Showing posts from 2011

I'll have beer for Christmas...

So, I ended up having a lovely, cheery, beery weekend.  Not only did I get the Mikkeller Single Hop series from my dear darling husband:

But I also was the lucky recipient of a special NOLA Brewing Christmas beer intended only for internal/employee distribution!  Tom had ordered me a personalize NOLA Brewing work shirt but since it hadn't come in, Head of Brewing Operations and All Around Awesomest Person Melanie thought that it would be nice for me to have something for me to open, even though the shirt would be late.  WOW!  It was a hoppy ale, reminiscent of Sierra Nevada's Celebration Ale:

Delicious, and such a special way to toast the holiday.

I hope everyone also had a wonderful holiday!  Can't wait for New Years Eve Beer drinking... The Avenue Pub's having a special event on the balcony... more on that soon.

Christmas Eve beers

Stayed in for Christmas Eve- Tom doesn't feel great and we certainly have enough beer on hand to keep ourselves happy. I made a particularly delicious spinach lasagna and we cracked open a couple of beers to celebrate the season.

Samuel Smith's Winter Warmer (2011-12 vintage).  I have such a soft spot for the SS Warmer. I still recall a Thanksgiving several years ago when a friend also visiting family in CT stopped by our hotel room with a bottle of seriously vintage SS Winter Warmers.  Not because he collected them or anything, he just wandered into a gas station selling them for cheap 'cause they were old.  He loved the Winter Warmers and scooped up pretty much the rest of the stock. God, they aged great. But I digress!  The Samuel Smith Winter Warmer is on the list of the Anchor Christmas and Sierra Nevada Celebration that I look forward to every holiday season. For a winter beer, it pours out quite light- a dark gold, which is somewhat unusual.  But it's all malty b…

Top 10 list of 2011 beers in New Orleans

Inspired by Polly Watts' list posted on the Avenue Pub's Facebook page:

1) Cantillon Iris. A gueuze that has been brewed with hops instead of wheat. Tart, sharp, a subtle hop bitterness on the finish. The sour and atypical bitterness marry well. Very refreshing while retaining the traditional gueuze sour characteristics. Recommended for sour lovers and sour skeptics alike.

2) Cantillon Zwanze 2010. More tart than sour, well balanced, crisp, refreshing, mild tartness and subtle. Like a belgian berlinerweiss. Wheat is turned all the way up. Smooth. Biscuits and lemon juice. Dances over the tongue leaving a trail of tartness behind. (I know it's something that won't be around to have again, but it was just that good.)

3) Mikkeller Drink In The Sun. Best session beer in the country. Wouldn't know it was less than 3%, the taste is much bigger than that.

4) Rogue Brutal Bitter: Balanced but very flavorful, like an amped up ESB. An interesting beer to say the least. It's …

40 Arpent - New Kid On the Block

So Tom and I had the opportunity to go investigate a brand spanking new brewery that is currently gathering resources and money and investors, etc. So the brewery, 40 Arpent, which right now is a guy named Michael, hosted this free tasting at a bar called The Rusty Nail, which I think is a really great idea. Got me excited about the stuff he's brewing.  He had a lager that was really quite phenomenal and a "Red Beans & Rice" beer that he hopes can be his flagship beer, and with some refining, I think it can be.  (The beer is actually called Keltic Kajun, but due to my irrational annoyance with spelling things unnecessarily with a "K" I will likely always refer to it as Red Beans & Rice beer.) His dunkleweizen and stout are also beers to be reckoned with.

Anyway, an unexpectedly fun and informative evening with unexpectedly delicious beer. Michael was very busy making the rounds but was a great sport in answering all my various questions and I just love …

New NOLA blog!

BIG NEWS- a few local New Orleans beer bloggers are joining up to create a NOLA beer website at:

You may be asking yourself, why does New Orleans need this blog, given that there are several venues to find out about beer here?  There's a Facebook page for all of Louisiana, the major players tend to post updates on Facebook and Twitter, there are several beer bloggers on the scene, including yours truly and the Beer Buddha (who was the one who actually started up the NOLA Beer Guide and asked me to participate.)

However, the hope is that this website will consolidate ALL of these points of information, so that we can most effectively get the word out to all New Orleans beer lovers. Since there are several of us posting, we don't need to worry about if someone gets slammed at work and can't get the time to update, or if someone's out of town, or whatever.

I will still be posting here- about my personal beer tastings and other beer ad…

Venturing back out into the land of beer

Since we are feeling the pinch from unexpected last minute international travel, our going out has been curtailed somewhat. But we did get out to the Avenue Pub for a friend's birthday and I tried two interesting beers while there.

First was the Stillwater Autumnal- a malty, somewhat funky farmhouse ale.  There was a nice spiciness, and I thought I caught a bit of grape/wine taste up front, (looks like it was aged in Burgundy casks, which would explain that) and it had a nice dry finish.  Refreshing, tasty, and nicely challenging.

Second was Brooklyn Brewery's The Companion, which was brewed to celebrate Garrett Oliver's work as editor-in-chief for the Oxford Companion to Beer.  According the the Brooklyn Brewery blog,
Thomas created special new floor malts for The Companion, which is brewed in an old style called “wheat wine”, a wheat-based equivalent to barley wine. The floor malts give this beer a juicy malt character of considerable depth, 55% malted wheat gives it a s…

Happy news!

Got this email from the Avenue Pub (recall, I saw a letter in Offbeat a while back alluding to this).  Hooray!  Mark your calendar...for...

Narke, Nils Oscar, Nynäshamns Ångbryggeri & Oppigarde Beer event.

The Kindness of Strangers Swedish beer event January 21st, 2012

In April of last year I met the owner of a very famous beer bar in Sweden. Stene loves New Orleans and wanted to throw a Mardi Gras party at his bar in Stockholm. Working with Shelton Bros we figured out a way to ship kegs of Abita and NOLA to Sweden. The idea was that they would be filled with Swedish beer and then returned to the Pub. Those kegs are on their way back to us now and we have scheduled the event for Saturday Jan 21st. what I didnt expect was the beers Stene would choose to send us. More than a few have never been in the US before and there is little chance they will return. The Stormskaporter is surely one of the most coveted imperial stouts in the world. It's made in tiny batches and only availabl…

Sad news

The Alchemist, which I've mentioned before in the immediate aftermath of its destruction in the wake of Hurricane Irene, has just announced that they will not be rebuilding its pub- one reason being that their insurance didn't cover any of the brewing equipment they had set up in the basement brewery of their pub.

We have made the very difficult decision not to re-open The Alchemist Pub and Brewery.  While it is extremely difficult to walk away from the business we have spent our last 10 years building, this is the best option for us moving forward.  There were many factors that helped us come to this decision. Primarily, we have recently learned that none of the contents in our basement were covered by flood insurance.  Unfortunately, our basement was the lifeblood of our business—our brewery, our beer, all of our food and our offices were in the basement.  Moving forward, we have come to the realization that re-building our basement brewery is not a viable option. This is re…

Home again, home again

Well, I had some difficulty continuing with my cask ale blogging because it turns out that 50mb of data goes pretty fast when posting pictures and blog posts and the like, and that's all the data I had available to me over there.  Plus, we got sucked into serious family stuff, which made drinking more like a medical necessity rather than the pleasure that I like to reflect in this blog!

To sum up: we drank awesome cask ale not only in Edinburgh and St. Andrews in Scotland, but also Chippenham and Bath in England as well.  Hooray!  Man, there was one place in Bath called The Hobgoblin, that I *loved*. They had a great variety of real ale, and it was just grungy and divey and awesome.

Note: I was unable to get any other pictures of the interior because it was too dark and dank for my (non-flash having) camera phone to capture.  Just think: dark, dingy, and rough in the BEST WAY POSSIBLE.  See some reviews here and here to get a better feel for the atmosphere.

As I explained to my fa…

Day one in St. Andrews

After our swift pint at the Whey Pat, we checked in to our hotel and chilled for a bit, watching crazy British tv and/or napping.When we got up, we headed to the Central Bar for a pre-dinner pint or two. I haf something called Hop Scotch and.Tom had a Harvistoun's Bitter & Twisted. I liked his B&T so much that I got one myself the next round while Tom had a Fuller's London Pride. After dinner, we stopped back at the Central for a half pint before turning in. I had been looking forward to having a Theakson's Old Peculiar for a post dinner, pre-bed treat, but it was not how I remembered it. It was much thinner and weaker and less flavorful than the dark, roasty, chewy, dark beer I had in my memory so I swapped with Tom 's Peter's Well (previously still conditioning but became available while we were at dinner)  and enjoyed that quite a bit.

The Whey Pat

The pub in St. Andrews I love with an unholy fervor is the Whey Pat. It's the closest pub to where Tom's mum lived and they have 7 cask engines, 6 currently pouring. I have a pint of Abbot Ale and Tom has a pint of Landlord. UNHOLY LOVE. I will likely be posting from here a lot over the next few days. I'll create a Whey Pat tag even!

Edinburgh beers- illustrated!

We arrived super early on sunday morning. Took forever to get a beer-most places didn"t serve till 12:30! Cask ale!!!After dinner,  we went to Brewdog, a self-proclaimed "punk" brewery based in Scotland. Definitely an incredibly different beer bar vibe than the typical pub. I had a pint of the "5 am Saint" a nicely balanced dryhopped amber ale, and Tom had their flagship Punk IPA.Apologies if the pictures are weirdly laid out, I'm doing this with the Android Blogger app on my phone.

Keg & Barrel's Outlaw Homebrew Competition

Literally, in Mississippi, it is illegal to: 1) homebrew and 2) sell or serve beer with a ABW of over 5%.  So for the second year, the homebrew competition held at the Keg & Barrel in Hattiesburg is technically illegal and all organizers, brewers, judges, and attendees are outlaws IN THE EYES OF THE MISSISSIPPI LAW!

Spoiler alert: we did not get arrested.  Much to the dismay of the Beer Buddha.  Maybe next year, Jeremy!

We did, however, have an awesome time.

Tom and I drove up on Saturday morning and got to the Keg & Barrel at around 10am, per John Neal's request.  We kicked back with Jeremy and met some of the folks from Lazy Magnolia Brewery and Raise Your Pints, a grassroots non-profit lobbying group to overturn the drastic and archaic beer laws in the state. After some wandering around and meeting folks, the awesome judging RV of judginess arrived and we judges were permitted to go on board and chillax until it was time to do our round of tasting (I was assigned to IP…

About to start tasting / judging ipa category


Beer Buddha in the pimping Judges RV


Pictures from hattiesburg outlaw beer fest

Judges waiting, kickass judge RV,  the beer cart, and the brewers' field. Liveblogging! Breaking MS law! Stay tuned!