

Curious Traveler™ is a fresh, bold year-round, craft-brewed, all malt wheat ale infused with real lemons and limes. This shandy has a lively fruity flavor and a powerful “throw your head back” fresh lemon aroma.

In short – It’s Quite a Refresher!

Looking forward to trying this one!  Sounds like it goes well with Louisiana's summer weather for sure!


The Beer Buddha

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Goose Island Coming To Louisiana

Just heard from Donn Lacoste from Southern Eagle that Goose Island has finally decided to come to Louisiana!

Announced on Facebook earlier:

We are excited to announce that Goose Island is coming to Louisiana!  We will be rolling out the Vintage series at the Avenue Pub Monday, Sept 24th @ 5pm.  Matilda, Sofie & Pere Jacques.

I know a bunch of people who have been waiting on this one!  About time I say!


The Beer Buddha

Friday, September 7, 2012


Okay, so I haven't posted in a minute but I am back.  I have been attempting to prepare for a new post that will be starting up in October.  31 Days Of Pumpkin!  Yeah, that's right.  Starting October 1st I will be drinking one different pumpkin beer every day until October 31st.  With reviews.  I know, I know you just totally creamed your shorts.   It's been tough since we have like 5 pumpkin beers total in Louisiana but friends from around the country will be helping out!  This will be awesome!

On another note NOLA Brewing suffered some damage from the retarded ass hurricane that came whipping through.  But how do they handle it?  With a big F U and we're gonna release mo fuggin' MECHAHOPZILLA!  September 20th at Avenue Pub!!  Dude, I had the opportunity to try this beer and Jesus it kicks serious ass!  I'm totally gonna try and make it that night if the job doesn't get in the way!  Stupid job.

Also got some information regarding them finally releasing Hopitoulas in cans.  Yeah, that's right.  Hopitoulas.  In cans.  As I have said before they will be in 16 oz cans and sold in 4 packs.  Can't wait!  Here is a little preview of the can:

And make sure you check out our newest sponsor Midway Pizza!  We all have our favorite pizza joints in the city and this one is mine.  LOVE these guys!  And the beer selection is awesome!!

Stay tuned!


The Beer Buddha

Saturday, July 28, 2012

NOLA Beer Bitch/ROOT Beer Dinner

Fellow local beer blogger NOLA Beer Bitch and new local restaurant ROOT put together a couple of beer dinners.  Check them out here.  Great job Nora!



Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Brash Brewing LA Release Party

Yup, Brash Brewing is in Louisiana and they will be throwing a party to celebrate.  The brewery is from Texas but contract brews out of Massachusetts(Clown Shoes).  Sounds weird right?  Welcome to the world of too much government intervention.  

The owner of Brash Brewing is Ben Fullelove who also owns Houston based craft beer bar The Petrol Station.  Like many states Texas doesn't allow a bar owner to own a brewery.  Now he could own a brew pub but I'm not sure if Texas law allows retail sales.  I know Louisiana doesn't.  Instead he partnered with Clown Shoes to contract brew his beer.  

Anyway, according to their Facebook page they will be throwing a party at Avenue Pub which they are labeling a Texas Exile party.  The party will be September 29th and they will be there along with Gregg Berman from Clown Shoes.  Not sure what time.  I would check Avenue Pubs website the closer we get to the date.


The Beer Buddha

Sunday, July 15, 2012

For Those Keeping Track: Beer Buddha 1 Weight Loss 0

Quick note.  Weighed myself this morning and I lost 5 pounds.  Victory!  Now I just need to keep it up.

I didn't really do much other than move more and eat less.  And I can definitely move more.  I plan on increasing my exercise this week too.  Hopefully next week I will have more loss.


The Beer Buddha

Friday, July 13, 2012

Clown Shoes Now in Louisiana

Heard from The Ale Runner and confirmed with Dan Stein from Steins Deli that Clown Shoes Brewing, out of Ipswich, MA is now being distributed here in Louisiana.  They are being distributed by International Distributing out of NOLA.

I have had the opportunity to have a bunch of their beers and man it's some good brew.  So glad they decided to distribute here.   More great news for Louisiana beer scene!

Here are some labels from them of beers I have had:


The Beer Buddha

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Official Beer Buddha Beer Bottle Opener

Check it out folks!  The official Beer Buddha beer bottle opener.  I worked with BBbarfly.com on making this badboy.  As you can see it's a butterfly knife but a bottle opener.  On the side it's the New Orleans cityscape with my web address on the side.  Love this thing.  I had two made and I will be running a contest to give the other one away to a lucky fan!

Stay tuned!


The Beer Buddha

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Screw You Weight Loss! You Won This Week But I'll Be Back!

(This pic I stole off the internet somewhere.  I don't remember where.)

Okay so this week sucked.  I actually gained a pound back.  I'll be honest though I am glad it was only a pound.  I ate like crap.

Apparently I am what they call an "emotional eater".  I translate that as I eat when I am depressed, I eat when I am happy, I eat when I'm mad, etc.  I think I just like food.  Although my wife says I can be pretty emotional.  Yes, The Beer Buddha has emotions.

Either way I'm not giving up.  Started doing a little run/walk thing and I feel pretty good.  Hopefully that'll help.  Well, I'm sure that'll help.  I'm pretty sure the key to losing weight is pretty simple: Move more, eat less.  I don't need any fad diets or to sprinkle some weird fairy dust all over my food.  It may work for some people and that's awesome but I want to earn my weight loss the old fashion way.  Hard work.


The Beer Buddha

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Beer Buddha Turns 4

That's right. Today is The Beer Buddha's birthday. Apparently I have been writing this blog for four years.  Man it feels longer.

I started this blog in order to spread the love of beer in New Orleans and also to learn more about beer. I think I can say I have accomplished both.

The beer scene in New Orleans has changed dramatically over the past four years.  We have a bar that is ranked on Draft Magazines best beer bars in America with Avenue Pub.  We now have at least 3 more beer festivals in the area.  Our selection of beer is much better than four years ago.  We are due to have around 10+ breweries in Louisiana by the end of this year.  The distributors are certainly more on board with craft then they were 4 years ago.   And we are just getting started!

I wonder where New Orleans will be four years from now?   I think we have bright craft beer future.  We are building it slowly but smartly in my opinion.  For craft beer enthusiasts it's a good time to not only live in New Orleans but all of Louisiana!

Thanks to all of you who have been loyal readers over the years!  It's been an awesome beer journey and I look forward to more!


The Beer Buddha

PS I think for number 5 we need to throw a party!

The Beer Buddha is Fat: Week 1

Okay so this week wasn't the best of weeks.  Had some weak moments but I still managed to lose a pound. I did exercise at least 3 days this week but really could have done a better job with eating.  And more exercising.

My success this week was cutting sodas almost completely out.  I had one.  I consider that a big step forward as I enjoy me some Coke.  My next goal needs to be cutting out fast food completely which is tough as hell.  I know, I know it shouldn't be but damn Rally's and their fries.

I think if I can increase my exercise and continue to use www.myfitnesspal.com to monitor my calories, fat intake, sodium, etc I will be good.  Portion control is another big thing.  As lame as it sounds I have been eating Lean Cuisines which actually help with that and they aren't all that bad.  The Top Chef Healthy Choice meals are damn good too!

The one thing I cannot do is diets.  I love food too much.  But what I can do is make sure I earn what I eat and watch how much I eat.  Move more, eat less.  And yeah, cut out the fast food for sure.  If I am going to eat bad after exercising to earn it it should be something awesome.

The beer I drank last Sunday was Maui Brewing's Mana Wheat which was amazing.  Not sure what I am going to have today.

Thanks for checking back in!  Hopefully next week I can at least have lost 2 pounds!



Friday, June 22, 2012

The Beer Buddha is a Fat Ass

It's true. I'm fat. And I hate it. I haven't always been this way. I used to be quite active and fairly good looking. Okay so I was a sexy beast it's true. I'm trying to be modest.

Above:  Me skinny. And drunk.

I was talking to my wife(who has been blessed with amazing genes and is skinny) last night about once again attempting to lose weight and she suggested using my blog as support. Now I know this isn't a weight loss blog but I think she may be onto something here.

I think beer gets an unfair reputation as the culprit for weight gain hence the beer belly. I can pretty much promise you my beer belly is years of hard work and beer had very little to do with it. Crappy food choices are guilty for my awesome figure.

I have decided to buckle down and really lose some weight and you all are my witnesses. I hope you all are okay with this. I need the support. Don't worry this will incorporate beer. At the end of every week(Sunday) I will drink a very nice beer with a meal I will be cooking. I will do my best to incorporate a recipe if it's worthy. Sundays will be my weight check in with all of you along with a brief description of how I am doing.

I'm tired ya'll. I'm tired of being overweight and feeling the way I feel. I need a change. And I'm afraid if I don't change I will end up in an early grave. And worse I may end up not being able to drink beer anymore. They can't take away my beer.

I will post all my stats and goals this Sunday so if you are interested(and I hope you are) check in because I can no longer look like this dude:


The Beer Buddha

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Brew Day with the Craft A Brew Beer Kit

I have really wanted to get into homebrewing. I even went and bought a kit from the local homebrew shop Brewstock about 2 or 3 years ago. For me homebrewing is the next step in my overall beer education. You can't really understand beer without actually making it right?

But like many people I come up with lame ass excuses for not following my passion. Work. Family. And more work. The family truly isn't an issue. Work on the other hand has been the issue. It tires and stresses me out. All I want to do on my day off is nothing. And that sucks. My wife told me I am letting my work ruin my personal life and I finally agree with her. I always let work do things like that to me. I'm sure my blood pressure is through the roof and I keep gaining more weight instead of focusing on getting healthier. I've decided to not allow a job ruin something I am passionate about and also potentially kill me. As I said on my Facebook page yesterday, "When your job gets in the way of your passion its time to figure out how to make your passion your job".

Step one: Brew a beer. As I said earlier this is something I have always wanted to do but came up with excuses not to. One of those excuses was I was afraid to brew a huge amount of beer only to ruin it and have to dump it out. I felt baby steps may be necessary. I needed a way to brew great beer but on a smaller scale.

(above) Mark Cowley's awesome homebrew set up.

My dad and I dabbled with that Mr. Beer Kit back in the day but it just didn't seem like something I wanted to invest in again. Recently I was thumbing through one of my Draft magazines and I saw an add for the Craft A Brew Homebrewing Kit. It says it makes one gallon of homebrew and they have great craft beer recipe kits for you to brew. I had to give it a try!

I acquired the Chocolate Milk Stout kit and today I enlisted the help of my 6 year old daughter and set to brewing! Here are some pics from today's brew:

Now we wait for fermentation to hopefully begin. After two weeks we are supposed to add the cocoa nibs and let ferment for another 2 weeks. Then the bottling begins. That'll be the next chapter in this post! Unless I totally screwed this whole thing up then I will have to order another kit and start all over. Either way the process was a fun way to spend with my kid and I look forward to more daddy and daughter brew days!

Thanks to Kyle Westfall and Craftabeer.com who supplied the kit and are also official partners with thebeerbuddha.com. If you are interested in this kit(and you should be) you can visit their website and use beerbuddha at checkout and get 10% off!


The Beer Buddha

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Hoppy Fathers Day!

35 years ago a single mother met a Marine who became the greatest dad a kid could ever have. He not only married my mom but he adopted me and he treated me as I was HIS flesh and blood son. Never once did he ever bring up that fact that we were not. He is the only father I have ever known.  He IS my father.

 He inadvertently taught me my love of beer.  At the age of 3 he dressed me up as Billy Carter and took me trick or treating.  No kidding.  See the pic below.  Yeah, that sexy, young beast is me.

My dad was always there for me. Even when he wasn't. Being a Marine meant times where I wouldn't see my dad for a year or more. But he would always write or call. Hell, there were times(Iraq War) I wasn't sure I would ever see my dad again. But I always did.

Like all father/son relationships there were times we didn't get along. Man, would we would butt heads like crazy! I did some stupid stuff. I was a kid so of course I did. Some he found out about some he didn't. Until my friend Randy Lenard told him most of the stuff a couple of years ago. Thanks Randy.  He put up with a lot. I wasn't a bad kid just very...difficult sometimes. I never understood why my friends liked my dad more than me. I do now though.

I think as I got older, got married and moved out of the house we have also become closer. Granted, once my dad got out of the Marine Corps he also mellowed out a bit too.  Being a dad myself nowadays I begin to see more of him in me.  I now understand many of the things he did and I hope that I can become as good a father to my daughter as he was too me.

Today I love hanging out with my dad and sometimes I'm a little saddened by the fact I don't get to see him more often since I live here in New Orleans and he lives in Florida.  I do love the fact that he seems to have developed a love of craft beer.  I always bring some when I visit Florida or he will buy some when I come.  There is always beer in the fridge when I arrive!

Dad, I know I don't say it enough but I love you and want to thank you for being that dad that you were and are today. Can't wait to see you and share another beer with you!


 The Beer Buddha

Monday, June 4, 2012

WYES Private Beer Tasting Recap

So I had the opportunity to go to the WYES Private Beer Tasting this past Friday night and I must say that I am happy for the future of craft beer here in Louisiana.

Upon walking in the door I met Leith from Mudbug Brewery. After a brief chat it was time for some beer. What am I presented with? A Kingcake Lager with the rim of the glass dipped in cinnamon sugar. I shit you not. It was....amazing. You didn't even need the cinnamon sugar rim. That just added to the presentation. The beer was fantastic. 

And then I see Andrew from Parish Brewing with his homemade "awesomeinator" which was basically a randall devise for hopping up his beer.  Apparently I have been watching too much Phineas & Ferb with that name huh?  If you have kids who watch the show you'll get it.  If not.  Sorry.  You won't get it.  Unless of course you watch Disney cartoons as an adult without having kids.  Which is kind of creepy.  How is living in your mom's basement?

From there it is was just a cornucopia of awesomeness. Instead of writing a bunch of long, drawn out details and crap I will list the beers I tried and really enjoyed. Makes it easier for me. And probably you.

1) Bayou Teche Cafe Brulot Beire Joi
2) Lazy Magnolia Southern Hops'pitality
3) Cajun Fire Acadian Berry Ale
4) Mudbug Carnival King Lager
5) Parish Canebrake
6) Homebrew from Chris Kuemmel and Taylor Weidman Pineapple Cilantro IPA
7) Homebrew from Ron Guzman Coconut Baltic Porter
8) Homebrew from Sal Mortillaro Ich Bin Ein Berliner Weisse

I didn't even get a chance to try all the beers they had there. I completely missed out on the NOLA Brewing booth!

Overall it was a great night.  A lot is happening here in Louisiana for craft beer!   My only issue would be the lack of bottled water. I did see water to clean out the glassware but didn't see bottled water.  I like to drink water while drinking a lot of beer as it keeps me hydrated.  That's it though.  They did have some food which was amazing. The corn grits and Thai ribs from Zea's were awesome! Thanks to WYES for putting on the event and thanks to those who donated their beer and time to this event


The Beer Buddha

Sunday, June 3, 2012

New Brewery in New Orleans: Cajun Fire Brewing

Looks like New Orleans has another brewery on the horizon! Met the gentlemen from Cajun Fire Brewing at WYES Private Beer Tasting and was fortunate enough to try their beers. Good stuff brewing in New Orleans East! According to their website they will be brewing the following:

Amber Ale: A refined spin of a traditional classic.
October’s Own Pumpkin Ale: The winter companion.
East NOLA IPA: A 60 minute Indian Pale Ale of East New Orleans origin.
Praline Ale: A love letter to the region which boosts the best cuisine this side of the hemisphere.
Veterans Root BEER: Not for the faint of heart. This ain’t your mama’s root beer.

I tried a blueberry ale and a honey ale. Both were amazing!


The Beer Buddha

Monday, May 28, 2012

Beer Review: Choc Brewing Spring IPA

The good thing about the craft beer world is if you are fairly new(or even an old pro) to it you aren't taking much of a gamble by mixing a 6 pack of beer. Most likely you'd lose more money by visiting http://pokergames.com online or playing street dice with Ray Ray at the corner. Craft beer is a safe bet.

At last count according to the Brewers Association we have a little over 2000 breweries in the United States and nowhere near enough time to be able to try all their beers. Due to distribution issues or even brewing capacity issues a lot of breweries beers most of us will never get to try.

That's where having friends in other states come in. They can ship you beer. It's pretty awesome. The husband of an old high school friend recently sent me some brew(Thanks Jamie!) We connected through her via Facebook because of our interest in beer. Gotta love Facebook!

They live in Oklahoma and he wanted me to try a beer from Choc Brewing called Spring IPA(which I can't find on their website) and sent me a couple of bottles. Obviously we can't get Choc Brewing here in New Orleans so I was excited about trying some! Below is my review but my advice is if you are in a state that carries Choc go pick some up!

Brewery: Choc Brewing

Beer: Spring IPA

Style: American IPA

ABV: 7.6%

Louisiana Availability: None

Appearance: The beer pours a nice cloudy orange with a nice white head. Lacing present.

Smell: Very nice. Aroma of grapefruit and pine along with a slight floral hint.

Taste: Crisp and clean beer. Nice grapefruit flavor with a nice bready maltiness. Very well balanced IPA. Not in your face like a lot of American IPAs are but still has a nice hop presence. Very approachable.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with medium carbonation.

Overall: Very solid brew from these guys. Very easy drinking IPA. Too bad it is seasonal and too bad we can't get it in New Orleans. This seems to be a theme.

Score: 4 out of 5 Buddhas Photobucket


The Beer Buddha

Friday, May 25, 2012

Avenue Pub to Host La Chouffe Gnome Week June 6-9th

So how does one prepare for Gnome Week and the Worlds Smallest Toast?  By getting the smallest mug of course!  La Chouffe just sent me a Gnome Week Preparedness Kit.  I am now prepared!  Below are the details for Gnome Week courtesy Avenue Pub and some photos of the kit!  See ya there!

Gnome Week – June 6th thru 9th
  • Wed. June 6th on the balcony – Houblon Chouffe, La Chouffe
  • Thurs. June 7th on the Balcony 7pm – Biere de Soliel Nationwide Launch Chouffes summer seasonal: Amber coloured, fruity, hoppy, sparkling
  • Fri. June 8th 5pm – Gnomegang release This delectable blonde ale is a co-creation of two famed farmstead breweries: Brewery Ommegang and Brasserie d’Achouffe. It employs five fine malts, two noble hops, and both of the distinctive Chouffe and Ommegang yeasts. You’ll enjoy the smooth drinkability, fruity aromas and flavors, and warming finish
  • Sat. Jun 9th 6pm – Worlds Smallest Toast: Dress like a Gnome and get your first pour free plus $1 off all your Chouffe beers all night long! Gnome Hats,tshirts, key chains, free glassware!
  • Gnome Thyself – Iphone App!

The Beer Buddha