Tuesday, September 23, 2014

6 pack of Questions with Mudbug Brewing's Leith Adams

1) What was your job before Mudbug? What inspired you to brew beer instead? 

I was a Biology instructor at Nicholls State University. I was a home brewer for about 10 years, and the feedback I was getting from the beer I brewed was when a friend, now business partner, Brance Lloyd, and I decided to start getting serious about this. We searched for the right investor for almost 2 years before we found him, Peter Liechty. The last 2 years have been us hammering out the details to bring the best brewing facility we could to Thibodaux.

 2) What do you want people to think of Mudbug Brewery as they taste your beer? 

Our main goal has always been to bring as much of Cajun culture to the local beer scene as we can. Whether it's food, drink, local legend, or just a unique word to describe something, there's so much here, culturally, we want to bridge the gap. We joke about being the 'Coonass' brewery of Louisiana. Lafayette is Acadian, New Orleans is Creole, our area is a mix of everything in between, and we embrace it! THAT is what we want to convey in our beers.

 3) What inspired King Cake Ale? Lot’s of haters out there for this beer. What do you say them?

 King Cake Ale  actually started as French Toast Ale. It's got cinnamon, vanilla, bread flavor from the grain, and lactose for some sweetness, everything you have in pain perdu (French toast). Once people started tasting it, more and more people started telling us it tasted like King Cake, so we ran with that. It's worked out pretty well. Much more identifiable. As for haters, let them hate. For every hater, there's going to be 1000 people that love it. Is it for everybody, not at all, but is it one of the most unique beers you will ever taste, quite possibly!

4) Brewing and music go hand in hand. What music are you listening to while brewing? 

Other than some Nonc Nu and Da Wild Matous (shameless self promotion) I mostly listen to metal, but I do have a wide array of musical taste. One band I found to very brewing friendly...They Might Be Giants!

5) Where do you see the Louisiana craft beer scene in 5 years? 

At least doubled in size and thriving! The craft beer culture down here is finally picking up. We are getting into it at a very exciting time, and hope to have a major impact on opening people's eyes to the wonder that is craft beer!

6) What are your favorite Louisiana brewed beers right now? 

The thing that sucks about being in Thibodaux is it's not a target for much of the specialty beers from local breweries. We still don't have Parish out here (although I've heard that should be changing soon)! Chafunkta Kingfish is my new go to! 40 Arpent Milk Stout, when I can find it locally at places like Which Craft? in Houma. Two of the latest local beers I was impressed with were Rebirth Pale Ale and Lowerline from NOLA! Rebirth has a great hop profile, and I like Lowerline because I have been recently delving into the complexity of sours because I plan on bringing some funk to the Louisiana beer scene, when I finally get the chance!


The Beer Buddha


Nonc Nu & da Wild Matous from Art of the Bayou on Vimeo.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Great Raft Brewing Coming to New Orleans in November

Great Raft Brewing Expands Distribution to New Orleans
- Select drafts, seasonals available in November
Crescent Crown Distributing selected as distributor


SHREVEPORT, La. -- Nearing a year in operation and with expectation-breaking sales, Great Raft Brewing, Shreveport’s first craft brewery and tasting room, will introduce its products to New Orleans starting in November. The distribution partnership with Crescent Crown Distributing means New Orleans’ craft beer enthusiasts can soon enjoy Great Raft’s flagship beers.

"We are excited to introduce our beers to new consumers in the southern part of our great state – we produced more than 2,000 barrels of beer in our first 11 months, and think New Orleans will enjoy our beer just as much as Shreveport has,” said co-founder and president Andrew Nations. ”We are proud to make beer in Louisiana, for Louisiana, and we are eager to finally share our beers with South Louisiana.”

 Reasonably Corrupt™ black lager, Southern Drawl™ pale lager and Commotion™ pale ale, Great Raft’s original, flagship beers, will be available on tap throughout the New Orleans market in early November. Seasonal and small-batch offerings will be selectively available as well.

 As a sneak peek, Great Raft Brewing will be pouring its beer at New Orleans on Tap on Sat., Sept. 27.

 Nations said that though the distribution plan does not initially include Baton Rouge or Northshore, Great Raft Brewing hopes to expand into those markets later in 2015.

 Founded by Shreveport natives Andrew and Lindsay Nations, Great Raft Brewing began operations in October 2013. For more information about Great Raft Brewing’s beers, expansion plans and more, please visit www.greatraftbrewing.com.

 ### About Great Raft Brewing: Great Raft Brewing is a Shreveport, Louisiana based craft brewery dedicated to making creative, authentic beer and helping to build a great beer culture within communities it serves. Co-founders Andrew and Lindsay Nations are Shreveport natives with a passion for beer. Born from their desire to bring exciting, flavorful, fresh craft beer to their hometown, Great Raft Brewing is bringing the craft brewing tradition to Northern Louisiana.

Information about Great Raft Brewing can be found at www.greatraftbrewing.com. Learn more on Twitter https://twitter.com/GreatRaftBeer and Facebook www.facebook.com/greatraftbrewing.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Beer Review: Traveler Beer Company Jack-O Traveler Shandy

I’m not that big on the shandy but I am big on pumpkin beers.  I look forward to fall because of pumpkin everything.  Yeah I know.  Whatever.

Anyway, recently reps from The Brooklyn Brothers reached out to me so they can send me a sample of Traveler Beer Company’s new and limited Jack-o Pumpkin Shandy.  Hell, it’s free and pumpkin so of course I said yes.  I’m never going to turn down free beer.

When my package arrived I didn't think much of it and threw the beer in the fridge so I could do my job and review it for you faithful readers.

Let me preface my review with a disclaimer.  I want my pumpkin beers to taste like pumpkin pie.  I know some of you don’t and that’s cool but that’s what I look forward to in my pumpkin beers.  And holy shit did this one pumpkin pie the shit out of their pumpkin beer.  Here is my review:

Brewery:  Traveler Beer Company

Beer:  Jack-O Traveler Shandy

Style: Pumpkin beer

ABV: 4.40%

Louisiana Availability:  Yes.  Limited seasonal.

Appearance: Pours a lightly hazy dark orange with a nice foamy, white head.

Smell: Strong aroma of pumpkin pie spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice) as well as slight hints of a  lemon citrus.

Taste: You ever tasted pumpkin out of the can?  Yeah. Tastes just like that but with all the pie spices mixed in- cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice all there.  There is a lemon citrus bite that adds to it though.

Mouthfeel: Mice medium body with medium carbonation.

Overall: This is one of the best pumpkin beers I have had.  It has all the pumpkin pie taste that I look forward to in a pumpkin beer with some sort of added….something.  Not sure what it is.  It’s refreshing.  Maybe the whole shandy aspect is adding that.  Not sure. Go grab some though! 

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


The Beer Buddha

Thursday, September 4, 2014

6 pack of Questions with Wayward Owl Brewing's Justin Boswell

1) So you’ve decided to move from the Seattle area where there is an amazing craft beer scene to New Orleans which is more of an emerging one.  What made you do that? 

Well, my wife and I have been watching the scene and even more importantly the laws for breweries in Louisiana and trying to determine when the best time to make the move would be. Once the laws concerning breweries having tasting rooms changed that was a huge encouragement for us to start considering the move back to Louisiana. That particular facet of the industry(tasting rooms) just allows you to connect so much more intimately and directly with all the craft beer lovers out there and helps to push the bottom line for startups like ours into a business model that can actually sustain you during ups and downs within the craft beer market. Without that change I cannot say we would have ever considered re-locating home to do this. I love making beer and I want to share what I have to offer with the best people in the country, the people of Louisiana. I mean with the diversity of amazing food here, there has to be room for more amazing beer to go along with it. I have been told that I have a knack for bringing people together over a well crafted brew and I am excited to try my best to do my part within the awesome brotherhood of brewers that Louisiana has to offer.

2) Why Wayward Owl?

This is a question with a few different answers. The first is that the Boswell family crest from Scotland is actually an owl and we wanted to use that as our totem for the company. The second and more talked about is this.....When I worked for Black Raven Brewing the "Kraven T. Raven" puppet that we used for events was left in my wife's car. She decided after about a week to kid-nap it and send a ransom note to the brewery. After a bit of research she found out that the owl is the natural predator of the raven and in mythology there are a lot of stories with friction between the two. So she created "Trevor H. Owleander" and sent a ransom note and video to the brewery demanding their IPA as ransom for the raven and establishing himself as Kraven's arch nemesis. After a while the raven escaped because ravens are crafty like that and made friends with the owl over a bottle of Wisdom Seeker double IPA. We thought that by calling our brewery Wayward Owl we would be paying a bit of homage to our roots and the folks who gave me my brewing start. It's mostly a tip of the hat to where I got my start. The Wayward part of things is attributed to my love for wild beers, yeast and the unpredictability that we as brewers thrive on. You won't ever be able to pin down what we might do next cause we are some Wayward Owls. You can actually go on facebook and find pages for both Kraven and Trevor, if you are interested in that type of shenanigan.

3) What kind of beers are you looking to brew?  What will be your flagship brews?  Any special releases?

I intend on brewing beers I like. I mean whats the point of brewing if I don't want to drink the beer I brew? I will brew a few for the entry level craft beer drinker but based on what i've learned being back the palate of beer drinkers here is getting much more diverse than what I thought. I think this will give me the opportunity to get some wild Brett beers and sours out there in time. Those types of beers take a lot of time before they are ready so don't expect those out of the gate. Concerning flagship beers, I would like to keep the mantra of my previous employer in that respect. We aren't really in this to make flagship beers but we would love to eventually establish ourself as a flagship brewery. That being said our year round offerings will include a filtered wheat, session IPA, standard IPA, nitro stout, a scotch ale and a common. Seasonally we will have a double IPA, saison, and a few belgian style beers. We will also offer some wild, barrel aged and sour ales annually.........eventually. I want to do it all!

4) Cans or bottles? Both?

We will be offering both. Some year round offerings will be canned and our more delicate barrel, wild, and sour ales will be bottled.

5) I feel the New Orleans craft beer scene is about to explode.  We currently have one in the city.  Counting you we are about to have 5. ( I say 5 because I hear another Pacific Northwesterner originally from NOLA is coming back to start a brewery as well.) What do you see for the future of brewing in the city?

I think the future is bright if we can all work together, which believe me we are. I hear outsiders and some larger breweries see this as a battlefield but i'm coming from a market with over 200 local breweries and the people in that market only consume a fraction of the beer that the beer lovers in Louisiana do. There is room for everyone. I think the key for me is to get my boots on the ground and start connecting with people more. We should show them that the local brewers are here, in their neighborhood. We are here with our families making something that we love for them to enjoy and that they love to support because we all support the community, and create jobs in the local economy. I think as beer laws here start to catch up with the rest of the country then we will all be able to take that approach more easily and give back to our communities more and more. That being said I am very encouraged by what the city council, state reps, and the distributors are doing to help push things forward. It's very positive and it's moving forward in the right direction. Let's face it soon we will be the southern brewing capital again. Let's do it. SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL NEIGHBORHOOD BREWERY!!

6) What styles of beer are your favorite?  Favorite Louisiana beer?

That is a freaking hard question. I will say i lean towards hoppy beers and barrel aged beers. I go back and forth on favorite Louisiana beer but right now i'd say Gnarly Barley Radical Rye & Catahoula Common are at the top of my list. I have been drinking a lot of both of those. Ask me next week and I may give you a different answer.