Nora McGunnigle, Craft Beer Writer

Thursday, May 7, 2015

American Craft Beer Week is a-comin'!



So, I've finished up my annual schedule of events for the Gambit. Hats off to all the breweries, bars, and distributors for getting all the requested info in to me in a timely manner - it gets easier every year!

Here's my article and schedule in the Gambit - and I'll be keeping an updated version on this website, as I have done for the past few years.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Oskar Blues is coming to town

Soul Rebels at Oskar Blues Grill & Brew in Colorado

Hey y'all - sorry to drop a press release on you and run, but I'm jammed with deadlines and the Brooklyn Mash happening this week. But the awesome thing is, can pioneer and Colorado brewery Oskar Blues is hitting town in April!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

NOLA Brewing Funk Series bottles

Stopped by NOLA Brewing today to do some planning for the Brooklyn Mash panel discussion, The State of Craft Beer, that I'm introducing (check out my bio photo here, it's hilarious yet awesome.)

While there, I saw all four new bomber bottles for the NOLA Funk series for Lowerline, Sauvage, Arabella, and Piety.

[Update 3/12: My bad! The bottles at the brewery are the prototypes, and have not been filled yet. The first big batch of beer from the new sour facility, Lowerline, will be available in about 3-4 weeks. That will be followed by Sauvage, Piety, then Arabella. All should be out in bottles in the next few months. Sorry, there's still a little while to wait.]

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Mardi Gras!



So, Mardi Gras has come and gone. It was a whirlwind of awesome, as usual. Definitely some somber notes, but that's New Orleans life, partying through the pain.

I did a fun interview with Polly Watts about how things are at the Avenue Pub during Mardi Gras. (spoiler: pretty crazy).

And in Gambit news, I ran down a bunch of beers that were new in cans this Carnival, announced the new Bayou Teche-Dat Dog beer collaboration, and checked in to see how everything was going at the Snooty Cooter.

Otherwise, things are settling down after ALL THE SHENANIGANS that Carnival brings.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

RateBeer.com's Top 100 Breweries In the World

Beers we can get here, hooray!

Last week, a new best of list came out from RateBeer.com. While of course user rated boards have their own issues, I thought this was a pretty solid list in general. Polly Watts at the Avenue Pub also pointed out that the list was based on reviews only in 2014, so it could be considered more a "what's hot" list, which might explain the few head scratching inclusions (no comment) and exclusions (Cantillon!!!!!!!!)

But all in all, pretty good list. And like a third of it is available here, which is very cool, especially considering how sparse the selection was when I moved down here in 2010.

So, I wrote my Gambit column on it, analyzing the trend a little, but I also wanted to post the list of all the stuff that New Orleans gets, either regularly or occasionally. Some of these you'll only see at the Avenue Pub and Stein's a couple times a year, but we get them.

Here's the New Orleans/Southeast LA availability of the RateBeer.com list:

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Pre Holiday Catching Up!

A profile of me and my story in this month's Beer Advocate

Man, I have not updated my blog with my new articles and stuff for ages. Let's fix that, shall we?

First of all, just a reminder that I've started a Tumblr page, mostly to house links of my stories, but also to reblog stuff I think is cute/funny/interesting and post photos. If you Tumbl, check it out!

Beer Advocate's artistic imaging of Hattiesburg

The opening page of my Beer Advocate story on Hattiesburg


I have two big stories out this past month. One is a profile of Hattiesburg Mississippi as a "Beer Destination" for Beer Advocate Magazine, and the other is an analysis of the impact of craft beer in five cities in the five states that surround the Gulf here: Houston, New Orleans, Hattiesburg, Birmingham, and the Tampa Bay area. This was really interesting to write and, I hope, interesting to read.




My Gambit pieces this past month or so have been pretty varied:




I wrote two pieces for Alcohol Professor on my experiences at the NBWA conference and at GABF.

Man, that's a lot of catching up. I do try to post to my blog, but it often becomes a back burner thing - if you're interested in more up to the minute updates, definitely check out my Tumblr, Twitter (@noradeirdre), and Facebook pages.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Meet the next generation of local brewers: Grant Capone of Laughing Troll



New Orleans homebrewer Grant Capone has been dreaming about opening a brewery since 2011, when he received a Mr. Beer homebrew brewing kit from his wife, Megan. “I brewed two small batches and I was hooked.” After talking to several local brewers and homebrewers, Capone has developed a business plan for a three barrel system brewery and is actively searching for investors and a location. His hope is that the relative small size of the brewhouse will minimize startup costs while still leaving room for future growth.

The name of the brewery is Laughing Troll. Capone says that the name of the brewery as well as his beers - are drawn from pop culture, gaming, and other online sources. Blue Waffle Lemon Party (which I would recommend you NOT google, because what is seen cannot be unseen) is a wheat beer with blueberries and lemon rind, and his award-winning Demaciale is a Belgian dubbel. “I want the beer to be more than something to drink. I want to create an experience and connection through the names of my beers.”

“Nothing’s more relatable than humor,” Capone says. “Everyone likes to laugh. And that’s one way I plan to put my personality into the brewery.”

The Demaciale Belgian dubbel took the third place trophy at the recent BJCP-judged homebrew competition at the annual LASPCA fundraiser, New Orleans On Tap. Although his beer was honored, his perfectionist tendencies are already working to make the beer better by increasing its strength and spice characteristics.

Capone hopes to open in New Orleans, but the city’s red tape and regulations are discouraging to potential small business owners like Capone, who says that everyone he’s spoken to has advised him not to even try to open in Orleans Parish. He hopes that the city will start making the process for opening small local breweries easier, although he’s looking at locations like Elmwood as well. But Capone will try to work with the city at least, saying, “if people like me don’t try, then nothing will ever change.”

Keep an eye on Laughing Troll as Capone continues to pursue financing and get more word of mouth and marketing out in the scene by following Laughing Troll on Facebook.