Sunday, December 26, 2010

Please note.

The Goose Island Matilda (Belgian Strong Style Pale Ale brewed with Brettnomyces) is really, really, really awesome. Not really brett-y, the sourness/funk is subtle and incredibly balanced and delicious. Well done!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Ohio beerings

So, yay, Ohio beer that I can't get in Louisiana! Acquired: Great Lakes Commodore Perry IPA, Chatoe Rogue First Growth Wet Hop Ale, Goose Island Winter Mild, Dogfish Head Raison d'Etre, and a few Goose Island Reserve Ales: Sofie, Matilda, and Pere Jacques.

Have not busted into the Goose Island Matilda yet, but here are some quick thoughts on the ones that were sampled:

Great Lakes Commodore Perry IPA: a solid, tasty IPA. Hoppy with citrus notes. Very drinkable and a beer I almost always reach for when I come visiting this part of the world. Apparently Great Lakes makes a small batch of a Christmas Ale that is supposed to be amazing, but we couldn't find it. Sad! But we had others to drink so sadness was tempered.

Dogfish Head Raison d'Etre: I was feeling nostalgic for this while watching Brewmasters (though I would have been more psyched to see Indian Brown Ale). A Belgian Strong Dark Ale. Dried fruit aromas and sweetness on the tongue, balanced by a nice hoppy bitterness. It's a nice beer to curl up with on a wintry evening. At 8% ABV, it'll warm ya.

Goose Island Mild Winter: as I am a fan of the New Orleans-style mild winters, this beer delivered on a super smooth and generally awesome beer. It's a rye beer, so... YAY, of course. Dark but not heavy, it is just a great tasting beer that's easy to drink and balanced and as delightful as 70 degree days in December.

Chatoe Rogue First Growth Wet Hop Ale: Chatoe Rogue is Rogue Brewing's label for the beers they brew with hops and grains they themselves grow and harvest. As Tom mentioned, it's interesting to see breweries getting all "terroir-y" since beer has not really been thought in those terms before. The Wet Hop Ale was brewed with Freedom, Revolution, Independence, Rebel, and Liberty Hops. (Tom again: "are the Rogue folks in the Tea Party?" Literally Going Rogue, maybe?) Quite a nice beer, but didn't really deliver on the Wet Hop freshness in aroma and taste that the name promised. Maybe we got it late?

Goose Island bomber #1: Pere Jacques. A straight up, no joke Abby style ale. Very smooth, very drinkable, my sister freaking loved it. I drank it much quicker than I meant to. Oops!

Goose Island Bomber #2: Sofie. Wow, this was like a breath of fresh air from all the darker beers we had going. Poured as golden as the sun; this beer is aged with orange peel in wine barrels and it is phenomenal. It's fermented by wild yeast, so it's slightly funky but subtly so. It's got a real fruit finish at the end, my brother in law remarked that it reminded him of pineapple. I definitely got a fruitness, but I tasted more citrus (orange, lemon) than tropical. It was so good. I would like to ship some home now please. It's a Belgian Farmhouse style, clocking in at 6.5%.

So, we're definitely taking advantage of being in a different beer distribution region of the country, and enjoying it greatly. Not to cast aspersions on beer back home; the night before we left we had an amazing NOLA Brewing Hopitoulous Ale on cask, dryhopped with Citra and Nelson Sauvin (a New Zealand hop.) Man, that was so good- the hops were beautiful in both the aroma and the taste, and the beer just went down so smooth. The Avenue was also pouring 4 oz. tastes of Sam Adams Infinium and Brookyn Brewing Black Ops. They also had a few Belgian Christmas ales still on and we tried them both: Slaapmutkse Kermutske Christmas Nightcap and the Saint-Germain Page 24 Réserve Hildegarde Ambrée, a Biere de Garde. Both amazing. New Orleans sent us off to Ohio with a bang, and we will always remember, "there's no place like home."

But it can be fun to visit and try new beers!

Merry Christmas, y'all!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

You ever think...

You ever think, "YAY BEER!!!" because it makes you so goddamn happy?

Yes, often under the influence of beer, but who cares?

Beer had made me friends that I never would have thought I'd have. Beer is delicious. Beer is basically, as Ben Franklin says (??), proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. (Tom the atheist likes to say instead that "beer is proof that SCIENCE WORKS, BITCHES!")

Beer was a huge part of my wedding and of many excellent adventures I've had with my best friend FOR LIFE.

YAY YAY YAY FUCKING YAY BEER!

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year and all that stuff, but mostly, Give Thanks to Beer!

Bitches!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Beer tasting


Last night we hosted a beer tasting for a few friends at our house. We got a spread of cheese from St. James Cheese Company- a Mrs. Applebys Cheshire, a Lincolnshire Poacher, and a Lagiole from France. Also a wild boar salami and a goose, duck, and chicken pate.

Now, the beer! We started with a mellow Mana Wheat Ale from Maui Brewing Company - a Hefeweizen brewed with Maui Gold Pineapple. I actually didn't know about the pineapple until I just looked at the can right now. I think the fruity characteristics that are often present in Hefeweizens really lent itself to the inclusion of pineapple to a very smooth and delicious result.

Next up was a Goose Island special series beer called Fleur. It's a Belgian Style ale with steeped hibiscus flowers. Excellent. Goose Island produces some seriously high quality beers, and I was grateful to have the opportunity to try this one. Became more complex and flavorful as it warmed. Hibiscus seems to be somewhat of a trend these days- I recently tried a Canebreak ale brewed with hibiscus by Parish Brewing. Hibiscus is floral but bitter, an interesting comparison to similar characteristics of hops. It's not sweet or overly flowery- I think it's an interesting ingredient and I look forward to trying other examples of it.

Samuel Smith's Yorkshire Stingo was next- an aged English Strong Ale. This beer was amazing. Incredibly complex flavors- the bottle lists "fruit, raisin, treacle toffee, Christmas pudding, and slightly oaky flavours." Yes. And then some. Poured deep and dark, aroma was heavenly, and the taste was amazing. At 8% alcohol, this is pretty strong for an English beer, which is why it's labeled a strong ale, I suppose. Very warming and happy making for a December evening.

North Coast Brewing Twentieth Anniversary Ale: this was kind of a weird one. 12.5% alcohol, and 67% ale brewed with agave nectar aged in oak barrels, blended with 33% ale brewed with agave nectar. Poured a a straw yellow color, and had a sweetness, with vanilla and coconut notes. I was expecting more from North Coast, and this was a bit of a disappointment.

Next up was another highlight. Boulevard Brewing's Smokestack Series Special Limited Release Rye-on-Rye Ale. Now, I love rye beers more than almost any other style of beer, so I was looking forward to this one the most. Damn, it was good. Rye imparts a spicy, earthy flavor that I just love, and this beer was brewed with 2 kinds of malted rye as well as 3 different kinds of hops (Perle, Magnum, and Saphir.) It was also aged in Templeton Rye casks, which added another layer of rye flavor. Dan, who brought this beer (as well as the Fleur and Avery Hogshead Barleywine), also brought a bottle of the Templeton Rye Whiskey, which we sipped alongside the Rye on Rye Ale. We didn't actually detect the flavors of the whiskey in the beer, but I do think there was a subtle addition of sweet spiciness to the grain bill.

RYE BEER ROCKS THE HARDEST!

OK, after that was a bottle that Jeremy brought: Victory's Dark Intrigue. This is their Storm King Imperial Stout aged in Kentucky bourbon casks. Smooooooooth. Super flavorful and really drinkable. Interesting trying it after the rye casked ale, the subtle differences from the bourbon cask aging was pretty cool. 'Course, the two different styles of beer involved was much less subtle! I enjoyed it greatly.

Next was a clunker and major disappointment: Drie Fonteinen Schaerbeekse Kriek. It must have gone off because the aroma was gawd-awful. The reviews for this beers were stellar, and I was looking forward to trying it. But the aroma was pure cat poop. Seriously, gross. Tasted OK but was almost impossible to get over the smell. Would love to try it again to see if it was possible to enjoy a better bottle. Yikes!

We tried to erase the memory of it with a lovely fruity Raspberry Tart by the New Glarus Brewing Company. Not very beer tasting, but still nice to drink. Very light and delicious.

The last beer we opened before our guests left was Avery Brewing Company's Hog Heaven Barleywine-Style Ale. It was pretty good- a hoppiness that seems to have mellowed some, though it does go down a bit hot.

After everyone left, Tom and I shared a couple more small bottles. Big Swell IPA from Maui Brewing, New Glarus's Unplugged Berliner Weiss, and Maui Brewing's CoCoNut PorTeR. The IPA had a wonderful balanced hoppiness, the Berliner Weiss was crisp and refreshing, and the Porter was a wonderful way to end our evening.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Friday night shenanigans

Enjoyed a lovely evening at The Avenue Pub, as is par for the course on Friday nights with the Beer Advocate gang, including the Beer Buddha. One of the regulars had some visitors from out of town, his daughter and her boyfriend who both work for New Belgium Brewing. Very cool to babble on about beer drunkenly to new people! Who work in the beer business! And don't know me, so they listen!



Anyway, even better, they brought presents. Three beers from their Lips of Faith series: Imperial Berliner Weisse, Belgo IPA, and Sahti Ale. New Belgium is not available in either New England or Louisiana so this was a real treat. I have enjoyed their flagship beer, Fat Tire, while in San Francisco, but it's not something I've had very often.

I love a Berliner Weisse, and this was a nice one. Nice Brett and lactic sour flavors, but I thought it was a nice balanced beer, suitable as a sour beer intro, but flavorful enough for sour beer lovers to enjoy. The Belgo IPA was just lovely. I would have loved to have a bottle to myself to savor. I only had a few sips, but I was glad to have them! The IPA was very hoppy but not that sticky hop bomb style. It was fragrant, floral, and very drinkable. Reading the tasting notes I think that it's the fact that they used a Trappist yeast strain that softened the bitterness and astringency of the hops, leaving and amplifying the floral and citrus notes. NOM NOM NOM.

The third New Belgium that I tried was the Sahti which is described on the website thusly: "Inspired by Finnish Sahti, a traditional rye ale brewed with juniper, our Sahti Ale is a hazy amber ale with a sturdy mouthfeel and a crisp and lively finnish. Brewed with Pale, Crystal, rye malts and whole oats, our version is bittered with Cascade and finished with Cascade and Amarillo hops. Juniper boughs are added to the mash and juniper berries, orange and lemon peel are pitched in the whirlpool creating a festive olfactory of citrus and juniper notes." Sounds awesome, but I couldn't taste any of it- my palate had been more or less blown out by the previous tastings as well as the several full beers I had. Ooh, including a really nice Belgian pale ale, de La Senne Taras Boulba. They also had Turbodog on cask aged in bourbon barrels.

(photo credit: Jeremy Beerbuddha Labadie)

Also around for tasting was Schlafly (out of St. Louis) Tripel and Quadrupel. The Tripel went down a little hot, and wasn't very nuanced. The Quad was pretty nice though. Also floating around was Cigar City Brewing, which I *think* was a Humidor series IPA, quite possibly this one. Oh man, and toward the end a Lagunitas beer was floating around, I think it was the Little Sumpin' Wild. I couldn't tell you how they were, my critical tasting skills had left the building by that time. I was also busy telling the dude from New Belgium that he was a young pup and asking the guy from St. Arnolds brewery if he was the guy from Avery. Oh, and asking for a sip of his beer. So, you know, making friends and influencing people as usual. Drunkenly.

Good times.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

December 5 is special because...

It's the anniversary of the passage of the 21st Amendment, which repealed the Prohibition of alcohol (aka the 18th Amendment)

Happy Repeal Day!

Ken!

Ken, I got hammered on Friday night and lost your card. Can you email me at nora.deirdre@gmail.com?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

St. Arnold beers



I believe that St. Arnold's is a new product in the New Orleans market. We won a mix six pack for our 2nd place showing in the Avenue Pub's pub quiz the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, with 2 bottles of Texas Wheat, 2 bottles of Elissa IPA, and 2 bottles of Brown Ale.

The Texas Wheat pours a bright golden straw color, with an appropriate cloudiness from the wheat. It doesn't taste very wheat-y, though that's fairly typical of American wheat ales, in my experience. It's light in body and the yeast made me think of a German ale, so I was pleased with my palate to read afterward in the tasting notes that the beer was originally a Kristall Weizen and it's brewed with a Kolsch yeast. There's a hop bitterness, but there's not a significant hop flavor profile.

In contrast, the Alyssa IPA is pretty heavy on the hops. I dunno why it's called Alyssa. Wait, to the St. Arnold's tasting notes! (They are super detailed.)

This beer is named after ELISSA, a tall ship now moored in Galveston. Ships like ELISSA were used in transporting IPAs to India.

Saint Arnold Brewing Company donates a portion of the proceeds of this beer to the Galveston Historical District for preservation of this ship.


How educational! Thanks, St. Arnold's Brewing!

I get the citrus Cascade big time in the aroma. It's less noticeable in the taste - there is a nice hop bitterness there, but it doesn't overwhelm your palate. There's a strong malt profile that balances out the hops. Dry finish. Very drinkable.

Brown ale: Well, it's not *brown* for one thing. It's the same color as the IPA. It's um, malty. No real roastiness or sweetness, though. there's a bitterness but not a real hoppiness. High carbonation. I don't know what's up with this beer- maybe it's a bad batch or a bottling accident? Like maybe a different beer than it is labeled? It was given away, after all- there might be a reason.

I don't know that I'd buy any of these beers. The IPA was pretty good, but there are other IPAs that are just as good if not better, in that same balanced IPA style.

I really loved going back to the Saint Arnold website and reading their tasting notes and writeups. These people obviously love beer and are proud of the beers they make, and that makes me happy. I just wish I liked the beer as much as their website.

Monday, November 29, 2010

I love this more than words can say

Where To Drink In New Orleans



(Click to see a readable version.)
All rights reserved by ianhoch

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Two thoughts:

1) tried the Abita Christmas Ale on draft while having dinner at Mandina's and it was actually pretty good! I had fears of it being as horrible as Harpoon's Winter Warmer, but it was actually pretty dry and didn't have that malty sweetness that infiltrates a lot of their brews (most recently and disappointingly, the Abita Select Rye Pale Ale.) It had a decent spicy/bitterness going on. I liked it!

2) AM I SERIOUSLY WATCHING PEOPLE SPIT UP REGURGITATED CORN ON MY TELEVISION? Come ON, Calagione! Spitting and regurgitating- maybe later I'll head over to Bourbon Street to watch tourists puke and horses crap. Seriously? In case this piques your interest, this is the TV show I'm watching- Brew Masters. Also, if this piques your interest, gross.

Not a good day to be a lady working at Dogfish Head, people.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary Brewers Reserve


We picked up the newest Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary Brewers Reserve- an Oak Aged Ale. It's a blend of their Oak-aged Bigfoot Barleywine, their Celebration Ale, and the flagship Pale Ale. Then they dryhop the hell out of it!



Clocking in at 9.2% ABV, I got a heavily hopped initial taste of the barleywine - a whopper of a boozy taste up front, but smooth rather than raw or hot.

Strong hop aroma, courtesy of the dry hopping, and there is a pronounced spicy hop flavor, which battles the barleywine bully. As it warms, the woody vanilla flavors courtesy of the oak aging of the Bigfoot becomes more pronounced. I didn't get the citrus or floral hop notes that other reviewers describe, but once I was able to differentiate the hop spiciness and the boozy oak-y spiciness, I was able to match the hop aroma in the nose with the intense hoppiness of the taste.

An interesting beer- it's hoppy as hell but somehow that was camouflaged by the woodsy tones and barleywine booziness so it didn't drink like a hoppy beer. Even though it was bitter. And spicy. And the sweetness from the malt.



It poured a ruby-amber color with significant foamy head and sticky lacing stayed on the glass taunting me with the amount of beer I used to have, but no longer. Is in mah belly!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Post Thanksgiving Day

Finally got off the couch today and headed over to the Avenue Pub for Firkin Friday: Parish Brewing Company's Canebrake cask with Hibiscus. Tasty! Would have enjoyed more than the one except I needed more Anchor '08 and '09.

In the holiday spirit, I wanted to link to a fellow beer blogger's take on Thanksgiving beer pairing - it perfectly encapsulates my own thoughts on the craziness of Thanksgiving Day food and the accompanying boozing.

Take it away, Beer Buddha!

(Bake him away, toys!)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Avenue Pub events

This being a holiday week, we have been able to justify more getting out and drinking beer than we usually do (and can) during the regular 5 day work week. Whoo!

Last night, we went to the Avenue Pub's Pub Quiz, and came in 2nd! Which, sure, there were only like 8 teams, but still, we were pleased with our showing. We won a mix six pack of a beer I hadn't heard of before- St. Arnold's and 2 lovely belgian tulip glasses, which, shamefully enough, we'd been lacking in our beer glass collection. (We do have one of these, though!)

We had a great time- it was just the two of us on our team, and we actually didn't know anyone else there except for Polly. But that was fine, sometimes it's just nice to relax. I drank a Unibroue Trois Pistoles, a Brooklyn EIPA, a 10-oz of Brooklyn Chocolate Stout, and then downstairs, the '08 (10 oz) and '09 (4 oz) He'Brew Jewbilation. Somehow this got me completely hammered. Well, I had a beer at home before heading out, but that doesn't count, right?

The categories of the quiz were: the 80s (with the obligatory Michael Dukakis question), Musicals, Computers, Comic Strips, Beer, (all of which we did super on) and also: Mexico. I am ashamed to say our knowledge of our neighbors to the south was patchy at best. The half time question (Name the top 5 MLB player producing states per capita) and the Final Jeopardy question (rank 5 various cities in order of population) were not kind to us either. Still though- fun, free beer (our prize), and mostly not feeling like an idiot!

Hilariously, many pub quiz dudes are annoyed about the beer round which favors us beer geeks and would like it to come to an end.

Tonight, Polly and Eileen served up a tasting that was right up my alley- Christmas/Holiday beers!! They had not one, not two, but THREE years of Anchor Christmas Ale served in a vertical tasting. The 2008 vintage was very smooth- had a very bright fruity taste. The 2009 was complex and nuanced- had amazing molasses notes- a deep, dark sweetness. The 2010 suffered slightly by comparison- it's so new, it goes down "hot" (you can really taste the burn of the alcohol) and the spicy/coffee notes still are not fully integrated with each other. It definitely has potential, and if I was drinking it without the others aside it, I'd certainly enjoy it. I have already certainly enjoyed it, actually.

The next beer up was the De Ranke Pere Noel, which was a significantly lighter beer than the Anchor series. When I first sipped it, I got a hit of spiciness, which upon closer examination (and more sipping) was actually a combination of the hop bitterness, the Belgian yeast, and the typical esters of many Belgian styles. There was a citrusy undertone along with a slight Bengian funk which I enjoyed- it's a very different kind of holiday beer, and I'd be happy to have another glass of it.

The final beer of the tasting was the Sierra Nevada Celebration, which I believe I have made my feelings about known. Specifically- YUM! I actually grabbed a pint of it downstairs when we first arrived EVEN KNOWING that I would be having it as part of the tasting. Again, nice balanced IPA with crack or something in it- I can't explain in beer terms why I love it so, but I do. Also, I'm tired and wish to go to bed.

In conclusion: Pub Quiz at the Avenue every Tuesday night at 8, and beer tastings every Wednesday night at 7:30. Also, I noticed this on our table and liked it enough to drunkenly snap a phone picture of it:

Monday, November 22, 2010

Up from the cellar...

Ok, so our "cellar" is our office, because New Orleans homes have no cellar, because we are like a foot above water level (if that.)

We brought a lot of beers down from Salem, including a couple Trader Joe's holiday Vintage Ale. Trader Joe's gets its annual beer from Unibroue and they are usually dark Belgian style. We had 2 2008s and a 2006. I brought one of the 2008s to the Beer Advocate beer swap a few months ago, and we still have one cellaring in the office. Tonight, after a crap ass Monday, I thought it would be appropriate to crack open the 2006 vintage.

It's good- while cold it pours dark, dark mahogany brown. About 1/4" or so of light tan foam. Smells like dried fruit, ginger, deep spices- kind of like fruitcake the way we make it at home (which is SO AWESOME.) It drinks easy, and it gets tastier as it warms to room temperature.

I think it's aged beautifully- it is so smooth and quaffable. I have a memory of the 2006 vintage still being a tasty brew, but you could taste every bit of the 9% ABV. In 2010, at the start of the holiday season, it's much drier and the flavors have mingled together to produce a really balanced flavor. Carbonation is low, sweetness is definitely lower than it originally was.

It's so good! And it was $4.99 for 750ml! Trader Joe's= genius!

I think we'll hold on to the 2008 vintage another year or so. Mmmm, maybe. Sad that I have no access to the 2010 vintage this year. It is funny that I'm drinking this "Dark Ale on Lees" holiday style beer on a day that was 78 degrees and beautiful. Cognitive dissonance, but I can definitely go with it.

Life is full of trade-offs- you just gotta go with what you think will make you happier at the end of the day.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Halle-FREAKING-lujah

I just saw the lineup for the upcoming Sam Adams Winter Collection 12-pack:



And I swooned gleefully! No, not because I am an ENORMOUS fan of Sam Adams or its winter collection. (though growing up in New England, I have a nostalgic affection for Old Fezziwig, most likely because of the AWESOME NAME.)

But because the Cranberry Lambic is NO MORE. My attitude toward Sam Adams in general may be neutral (I wish it no specific harm, but I don't care too much for the beer- a couple special beers are OK though- I like that Latitude 48 IPA.)

But I will dedicate an entire blog post to this news because indeed, I hated Cranberry Lambic THAT MUCH.

It was NASTY.

According to the Urban Dictionary:

Cranberry flavored urine, served as an alcoholic beverage. Made by Samuel Adams. Comes in holiday pack.

Seriously. Everyone hates this beer. It is like the Jar-Jar Binks of the beer world. At Beer Advocate, 876 beer drinkers/reviewers have given it a cumulative C+ (which I think is generous, but hey).

Cranberry Lambic has been puzzling Samuel Adams customers for years (WHY on earth have they been including it for so long?) but I am happy to announce:

IT IS NO MORE!

(Jesus, that shit is Teh Nast. I'm grossed out just thinking about it for this long.)

Thank you, Samuel Adams Global Enterprises Ltd. LLC., Inc.!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Holiday beer time!

OK, I've only had a few beers today so my sass quotient is on the more mellow side.

After the BrewHaHa yesterday, we stopped at Felipe's for post-beer burritos and then to Elio's for MOAR BEER. I was super excited that the Sierra Nevada Celebration and the Anchor Christmas Ale were both on the shelf. Sure, it's still shorts weather here, but I have loved both these seasonals for YEARS. I was sad when we were in San Francisco last year too early (in October) to enjoy the Christmas Ale at the Anchor Brewery.

After an extensive look at the packaging the beers came in, I cleverly gleaned that Sierra Nevada has been brewing their Celebration Ale since 1981, which makes this year's version the 29th edition of the style.



Celebration has consistently been much hoppier than other holiday seasonal beers, and this year is no exception. However, it contains more maltiness than Sierra Nevada's flagship Pale Ale. It pours a bright orange-y copper color, with good carbonation, foam, and lacing. The pine and citrus hop aroma is unmistakable - this is actually billed as a "Fresh Hop Ale" and categorized as an IPA. It's goddamned good. I am looking forward to drinking this all season long.

The Anchor Christmas Ale is surprisingly Christmas-specific in this nutty multicultural world in which we live. And damn, it tastes like Christmas. Malty, dark, warming, and delicious. I could close my eyes and imagine drinking this whilst next to a fireplace with my loved one watching the snow fall outside and hoping against hope that I don't have to slog to work in the snowy mess tomorrow. Better keep drinking these bad boys to keep my mind off that horror!

Happily, it's in the 60s here and I'm still wearing shorts and T-shirts. This perhaps bursts the illusions of chestnuts roasting on an open fire, but it doesn't make the Anchor Christmas Ale any less tasty.




The Anchor Brewery has been brewing the Christmas Ale for 36 years (In your FACE, ya young Sierra Nevada upstart!) It's gorgeous- it pours dark with a toasty brown head and ruby red highlights. Also malty and full bodied. I was surprised that it was only 5.5% ABV. It has that toasty, warming feeling that's like a beer version of a hot toddy vibe.

In conclusion: Get out there and enjoy these beers while they last, no matter where you live or whatever holiday gods you worship!

(OMG, I wonder if I can find Anderson Valley Solstice Ale down here! I accept gifts, btw.)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Beer Festival + Flea Market = BrewHaHa




Feeling slightly less sassy (which happens after having spent the night before drinking beer and then much of the day doing likewise.) We spent the afternoon out in Mid-City for the BrewHaHa, as I drunkenly vowed I would do last night. It was a good time! Had a couple NOLA brews - Irish Channel Stout and Hopitoulous IPA - and the LA 31 Boucanee (a cherrywood smoked wheat beer) and a Rye Pale Ale from Abita, which was sadly weird - overly malty and sweet. Ah, well. The NOLA beers were awesome as usual, and I also enjoyed the Boucanee- it went very well with the very spicy sausage po'boy we got from the Crescent City Pie & Sausage stand there.

They had several local vendors and artists there, as well as flea marketers and non-profit organizations who set up shop. I liked the fact that the organizers also structured it so that people could have samples of the beer, and not just pints. I kind of wish we'd gone with the sample option because some beers there were only available in the sample size.

A side note: I told Kirk and Dylan (from NOLA Brewing) that I started a new blog but got the name wrong, which makes me a moron. I guess that's what happens when you create a blog while drunk and then talk about it while hung over. And drinking.

Pictures!







morning after posting

I feel that it is entirely within the scope of this blog to mention that 1) my sassy entries last night were the result of many sassy beers having been drunk (natch) and 2) we are struggling out of the house right now to BrewHaHa.

Will report back. Perhaps under the influence of beer and coffee. I'll be all riled up!

BrewHaHa

BrewHaHa, bitches!

You going? I will be there on the roof (yeah, that's weird, right? No matter how venerated the ABANDONED BUILDING BELOW is) of 300 N Broad at Bienville, on the ROOF of the old Schwegmann's.

There's gonna be beer, and coffee, (to make it seem like it's not just about the booze, I think- nice try) and food (because of deliciousness.)

It's today, from 11am-4pm. I personally cannot think of a better way to spend the day than drinking local beer on the roof of some crazy New Orleans-nostalgic building.

Now that I've made that joke twice, I fully expect to be thrown off said roof. I can only hope that I drink enough to make the ride a pleasant one.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Bitching about Beer

Ok, so I actually do not want to bitch about beer, rather I come to praise it. Or something.

I do not know my place. I will always cause a ruckus.

I like beer. I drink a lot of it. I spend a lot of time drinking it and a lot of money as well. Money well spent, I say.

I'm kind of like a stealth beer lover. My husband is a brewer, and I make many requests of him, but little inclination to assist or compete. I'm super fucking lazy like that.

I actually have another blog already, NoraInNOLA.blogspot.com. But it's more my public blog, my family blog, my blog where I ruminate on any fucking thing that comes into my head. Well, without saying the word "fuck."

This blog is about beer. A lady drinking beer in New Orleans. It will be awesome, because I am awesome and beer is awesome.

To keep things on topic, I will report (and happily) that I spent tonight drinking some great beer at The Avenue Pub. The Avenue is finishing up their Belgian Beer Fest and I had:

* De Ranke Saison de Dottignies - this is a farmhouse style ale which I really enjoyed. It had a subtle spiciness and drinkibility that was a nice respite from the usual macho Belgian high ABV beers - 5.5% and super balanced and delicious.

* Unibroue Maudite - a Belgian strong dark ale, pretty much all you expect and want from a kickass belgian beer. Seriously, Unibroue are beer brewing gods along with Russian River, considering high quality and perfect fucking consistency of product. Damn.

* De la Senne Zinnebir, a Belgian "pale ale." This beer actually has none of the characteristics of what one would think would be a pale ale- the hop profile is minimal to practically nonexistent. Not to say this beer isn't worth drinking- it has a delicious maltiness and lacks the floral yeast flavors that often identifies a "Belgian" style of beer, which may be why it has been assigned the pale ale designation. It's interesting to note that "Belgian" is not just a style of beer, but also an entire nationality of brewers. Sure, many are brewing in the traditional way, but it's funny to think of a beer geek just chilling out homebrewing in Belgium, and it's automatically a Belgian style beer. Even if he's just doing like a brown ale out of a kit, like the first beer my husband brewed.

* Had a Blanche de Chambly, because I COULD NOT STOP WITH THE BELGIAN BEER ACTION. Tasty, for sure- drinkable and delicious. Nothing super duper special, but I was happy to be jaded like that, all "OMG, Blanche de Chamby, such a peasant beer."

I tell you what, the Avenue Pub WORKS IT. I never knew a bar back in Boston that hustled so hard to get a keg of something that couldn't be found in the rest of the state. It's like, they work harder for it, because it's so much harder here to get distribution. Mad ups to Polly, the owner and Eileen, the certified beer geek for looking out for us all.

Tonight, I did confess my predilection for drinking Miller Light, though. It as like confessing to my priest. The priest of good beer. "Bless me Polly, for I have sinned..."