Sunday, June 30, 2013

Thank You, Abita!

Yesterday I had the wonderful opportunity to take a trip with some friends to the Northshore for a brewery tour of Abita Brewery.  This trip was set up by Vice President of Sales Leo Basile and conducted by Abita owner David Blossman.  Let me just say we had an amazing trip!

I walked away from the tour with a new found respect for the brewery. Everyone that works at the brewery puts a lot of love and passion into the beer they are making and selling.  When your owner is as passionate about the beer making process as David Blossman is it's bound to trickle down to all employees.

Now let me be honest there is no denying that we were "beer'd and dined" by Abita.  They sent a limo bus(that was stocked with beer!) to pick us up and we had an amazing lunch at the Abita Brewpub after the tour.  And of course not everyone get's the tour we got.  But this should in no way take away from the fact that Abita as a company loves what they do and they do it well.

A lot of us local Louisiana beer nerds like to criticize Abita for making "mediocre" beer.  What we should remember though is what we may think is "mediocre" is not to the guy that wants to stop drinking Budweiser and wants to start supporting his local brewery.  Abita has been initiating craft beer drinkers since 1986.  There is no question of Abita's importance in the growing Louisiana beer scene.  They are currently distributed in 44 states and are ranked the 14th largest craft brewery in the country.  We should proud of this.

Now, I'm not saying that when Abita makes a beer that we aren't happy with we shouldn't express our opinions.  Just like we do with our favorite football team we will always express our opinion when we think they could have done a better job.  Drew Brees throws interceptions.  The Saints lose.  LSU loses  Tulane always loses.  But Louisiana always supports their home teams and Abita is definitely one of them.

Thanks again to Leo Basile, David Blossman and the rest of the Abita staff that showed us such an amazing time!  And just for The Ale Runner I'm gonna go drink my Abita Lemon Wheat now!


The Beer Buddha

Saturday, June 22, 2013

WYES Private Beer Sampling Re-Cap

Last night I had the opportunity to attended the WYES Private Beer Tasting.  Unlike last year this year the event was held at Mardi Gras World right next to the Convention Center.  In my opinion this was a game changer for sure.

Not sure what it will do for the Saturday event but for the private Friday night event it made a huge difference.  The place was bigger which helped with crowd issues.  If you have ever met me or know me personally you know that I hate large crowds.  It's generally why you don't see me out at bars and why when I do go I only go to Avenue Pub and drink upstairs.

I brought my camera but the battery wasn't charged so I was only able to get a few pics.  My bad yo.

Anyway, here is a breakdown of the event:


The beer selection was good.  My goal was to only drink local beer.  I pretty much stuck 100% to that goal except for Ocean Spring's Crooked Letter Brewery.  Other than them I only drank local and homebrew.  And there were a lot of great options.  I felt pretty damn good when the wife and I left around 9:30pm.


I have to admit I was very happy with the food selection this year.  Last year the food was provided by Zea's which was great but they ran out quickly.  This year Sun Ray Grill provided the food and it was great.  They had ribs and little cuban sandwiches.  And more importantly they didn't run out!  Dem ribs was DAYUM good!

What They Did Right

The venue change for sure was a great decision.  The size of the location and the ambiance was fantastic.  The beer choices were also great!  The fact that I was buzzing off of only drinking local is awesome!  Things are looking up for sure locally.  And of course the food options were important.  They didn't run out and the food was tasty!

What They Can Fix

This is a big one for me because my wife doesn't drink.   The wife and I saw no water or soda to drink.  They had huge jugs of water for rinsing out beer glasses but other than that I didn't see drink options for those not drinking.  We asked one of the attendants and she was able to go to the back and bring out a little bottle of water for my wife.  I wonder of any of the local soda distributors are willing to donate?  This may be an issue not sure.

Shittiest Beer of the Night

I apologize ahead of time to Ron Guzman but I think he will agree with me.  His crawfish beer using crawfish boil seasoning was just not good.  He said so himself.  I applaud the try though!

Top 5 Best Beers of the Night(in no order)

1)  Parish Brewing Calypso Single Hop IPA
2)  Crooked Letter Mystery Romp
3)  Mudbug King Cake Ale
4)  Gnarly Barley Porter Rican
5)  Great Raft Ermahgerd Hops

If you're beer isn't on this list it isn't because I didn't like it.  Don't worry.

Overall the event was awesome.   I really love the event location and the food options as well!  I would really like to see more rare stuff from the breweries though.  Most of the breweries just brought their regular line-up.  The whole point is for this event to be something special that you can't get on Saturday.  I'm finding that Saturday seems to have more "special" beer options than Friday.  That and seeing some drink options for those who don't drink!!  If you missed it this year think about going because it was a great time!


The Beer Buddha

Thursday, June 20, 2013

And the winner is??????

MICHELLE ROBERIE!!!  Michelle's comment impressed the judges so much that it was a landslide!  She received 100% of the vote!  Great job Michelle and have a great time on Saturday at the WYES International Beer Festival!

She wrote:

I would love to go!!! I'm a stay at home mom with two toddlers under three and a fourteen year old high-functioning autistic son who goes to an online high school. I'm a busy momma and I'm in need of an adult night out!!!!

To all those that participated!  Thanks so much and there will always be a next year!!


The Beer Buddha

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Uh...You Want Me To Write A What???

Okay, dear readers just a heads up.  Most of you who follow me on Facebook or Twitter already know but I have been approached to write a book about the history of beer in New Orleans.  The anticipated release date for the book is February 25th, 2014.   I will do my best to keep up with the blog as well but if I slack a little please forgive me!


The Beer Buddha

Saturday, June 1, 2013

WYES International Beer Tasting: Private Tasting Beer List

This is the list I have received of beers that will be present at the Friday night Private Beer Tasting.  Surprised to see that Southern Tier and Ommegang is NOT on this list but IS on the Saturday list which I will post later.  Those beers you see highlighted in yellow are the ones I am really looking forward to.

Abita Brewing Company

  • Satsuma Wit 
  • Abbey Ale 
  • Strawator 
  • Amber 
  • Specialty Firkin 

 Blue Moon Brewing Company

  •  Crimson Crossing 
  •  Golden Knot 

 Boston Beer Company

  •  Stonybrook 
  •  Porch Rocker 

 Brooklyn Brewing Company

  •  25TH Anniversary Ale 

 Global Beer Network

  • Gulden Draak 
  • 9000 Quad 
  • Monk’s Café 

 Greenflash Brewing Company

  •  Saison Diego 

 Harpoon Brewing Company

  •  Rich Dan’s IPA 

 Leinenkugel Brewing Company

  •  Big Eddy Ryewine Ale 

 Miller/Coors Brewing Company

  •  Crispin Bird on a Wire 
  •  St. Stefanus 
  •  Worthington’s Red Shield 
  •  Worthington’s White Shield 

 New Belgium Brewing Company 

  •  Trippel 
  •  1554 
  •  Lips Of Faith Pluot 

 Newcastle Brewing Company

  •  Newcastle Bombshell 

 Shmaltz Brewing Company

  •  Funky Jewbelation 

 Sierra Nevada Brewing

  •  Hoptimum 

 Stone Brewing Company 

  •  Imperial Russian Stout 
  •  Cali Belgique 

 NOLA Brewing Company

  •  NOLA Brown Ale 
  •  Hopitoulas 
  •  Hurricane Saison 
  •  Mechahopzilla 
  •  7th Street Wheat 
  •  Special Cask - TBD 

 40 Arpent Brewing Company 

  •  Berliner Weiss/Sour 

 Cajun Fire Brewing Company

  •  Lemon Berry Ale 
  •  Hoppy Hour IPA 
  •  Acadiana Honey Ale 
  •  Root Beer Ale 

 Chafunkta Brewing Company 

  •  FontaineBlue Berry Wheat IPA 
  •  Old 504 Porter 
  •  Voo Ka Ray IPA 

 Gnarly Barley 

  •  Porter Rican 

Great Raft Brewing

  • Ermahgerd Hops 
  • Reasonably Corrupt 

Mudbug Brewery

  • King Cake Ale
  • Cajun Stout  
  • Chocolate Cask Conditioned Cajun Stout 

 Old Rail Brewing Company

  •  Old Rail Cow Catcher Milk Chocolate Stout 
  •  Old Rail Seven Sisters IPA 

  Bayou Teche Brewing Company 

  •  Biere Joi- barrel aged version 

 Covington Brewhouse

  •  Firkin- Cask conditioned Bayou Bock 

 Crooked Letter Brewing Co.

  •  Mystery Romp Crooked Heffy Stabello Gipsy IPA 
  •  Mariposa Pale Ale 

 Lazy Magnolia

  •  Firkin (cask) 

 Parish Brewing Co.

  •  Farmhouse IPA 
  •  Calypso Single Hop IPA 
  •  Pacifica Single Hop IPA 

 Tin Roof Brewing Co.

  • Perfect Tin Amber Ale
  • Voodoo Bengal Pale Ale
  • Tin Roof Blonde Ale
  • Rougarou Black Ale
  • Not Too Sweet Watermelon Wheat

Tu Lu Lu Brewery

  •  Tu Lu Lu Kolsch 


 Bicycle Brew Club

 Brasseurs a la Maison

  • Belgian IPA Cask with Cacao Nibs 
  • Peanut Butter Porter 

 Brewstock Homebrew Supply

  •  Rye Pale Lager 
  •  Chamomile Belgian Ale 
  •  Belgian Abbey Tripel 

George’s Beer & Homebrewery

  • George’s Berry Good Boy 

 Main Grain Home Brew Supplies

  •  Russian Imperial Rum Barrel Cream Stout
  •  Crawfish Blonde 

 Mystic Krewe of Brew

  •  Sal Mortillaro - Vanilla Imperial Milk Stout 
  •  Marshall Williams - Belgian Brown Triple 
  •  Nancy Hartzog - Fig Saisson