Thursday, January 31, 2013

Abita Spring IPA releases in March

Okay, so as I announced on January 9th here is the new Spring IPA from Abita which is replacing the Red Ale. According to Abita it will be a "West Coast-style" IPA.   Here is the description from their website:

Spring IPA

Spring IPA (March-May) is a West Coast-style IPA with an up-front intense hop flavor and aroma. Amarillo and Centennial hops give the brew a rich and resinous flavor of citrus and spice. This bright pale ale has a malt sweetness that will give way to a pleasant bitter. It pairs well with Mexican or spicy Szechwan Chinese food. Spring IPA is a nice accompaniment for cheeses with strong flavors, like sharp cheddar or goat cheese.

 Beer Profile

 ABV 6.25%
 IBU 65
Color 9

Okay, so I know a lot of you have some reservations and have been expressing them via Facebook, Twitter and on this site.  I understand but isn't this exactly what we have been begging Abita to do?   Abita has a lot of talented brewers on their staff and we know they can brew.   This seems like they may be stepping up their game to me.  Personally I am looking forward to this one and hope it really does show off the talented brewers they have.  Now if they would just freaking bottle that Black IPA and I would be happy.

Looks like this one releases in March.  Guess we find out then!


The Beer Buddha

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Louisiana's Fast Rising Craft Beer Scene

Five years ago when I started writing this blog we had one legitimate craft brewery in this state.  Abita.  We had some attempts in the mid 90s at others such as Day Brewing and Rikenjacks but they didn't make it for whatever reason.

I'm pretty sure we didn't even have a homebrew shop 5 years ago.  We had Brew Ha Ha pre Katrina but I'm not sure when they closed up shop.  Pretty sure they weren't around in 2008.  And Avenue Pub?  Yeah, there was an Avenue Pub but not like we know Avenue Pub today.

The Louisiana craft beer landscape is changing and it's changing pretty quickly.  It feels slow but it really isn't.  I even complain about how slow it feels.  I complain often about it.  It confuses me to go to a small beach town like Destin and see a mountain of craft beer options.

What I need to remind myself of though in the case of Destin is that it has the luxury of being located in the Panhandle which is attached to Florida.  Lot's going on in Florida in regards to craft beer.  Lots of new and awesome breweries, beer stores and bars.   Destin is just a recipient of this awesomness not a player in the game.

And I think demographics plays a huge role in that.  Nobody is really from Florida.  They moved there from somewhere else.  Hell, I lived there briefly and my family lives there now.  We're not from Florida.  These people are bringing their drinking habits with them and the market is adjusting appropriately.

I also think demographics is playing a large part of the growing Louisiana craft beer scene as well.  While all the craft breweries we have popping up in the state are mostly started by locals with the exception of Courtyard Brewing(Scott is from San Diego but Lindsey is from here) and Great Raft(Andrew is from Virginia I think) many of the craft beer drinkers are not local.

With a growing tech industry and even a growing "hipster" scene we are beginning to see a lot of money coming into the city as well as craft beer drinkers.  I also think just like the national trend we are seeing people's palates are improving along with the beer options.

New Orleans is surely on the rise and the rest of the state is either right there with us or following very close behind.  I know local Louisianians don't like to admit it but this influx of outsiders is helping create the rising craft beer trend in Louisiana.  Bars, stores, distributors, laws, etc will all adjust appropriately.

With six breweries currently in production(Abita, NOLA Brewing, Bayou Teche, Parish BrewingTin Roof and Covington Brewhouse) and seven on the way(40 Arpent Brewing, Cajun Fire Brewing, Chafunkta Brewing, Gnarly Barley Brewing, Great Raft Brewing, Mudbug Brewing and Courtyard Brewing) our future looks bright.  And I can't forget our brewpubs with Crescent City Brewhouse, Gordon Biersch and soon to be open Old Rail Brewing.  It's truly a great time to live in Louisiana and witness a growing craft beer scene.

Sit back(or join in) grab a local beer and enjoy the ride.


The Beer Buddha

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Beer Rumor: Breckenridge Brewing Coming To Louisiana

Brenton over at The Ale Runner is stating that he heard it from a reliable source that Breckenridge Brewing is looking to distribute in Louisiana.  I dig this rumor and hope it's true.  These guys put out some solid beers!  Love the Agave Wheat.  As soon as I hear anything else I will let ya'll know!


The Beer Buddha

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Top 10 US Breweries That Should Be in Louisiana But Aren't

You KNOW you wanna distribute here.

I was perusing the old Facebooks the other day and kept seeing all these awesome breweries posting these awesome beer pics and it didn't make me happy.  It pissed me off.  It made me jealous.

I hate being the state that doesn't have a huge list of craft beer options.  During my brief time at the awesome Chan's Wine World I saw so much craft beer it was stupid.  And I sold the balls out of it too.

It was very confusing for me to go from a fairly medium size city like New Orleans to a small beach community like Destin and see them smoke our asses in craft beer selection and sales.  I still don't get it.  I've heard all the reasoning:  "New Orleans has a European palate", "New Orleans is a liquor town", "We don't have the drinkers to support anymore craft breweries" and even "New Orleans is a Bud town". I respect all those opinions but I still don't get it.

I don't even know why I am writing this other than just to get my bitching out.  I am super excited that we received confirmation that New Belgium will be here this year!  That's great news.  I'm also excited about all the local craft breweries we have opening up in the next couple years!  More great news!  But this list is about breweries that need to hurry their asses up and get here!  NO EXCUSES!  Here is my list(in no particular order):

1)  Yuengling-  No seriously, they should be here.  They have 2 breweries dammit.  One is in freakin' Tampa.  That's like only 700 miles away!  I would have a 12 pack in my fridge.  Always.

2)  Lagunitas-  I still think they are coming this year.  I really do.  They should.  They're from California.  They're in Florida.  They drive right PAST us to get there!

3)  SweetWater-  Dude, come on.  I think this is more related to Sweetwater's being in enemy territory.  They just don't like New Orleans because the Saints have more rings then the Falcons.  Just saying.  Prove me otherwise Sweetwater.  Balls in your court.  Ball.... is in your court.

4)  Left Hand Brewing-  They are in Texas.   They are in Florida.  Again, they drive right past us.  Just dump some cases yo!

5)  Bell's Brewing-  Dear Mr. Bell,  We want your beer here in Louisiana.  That would be great.  Thanks.

6)  Boulevard Brewing-  Guys, you are SO close to Louisiana.  You already distribute in Texas, Arkansas and Mississippi.  Come on down and show us some love.

7)  Smuttynose-  I know you're in Florida.  Tell me we are next?  Come on, you KNOW you want to distribute here in Louisiana!

8)  Dogfish Head-  Seriously.  You're in Florida and Texas.  Dude, come on.

9)  The Bruery-  I added them just because I know they WANT to be here.  Let me help.  And they are in Florida.

10)  Deschutes-  From what I hear the owner even has a New Orleans connection.  Seriously.  We want some.

I'm sure ya'll have your own opinions and breweries that should be here.  Many of these breweries we probably won't see for a long time or will never see but it's still fun to talk about.  I really don't get it.  If I owned a brewery I would distribute in states that I want to check out and visit.  Makes sense right?  Who do you think should already be here?


The Beer Buddha

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Beer Rumor: Abita Red Ale Being Replaced With Spring IPA

So there is a rumor that I heard yesterday that Abita Red Ale will no longer be produced by Abita and they will instead be brewing a "Spring IPA".  There are a lot of breweries that brew a "Spring IPA".  I keep using quotations because it's not really a style of beer and I don't know the name of the beer Abita is releasing.  I was told "Spring IPA."  Most "Spring IPAs" are categorized as American IPAs.  If this beer is anything like similar beers I have had in the past with the same description I anticipate this brew being very floral with a nice citrus note.

 I reached out to Abita and no one would confirm or deny my rumors.  I did get information from a source however that states my information is 100% accurate.

Hopefully someone from Abita will contact me so I can get a confirmation from them.  Either way I feel this is great news.

What do you think?  Were you a fan of the Red Ale?  You looking forward to this new beer?  Let me know what you think.


The Beer Buddha

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Beerodamus' New Orleans Beer Scene 2013

Last year Beerodamus amazingly predicted 5 out of 10 things that did sort of happen in the New Orleans/Louisiana beer scene in 2012.  I once again traveled to his home deep in the alligator infested bayous of Louisiana(he's Cajun, duh) in order to consult with the infamous beer seer to get his prophecies for the local beer scene in 2013.  Brace yourselves for these are earth shattering predictions.  These are them:

1)  We will add 4 new local breweries to the Louisiana market in 2013.  (writers note:  I told him this was too easy a prediction and he just shushed me.  Oh well.)

2)  New Belgium WILL enter the Louisiana market in 2013.  (writers note:  I told him that was already written about and New Belgium themselves claimed they would be here.  Again, I was shushed.)

3)  Lagunitas and Allagash will enter the market in 2013.  (writers note:  I told him this was a more ballsy prediction.  Shushed again.)

4)  We will continue to see more local restaurants respect craft beer by having a great craft beer selection.

5)  NOLA Brewing will develop a barrel aged beer and sour beer in 2013.  Or at least think about it.  They will be draft only.  Or maybe in cans.  One or the other.   It's fuzzy.

6)  A Louisiana brewery will finally win a medal at the Great American Beer Festival.  Or at some sort of festival.  He can't see exactly what festival.  It's fuzzy. (writers note:  Both Dixie and brewer from Gordon Biersch Tom Conklin have won medals at GABF)

7) Avenue Pub will continue to be awesome.  (writers note:  I told him this isn't really a prediction.  I was shushed.  Again.)

8)  New Orleans Craft Beer Week will start to become a reality.  (writers note:  I asked him to elaborate but he just stared at me and said, "You don't have a job you figure it out."  Dick.)

9)  Someone in the beer community will develop an online craft beer TV show for Louisiana.  And it will be awesome.  (writers note: I again asked him to elaborate and again he made fun of me for not having a job.  What a dick.  I don't get it.)

10)  Jazzfest will continue to serve crappy beer and not support any local breweries.

Well, that's it folks.  10 predictions or sort of predictions from the mysterious character known as Beerodamus.  Enjoy.  Let's see how many actually happen!


The Beer Buddha

PS The video below is what the shush sounded like.  Every time.

NOLA Brewing Irish Channel Stout Available Year Round

I read on NOLA Brewing's Facebook page last night that the kick ass Irish Channel Stout will now be available ALL year round!  NOLA is kicking some serious ass right now!  If you haven't stopped by the brewery yet you MUST during their Friday tours.  They have an awesome tasting room and the crowd can get upwards of 100+ people!   I love seeing them be so successful!

Great job NOLA!  And no I will not be drinking your NOLA Stout during the summer.  Can't do it.  WAY too hot for stouts.  But still much love!


The Beer Buddha

Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Beer Buddha's Beer Geeks Guide To Mardi Gras 2013 Edition

So, you're a beer geek and you're coming to New Orleans for some Mardi Gras festivities.  Or maybe your team was lucky enough to not get raped by Roger Goodell and made it to the Superbowl.  Either way you are looking to drink some great beer.  Well, lucky for you it's time for the 2013 edition of The Beer Buddha's Beer Geeks Guide To Mardi Gras!!  This guide could save your life.  You never know.


Most of you tourists will be staying here and will rarely venture out of this area.   You really should though.  New Orleans isn't only the Quarter.   But if you must here is my list of places to go:

1) Rouses on Royal St.- This is a grocery store but they've got a great selection of beer. Stone, Bayou Teche, Abita plus 24oz cans of whatever cheap beer you may want.   REMEMBER: You CAN walk around the streets with beer but it needs to be either in a can or a plastic cup.

2) Rouses in the CBD- This Rouses is NICE!  Great beer selection and you can even pick up some sandwiches, tacos or pizza to go!    I recommend the croque monsieur with some NOLA Hopitoulas.   Located close to Lee Circle this is a great place to pick up a quick sixer or case of your favorite brew.

3)  Jimani Lounge-  Located at the corner of Chartres Street and Iberville this French Quarter hole in the wall has a great mix of low priced brews, local craft like NOLA and Abita as well as many other craft beers.

4)  Jager Haus-  an authentic German restaurant in the French Quarter?  Yes. Their beer selection is ALL imports but hey, it's a German restaurant.  What do you expect?   And you should have the Wiener Schnitzel with an Ayinger Celebrator.  It's delicious.  And you get to say wiener when you order.

CBD/Warehouse District

 Basically this is the area with all the big buildings not in the French Quarter. Not much going on in this area beer wise but here are my recommendations:

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) Cochon Butcher- GREAT food and nice beer selection. This place is a must go! Pork and beer? It doesn't get any better. I recommend the Cochon Muffaletta with the Bayou Teche LA 31 Biere Pale.

3)  Capdeville-  The almost hidden gem is located on Capdeville St right off of Camp St.  8 beers on tap with a nice bottle list.  Good local craft beer mix and other craft favorites like Green Flash and Sierra Nevada should make any beer geek happy. Without a doubt get the Capdeville burger and some Green Flash West Coast IPA.


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- Good beer selection and amazing live music.  You don't need anything else.


As usual I'm calling everything from I-10 up to the Riverbend "uptown".  Deal with it.  Some of these places are not near a parade route either but you still should get over there to try them out.

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 still can't drink on premise but you can stock up here. My favorite sandwich? The Rachel. Get it.

3)Slice Pizza St Charles location- 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. Perhaps one day they will have taps like their stores in New York.

6) Breaux Mart- This small locally owned grocery store also located on Magazine St has a nice diverse selection of craft and imports. They do a fantastic job supporting our local craft beer scene.

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 great neighborhood dive bar and can get rowdy at times.  A must check out though for sure.

10) Midway Pizza- I really dig this place. They have a great beer selection and I really enjoy the pizza here. It's not quite deep dish but similar and good. They also do a lunch buffet. Yes, a buffet. Of pizza. Not that I need that.

11) Ms. Maes- Hell yeah I did again!  Located right at the corner of Magazine and Napoleon there is no better place to get your cheap beer(and well drinks!)fix then Ms Maes. Get your Miller High Lifes and wait to check out the 610 Stompers!

12) The Irish House- Authentic Irish upscale pub grub with an amazing beer list? Yes, please. And no it isn't just Irish beer. They have options like Mikkeller, Lindeman's, Stone, Delirium and local favorites like Abita, NOLA and Heiner Brau.  Oh yeah, by the way Chef Matt Murphy won Food Network's Chopped.  So there is that too.

13) Boucherie - Upscale southern cuisine with a fantastic beer list? Check. A bread pudding made from Krispy Kreme donuts? Check. Need I say more? Oh yeah,  Chef Nathaniel Zimet won Food Network's Chopped too.


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- This small store is mainly wine focused but has a nice beer selection. I used to be the former beer guy here so hopefully they kept it up!

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

3) Bayou Beer Garden Bayou Beer Garden is right near Cork & Bottle on Jefferson Hwy. Located in a unassuming double with neon all about this bar looks like your neighbor is just throwing a party. Great beer selection with nice food options. I recommend the Disco Fries with an Abita Andygator. Could be a really bad move but give it a try.

4) Crescent Pie and Sausage Company- Ah, pizza and beer. Almost seems to be a recurring theme here. But this place isn't just a pizza shop. It's a Bart Bell owned restaurant complete with Bad Bart's Black Jambalaya, pizza and also a wide array of amazing sandwich options. Did I mention that they have homemade sausages and a great craft beer selection too? Well then yeah there ya go.

5)  Theo's Pizza-  More pizza and beer.  Not sure how this place got left off last year with it being located on the parade route.  With beers like NOLA Brewing and Green Flash how could you go wrong.  And get the Hawaii 5-0.  Love it.

6)  Finn McCool's-  This Mid City favorite is a must visit when in town.  Make sure you get the Deep Fried Truffle Mac N Cheese Balls.  Nothing else matters.  I don't even care what you drink.  Just get them.


If for some reason you find yourself in Metairie for Mardi Gras here are my picks of where to drink your sorrows away.  Just kidding.  Or am I?

1) Lagers- This place is like The Bulldogs younger ginger kid sister. Great beer selection and oh yeah they have crawfish banditos too!

2) Phil's Grill- Possibly one of the best burger joints in the area because you can create your own burger. I'm still working on them working with me to create The Beer Buddha Burger. 100% black angus on an onion roll with creole aioli, beer sauteed onions, bacon and havarti cheese served with your choice of LOCAL brew!! Vegetables? What's that? Maybe we can get this in the works for American Craft Beer Week? Come on Phil!! What do you say?

3) Martin Wine Cellar Metairie- This Martins location is right on the parade route and has the best beer selection out of all the locations. Their cold selection is kind of slim but they do have a nice selection. And while you're at it grab some grub! I recommend the boneless pork loin with some havarti. And yes you can drink some beer at the deli!

4)  Dorignacs-  Amazing beer selection at this locally owned grocery store which is located at the beginning of Veterans Blvd which I believe is the end of the parade route for the Metairie parades.

5)  Whole Foods-  Again.  It's a Whole Foods.  But this is on the parade route.  Great beer selection and you can order sammiches and stuff!

North Shore

Okay so if you find yourself on the North Shore you are kind of far away from Mardi Gras. BUT you aren't far from a great beer bar!

1) The Barley Oak- HUGE beer list with a great food menu. THIS is the place to drink good beer when on the North Shore!


There are parades over on the West Bank but you probably don't want to go to them. You should however take a free ferry ride across the Mississippi and visit Algiers Point. Why? Because this place:

The Crown and Anchor- Remember hearing about little bars nestled in old neighborhoods that you could just walk to? Yeah, this is that place. Great beer selection with a wonderful mix of English and local beers. Ciders too! No food options but you can bring some grub to the bar. My recommendation is to order from Gulf Pizza.


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) Drink local! We could use your money!

7) Showing your boobs and or junk is still a crime. You could still get arrested for this. But we do like boobies. At least I do.

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, "FORE!!!!" 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) NOLA Blonde or Brown-  Yup.  In cans.

2) Abita Amber-  Classic Abita in a can.  Perfect for that crawfish boil you are attending.

3) Tin Roof Perfect Tin- This Baton Rouge beer is perfect for any parade.

4) NOLA Brewing Houpitoulas- Yes it is canned.  Finally.  Get some!

5) Miller High Life 16oz or PBR 16oz- cheap and good. Sometimes you gotta keep it simple.

Well that's it folks. Hope you enjoyed the 2013 edition! As you can see we have some old standbys and we lost some but we also added a bunch of new places to visit! If I forgot somewhere please let me know! Laissez les bons temps rouler!!


The Beer Buddha

PS  I know I am leaving off some great places in the Marigny and Bywater.  This isn't me being an ass just not sure I need that area for a Mardi Gras post.  If you think I am wrong let me know and I will rethink it if I can get enough interest.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

1st Annual Louisiana State Homebrew Competition

Picture stolen from somewhere on the internet.

 Just got word that our local homebrew shop Brewstock will be organizing a homebrew contest!!!  Here are some of the details from

We'll be organizing beer and brewing events including tastings, dinners, competitions and more!

 Start planning or brewing your beers now. The competition and events will take place in New Orleans, though you will not need to be present to compete.

 Some things we have in mind
 -Commercial beer tastings
 -Beer dinners and pairings
 -Club competition with club booths (public event)
 -Beer tour via street car or walking/boking
 -Brewing and recipe design classes
 -Brewery/Distillery bus tours
 -Awards ceremony and dinner
 -Big group brew

 Please keep checking back for more details on events in the months to come! We will be posting more information soon!

 All 23 BJCP beer categories will be allowed for entry, with ribbons going to the top three beers in each category.

 Prizes from sponsors will also be awarded.

 The competition will be open to residents of Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas and Arkansas only.

 Judging will take place over the course of a weekend in November, to be determined.

 Rules and regulations to be posted by the end of January 2013.

 If you would like to be involved we are looking for BJCP certified judges and volunteers. We are looking for sponsorship of events and awards. Please email Aaron at for more information! Happy homebrewing and good luck!


 One of my resolutions was to submit a homebrewed beer to a homebrew contest. Looks like I will be knocking that out!


 The Beer Buddha