Thursday, August 29, 2013

NOLA Brewing Taproom Grand Opening Sept 10, 2013

In 2009 when NOLA Brewing first opened selling beer from the brewery itself wasn't even an option.  Thanks to a change in law or as I hear it maybe a reinterpretation of an already existing law(welcome to Louisiana)  NOLA will now be able to sell beer on premise. 

I received this announcement from them this morning:


NOLA Brewing Announces Taproom Grand Opening New Orleans, LA (August 29, 2013)

- NOLA Brewing Co. (New Orleans, LA) will be opening a taproom on September 10, 2013 at 4 p.m. to sell beer directly to consumers. The taproom will have 16 beers on tap, comprised of eight beers from NOLA’s regular line-up and eight specialty beers that will rotate regularly. It will also have a food truck schedule and music on special occasions.

Beer will be available in pints or flights and growlers as well as six or four packs can be purchased to take home too.

Its doors will open at 2 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and 11 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The brewery will still host their $5 brewery tours every Friday where guests can keep their NOLA pint glass and drink beer for free until 3:30 p.m. ###

Love this and am really excited!  Congrats to NOLA Brewing and all the breweries in Louisiana!  It really is a good time for breweries here in the state.  Now if only New Orleans was more businessf friendly!  Hopefully we will see more opening!


The Beer Buddha

Sunday, August 18, 2013

5 Awesome Louisiana Game Day Brews

Found this one floating around on the internet.  Not sure who did the original.

Another football season is right around the corner and nothing goes better with football than beer.  If you're drinking wine or cocktails you're doing it wrong.

And just because Bud, Miller and Coors like to pay billions in advertising to capture your taste buds doesn't mean you have to drink it!

Drinking local Louisiana beers while cheering on your Saints just makes sense.  Hell, who knows, maybe it'll bring some good luck to the team this year.

According to the Beer Institute Louisiana ranks 11th in the country in per capita beer consumption. With only 7 Louisiana breweries in production we need to do everything we can to support them!

Below are my 5 picks of great Louisiana brews to drink while supporting the Who Dats.  I based my picks on drinkability, availability and price.  I also chose beers I felt would be accepted by those who mostly drink mass marketed brews and may be willing to branch out and drink local.

NOLA Brewing Hopitoulas

If you're looking for nice hoppy brew this one fits the bill.  Perfectly balanced but be careful because at 6.7% ABV it packs a punch.  Comes in convenient 16oz cans which is perfect for your tailgate!

Bayou Teche LA 31 Biere Pale

If you're tailgating at a Saints game most likely you're serving some amazing Louisiana cuisine like jambalaya, boudin or some ettoufee.  It's just how Louisianians tailgate.  This pale ale has a wonderful balance between hops and malts and there possibly isn't a better beer to go along with our cuisine than Bayou Teche's LA 31 Biere Pale.

Abita Amber

This classic Munich style lager is another beer that goes great with our Louisiana cuisine.  With a 4.5% ABV it's easy to drink a bunch and still be able to support your team without being the obnoxious drunk fan like the Falcons have!  It also comes in a can and I'm pretty sure this is the only Louisiana craft beer being sold at the Dome during the game.

Tin Roof Blonde

The Baton Rouge based Tin Roof Brewing produces the light, crisp Blonde ale which is a great game day brew that comes in a can!  I hear that this one is also a staple at LSU tailgates!

NOLA Brown Ale

NOLA's Brown Ale is a tasty malt bomb with a nice, low ABV which makes it the perfect sessionable brew to have while watching the Saints.  It's also a fantastic choice for tailgaiting as it comes in a can as well.

Remember, these are just my picks.  What local beers will you be drinking while watching the boys in black this season?  What are your favorite tailgate food and beer pairings?


The Beer Buddha

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Beer Review: Bayou Teche Cocodrie

Alright, so I've been drinking while writing this so I'm going to say something here that may be blasphemous to some. Not to the local Louisiana folks but maybe some New Yorkers.  I think Bayou Teche is the Brooklyn Brewery of Louisiana.  But Bayou Teche's beers may be better.

I compare the two because Brooklyn Brewery does a great job with the beer and food pairing thing.  A GREAT job.  Down here in Louisiana, Bayou Teche is doing the same thing but with mostly Cajun cuisine.  And man are they killing it.  In May, when they first released Cocodrie they threw a crawfish boil at Avenue Pub.  Really wish I could have made that one!

In terms of me saying that their beer is better well, that's just strictly my opinion.  You can judge for yourself though.  I do however find it ironic that Bayou Teche is distributed in New York.  Yeah, New York.  New Yorkers want this beer pretty damn bad.  Why is that ironic? Because Bayou Teche is limited pretty much to the Gulf South.  And New York.  WTF?  Ironic. Seriously. Take note Alanis Morissette.

I recently received a sample from the brewery of their Cocodrie Tripel IPA.  No, it's not a TRIPLE IPA.  It's a TRIPEL.  Think Belgian Tripel mixed with IPA.  Kinda like Jean Claude Van Damme with hops.

Coors Van Damme?  WTF?

Here is a description from their website:

Cocodrie is Cajun French for alligator, and this Belgian style ale is stuffed with enough hops to stand up to a sauce-piquant prepared with one. We recklessly crammed IPA-worthy additions of hops (six separate hop additions, plus dry hopping) into an elegant and tastefully brewed Tripel – the spice and fruit flavors from the yeasts mix with the sumptuous hop flavors to create a rich, yet dangerously drinkable IPA. 
Our interpretation of the celebrated Tripel IPA style of beer is crafted with a generous amount of Pilsner malt which insures this ale clocks in at just over 8 percent ABV. Our brewmaster, Gar Hatcher selected strains of French and Belgian yeasts for their complementary fruit and spice flavors which meld with the multiple additions of elegant European hops. Cocodrie is then dry-hopped with French and Styrian hops which provides this beer its fruity, citrus, herbal and spicy hop aroma.

Not sure why (maybe because I am feeling a little tipsy) but this beer screams drink me while enjoying some amazing cheese and french bread.  So I did.  And it was great.  If it wasn't so damn hot outside I would have enjoyed this outside on the patio.  But this is Louisiana.  Way too hot for all that.  At least right now.  And, well, I don't have a patio anyway.

I enjoyed this beer a lot.  Bayou Teche is really just doing it right.  The Louisiana craft beer scene is blowing up and they are proving to be one of the leaders.  They are doing more than just brewing a great beer they are creating a great Louisiana beer culture.

Here is my review:

Brewery:  Bayou Teche Brewing

Beer:  Cocodrie

Style:  Belgian IPA

ABV:  8%

Louisiana Availability:  Summer seasonal.  May-September

Price:  Not sure.  Mine was a sample.

Appearance:  Pours a hazy, golden orange.  Huge off white head.  Great lacing.

Smell:  Right off I get a wonderful hint of ripe fruit, pepper and fresh baked french bread.

Taste:  Hints of stone fruit(apricot?), bready maltiness, piney hops.  Hint of pepper as well.  The 8% really doesn't show which can be bad news for some.

Mouthfeel:  Medium body and medium carbonation.

Overall:  Wow.  Amazing beer.  I could drink this one all day!  But then again I shouldn't at 8%.  Go grab some while you still can.

Score:  4.5 out of 5 Buddhas   photo 4.jpg


The Beer Buddha

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Beer Review: Stone R&R Coconut IPA

I love me some coconut.  Out of all the "nuts" it's my favorite.  Then again is it a nut?  What the hell is a coconut?  Oh, apparently it is a fibrous one-seeded drupe.  Did you ever think you'd actually learn something from this blog?  Me neither.

Anyway, I've been waiting for this bad boy to show up in the New Orleans market and got an email from Tim at Elio's saying that he had just gotten it in on Friday so I headed over after work.

R&R is another collaboration brew from Stone Brewing.  This one is a "celebration of the homebrewing spirit and an example of counter intuitive thoughts coalescing beautifully into something exceptional".  Um.....what?

Here is a description of the beer from Stone Brewing's website:

Originally dreamt up by homebrewers Robert Masterson and Ryan Reschan, who earned themselves the top prize in our 2013 American Homebrewers Association homebrewing contest, this innovative beer marks a refreshing sea change for IPA lovers everywhere. It was brewed with 280 pounds of coconut and an unusual blend of hop varieties, including a few from faraway lands or just brand spankin' new, and is guaranteed to taste like no IPA that's gone before. Prepare yourself for a tropical breeze of a brew that will lull you to a place of tranquil contentment for a little R&R.

For me the idea of this beer evokes the beach.  Ocean, sand, suntan lotion and drinking an ice cold brew while chillin' in a beach chair.  Not sure it delivered on that one.  It was damn good though.  Here is my review:

Brewery:  Stone Brewing

Beer:  R&R Coconut IPA

Style:  IPA

ABV:  7.7%

Louisiana Availability:  Yes.  Retail: Elios and Steins.  Draft:   Not 100% sure where.  Avenue Pub did have it at one time.

Price:  $7.99

Appearance:  Nice orange, hazy pour.  Decent head which disappears quickly but lacing was great.

Smell:  Huge piney hop aroma with hint of tropical fruit (like mango) and citrus (orange).   Not getting the coconut.

Taste:  Nice tropical hoppiness upfront but I am not really getting coconut.  A little on the backend as well as a citrus tartness but for 280 pounds of coconut I want to taste some damn coconut.  I almost want to say the hops overpower any coconut that wants to come through.  That being said this is a damn fine IPA.

Mouthfeel:  Medium body with medium carbonation,

Overall:  I'm not getting a whole lot of coconut here.  I expected a lot more.  It's a coconut IPA not an IPA with a hint of coconut.  Perhaps the hops overpower MY tastebuds and you may get the coconut taste.  Everyone's taste is different!  This is still a great beer though!

Score:  4 out of 5 Buddhas  photo 4buddhas.jpg


The Beer Buddha

Monday, August 5, 2013

Fight Cystic Fibrosis By Drinking Beer(and wine) At The Grape & Grain Fundraiser

Hey Northshore peeps! Cystic Fibrosis sucks and the New Orleans chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is throwing a beer and wine event to help fund research and hopefully one day find a cure for CF.

You will have an opportunity to sample about 20 wines(if that's your thing) and some pretty awesome beers.  Here is a list of the beers at the event:

  • Chafunkta 
  • New Belgium 
  • SweetWater 
  • Covington Brewhouse 
  • Tin Roof 
  • Bayou Teche 
  • Main Grain 
  • Gnarly Barley 

It'll be held August 23rd at the Benedict’s Plantation and all proceeds are to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.  Tickets are $50 for General admission and $100 for VIP.

They will also have some local food to nosh on and a DJ so you can get out there and cut a rug.

Make sure you check this event out!


The Beer Buddha

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Beer Review: 21st Amendment Hell or High Watermelon

A lot of the reviews on the internet tend to slam low ABV, "summery", or fruity brews while heaping tons of praise on uber hoppy or barrel aged monsters. It's almost as if they are afraid of liking sessionable or fruity beers.  It's kind of sad actually.

If you can't tell by all my recent Facebook posts railing against pumpkin beers being released in July I'm one of those beer drinkers who like to drink with the season.  In the summer I prefer light, crisp, clean beers.  In the winter I prefer boozier beers.  And pumpkin beers?  How about in the goddamn fall?  Just saying.  

Recently, a buddy of mine brought down a serious amount of beers from Richmond, VA and I noticed a 21st Amendment Hell or High Watermelon in the bunch.  I was excited as I had yet to try this one. Summer is the perfect time for this one!  I've had Tin Roof's Watermelon brew and I liked it a lot so I was really looking forward to this one.

Here is my review:

Brewery:  21st Amendment

Beer:  Hell or High Watermelon

Style:  Fruit beer

ABV:  4.9%

Louisiana Availability:  No

Price:  ?

Appearance:  Poured a hazy, straw color.  Foamy, white head which disappears quickly.

Smell:  A nice light bready aroma with hints of watermelon Jolly Rancher.  Can detect slight hint of rind as well.

Taste:  As in the nose, the breadiness comes across strongly but the watermelon Jolly Rancher is much more prominent and the rind flavor is HUGE.

Mouthfeel:  Crisp, clean beer.  Moderate carbonation.

Overall:  This beer is a great summer beer.  The sweetness of the watermelon is balanced well with the wheat and the rind bitterness.  Really wish we could get this one here in NOLA. The way it has been going lately with all the beers releasing in town it could be sooner rather than later!

Score:  4 out of 5 Buddhas   photo 4buddhas.jpg


The Beer Buddha

Friday, August 2, 2013

Sweet Ass Beer News From Abita!

Just got some cool news coming from Abita! Check it out!

Changes to Harvest Lineup 2014

Lemon Wheat will be moving into the Harvest Lineup
Abita Strawberry will be available on draft
Satsuma will be discontinued

So that will give us:

Winter- Grapefruit IPA
Spring- Abita Strawberry
Summer- Lemon Wheat
Fall- Pecan

Seasonal Lineup Additions for 2014

Seersucker Summer Pilsner

Abita Select Line Up

Machiatto Espresso Milk Stout- November release
Hopgator- This will be a hopped up version of Andygator. They haven’t decided on the hops yet! Available January through February.
Imperator- This will be a Black IPA and will be available March through April.
Triple Haze- This one did really well for Abita last year and will be available May through July.
Legendary Gator- This one will be an 11% “triple helles dopplebock”. Think Andygator on steroids. Should be available August through September
Naughty Quaker- This will be an oatmeal stout and will be available October through December.

**All these dates for the Select Series are subject to change**

I have to admit I am really looking forward to the Seersucker Summer Pilsner. Louisiana really needs a good, solid lager to drink during the brutal heat. I also made sure(again)to let them know that we would love to see the Abita Selects in bottle form!

The Beer Buddha