Nora McGunnigle, Craft Beer Writer

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The (New Orleans) Beer Writer's Annual Calendar

Beer: The Reason For The Season!

As pumpkin beer season fades and Thanksgiving beer pairing season looms, I was just thinking about how much repetition there is in the kinds of articles beer writers are called upon to produce. In New Orleans, especially there are some sacred cows of seasonality that cannot be messed around with.

January:  What Beer Pairs Best with King Cake; Winter Beers to Drink Now That It's Actually Pretty Cold Outside

February: Best Canned Beer For Mardi Gras; Where to Find Decent Beer on the Parade Route; Romantic Beers; Best Beers Paired With Chocolate or Despair

March: Strategies to Bring Enough Craft Beer to a Crawfish Boil All Season Long Without Going Broke; St. Patrick's Day Shenanigans; Beer to Drink to Forget That Football is Gone for Six Months

April: How To Smuggle Craft Beer Into Jazz Fest Because All the Beer There is Really, Really Terrible; Places in the French Quarter to Get Non-Abita Beer for French Quarter Fest

May: Kicking of Summer Beer Season Because Seriously, It's Hot Now; What Beers Go Best With Maternal Guilt and/or Brunch

June-August: Whatever Dudes, It's Really Freaking Hot Outside, Just Stay Hydrated, OK Buddy? All The Beer Dinners All Year Are Crammed Into The Summer Months Because Local Restaurant Business Is So Slow And They Figure It Can't Hurt To Try

September: Let's Bitch About Pumpkin Beers Because It's Still Really Hot and We're Kind Of Cranky About It; Where to Go For Craft Beer Now That Your Local Has Been Overrun With Returning College Kids; Something Something College Football; WHO DAT

October:  Begrudging Acceptance of Pumpkin Beers; How to Find the Craft Beer That Best Compliments Your Halloween Costume; YES, THE SAINTS WILL WIN THE SUPERBOWL THIS YEAR (If You Drink These Beers During Games)

November: Beers to Complement (or Counteract) Tryptophan; Best Beer To Make the Lions Thanksgiving Game Interesting; Writeups of All The Beer Events that Are Happening All At Once Because It's Nice Outside Finally but The Holidays Are Coming Up

December: Beers to Pair With Gumbo; Winter Beers for Weather That's Not That Cold; How To Match the Perfect Craft Beer to Everyone on Your Holiday Shopping List

And then it starts all over again!

Updated to add: hat tip to Brendon Day aka the Ale Runner, that reminded me of the stories "How Do I Make All The ACBW Events in May and then all the LCBW Events in September"

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Weekly beer roundup

All About Beer posted a roundup of beer writer and brewers, and other beer industry folks' takes on the New Yorker cover above. I'm one of the writers that's quoted, though with company like Sam Calagione, Greg Koch, Ray Daniels, and others, I don't know if anyone will notice! I don't mind though, it's an honor to be included in such a stellar lineup. Check it out though, it's a pretty interesting discussion.

In local news...

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Courtyard's beer list for opening weekend

Got it! Starting in one hour, you will be able to enjoy these fine beers at the Courtyard Brewery:

NOTE: These will rotate throughout the weekend as kegs blow - they won't all be on at the same time. 

Blanche de Bruxelles
Saison Dupont Cuvee Dry Hopping
BFM 225 Sour Saison
Anchor Lager
Stillwater Stateside Saison
Gnarly Barley Brewing Korova Milk Porter
North Coast Old Rasputin
Saint Arnold Divine Reserve 14
New Belgium Le Terroir
Stone IPA
Stone Hibiscusicity
Green Flash Le Freak
Lagunitas IPA
Lagunitas lil Sumpin' Wild
Green Flash Hop Odyssey Cedar Plank
Founders Breakfast Stout

and last (but definitely not least) Great Raft Brewing's At Arms Length IPL.

See ya there!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Catching up, Courtyard Brewery, and Cocktail Week

This lady is dressed up in her finest birthday Fräulein wear (at NOOT), your argument is invalid.

Well, cats and kittens, it's been a crazy few weeks. After Louisiana Craft Brewers Week, I attended the National Beer Wholesalers Association's annual conference and then flew out to Denver to check out GABF. You can read a brief overview of those two events here, and I've got some photos of GABF up on Tumblr here.

Scott Wood at Courtyard Brewery, set to open this week

Friday, September 26, 2014


Gnarly dudes at the Bulldog

I was a bit out of commission yesterday, but as I rest up for New Orleans On Tap tomorrow (I'm one of the judges for the homebrew competition so I need to be there early with a well prepared palate!) I wanted to post the schedule for wrapping up Louisiana Craft Brewer Week this weekend.

Looking forward to all the NOOT related shenanigans as well as the Bayou Teche event at the Avenue Pub. That jambalaya will be delicious, and allegedly will have rabbit in it.

Saturday, September 27

11 a.m.: The Barley Oak holds its annual Louisiana Craft Beer Appreciation Day.

11:30 a.m.: All pitchers of Louisiana-brewed beer are $2 off at the Bulldog Mid City.

1 p.m.: The fifth annual New Orleans On Tap charity benefit for LA-SPCA, at the City Park Fairgrounds. New Orleans on Tap is a family and pet friendly beer festival that features free admission, live music, over 200 local and national beers, food, homebrew competition, games and giveaways. Go to to buy tickets and for more information.

2 p.m.: 40 Arpent visits the Avenue Pub, first tapping a keg of Red Beans & Rice ale with chipotle at 2, and then a keg of Bananas Foster Milk Stout at 5 p.m.

Sunday, September 28

1 p.m.: Dorignac Food Center’s (710 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 504-834-8216; Meet the Brewer with Abita, Bayou Teche, Chafunkta, Covington, Lazy Magnolia, NOLA Brewing, Tin Roof, and Yalobusha. Cheese will be paired with each of the eight breweries' beer, selected and provided by Swiss-American cheese distributors. Free.

3 p.m.: Bayou Teche Barrel Beer at the Avenue Pub, with the brewery’s new barrel series beer, Teche Hombres Belgian Style Cerveza, an agave nectar wheat aged in French white oak sauvignon blanc barrels with Spanish orange peel and aji limon peppers. Returning is this year’s vintage of Miel Sauvage (Acadian honey beer aged in Jack Daniels barrels), served alongside last year’s batch. Coteau Rodaire, the brewery’s French farmhouse ale aged in Sauvignon Blanc barrels and finished with orange peel, and Biere Joi, a Belgian dubbel style aged in whisky barrels with coffee, cacao nibs, and chili arbol, will also be available. The folks from Bayou Teche will be cooking, as usual, serving up a Cajun charcuterie board and jambalaya.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Thursday - Thirsty?

I've been playing around with my camera and have a few cool shots that actually came out well, as well as a couple that are kinda blurry. Once I get access to (and knowledge of) some photo editing software, I'll fix up the blurrier ones.

A bit of a blurry shot of all the brewers at the Irish House

Emilyand Cari taking pictures of the brewers

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

LaCBW - midweek update

The Tin Roof Single Hop Series at the Avenue Pub on Tuesday

Things started ramping up last night- went to Avenue Pub to try the Tin Roof single hop series and its experimental sour beer, then off to the Bulldog Mid City to get my hands on the Chafunkta-Gnarly Barley collaboration, Black Tooth Grin. If you missed the collaboration last night, fear not, it's on at the Avenue Pub tonight at 4pm. Should be a fun night all around, see below for everything that's happening - and don't forget to keep checking on my schedule for the week's events. I've been updating it daily over the past week. 

Tonight's events:

Wednesday, September 24

11 a.m.: Happy hour prices on all Covington Brewhouse beer all day at the Columbia Street Tap Room

4 p.m.: Chafunkta/Gnarly Barley Black Tooth Grin collaboration party at the Avenue Pub.

5 p.m.: Abita cask, Pumpkin & Peach SOS, at the Bulldog Mid City.

5 p.m.: Parish Brewing visits the Avenue Pub. Tapping Export stout and a cask of Coffee Vanilla Export Stout, with bottle pours of Grand Reserve Barleywine and Farmhouse IPA. Parish founder Andrew Godley will arrive at the Pub by 7pm.

5 p.m.: Gordon Biersch (200 Poydras St., 504-552-2739;
hosts its monthly "Stammich" during which professional and home brewers are welcome to share what they're working on, and try GBB brewer Daniel Reynolds' "secret stash" of what he's working on. Not just limited to brewers - anyone who loves drinking and discussing beer is welcome to join!

6 p.m.: Bayou Teche Brewer’s Night, feat. Evolve Juicery at Mellow Mushroom Lafayette, featuring four Bayou Teche beers including a cask infused with fresh pineapple, orange & rosemary juice provided by Lafayette locals, Evolve: an artisan juicery.

6 p.m.: Louisiana Craft Beer Brewers Bash hosted by Bite & Booze’s Jay Ducote held at the Irish House (1432 St Charles Ave., 504-595-6755; The brewery owners, brewmasters, and representatives of the nine Louisiana breweries available in New Orleans will be under one roof to mingle with guests, who will to taste two beers from each brewery served with food provided by the Irish House. Tickets and more information are available here:

7 p.m.: The Barley Oak features New Orleans brewery, NOLA Brewing with a cask of barrel aged Galaxy dry-hopped Hurricane Saison.

7 p.m.: Lager’s International Ale House (3501 Veterans Memorial Blvd., 504-887-9923; hosting Covington Brewhouse, featuring Kolsch and Fest Bier.

10 p.m.: Louisiana Craft Beer Brewers Bash After Party at the Bulldog Uptown; featuring Tin Roof, Gnarly Barley, Bayou Teche, and Parish Brewing. There will be a specialty stout cask from Parish Brewing, a specialty Blonde keg from Tin Roof, and Miel Savage from Bayou Teche.