American Craft Beer Week to begin

I am not sure if ACBW officially begins today or tomorrow, but the Avenue Pub kicked it off this afternoon with a couple new beers from St. Arnold Brewing Company - the latest in their Divine Reserve limited series (a double IPA,) and their Weedwacker, which is their Fancy Lawnmower Kolch brewed with a Hefeweizen yeast. I've been waiting for a St. Arnold beer to really impress me, and this one did. It was the perfect beer to quench the thirst of a bike ride over with actual flavor to enjoy at the same time.

It has a increased hop presence, which made for an enticing aroma. The citrus and floral hop notes combined with the banana-clove smell of the hefe yeast was quite lovely. The combination of the yeast and the hops also translated into the flavor profile as well. A light, flavorful, really interesting beer. I love it when I find a beer like that! So, St. Arnold, well done.

I only had a sip of Tom's St. Arnold Divine Reserve Double IPA, but it was definitely a hop bomb palate blaster which rendered my Sierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere IPA thin and watery for a few sips. There was some discussion that while the hop aroma was delicate and fruity and piney, that the hoppiness somewhat overwhelmed the balance of the malt. Looking at the reviews on BA, it seems that isn't a consensus there, so I gotta try it again. Oh, my life is so hard.

Tom also had a Moylan's ESB today which they're serving on nitro. We enjoyed several of these a couple weeks ago during the start of what became a Tuesday night bender. It's really good- a nice balanced ESB with a wonderful creamy mouthfeel (that's what she said) from the nitro tap.

In other exciting British-style beer news (which is admittedly less exciting and sexxay than Belgian-style beer news, but we love the British stuff stupid lots), the pub had the Brooklyn Brewey Bitter on cask, which was pretty tasty, but a little thin in comparison to the Moylan's ESB. But a very enjoyable beer nonetheless- I'm always happy to have a bitter option.

Also dranked up good that evening: Red Brick Brewing Company's 16th anniversary Imperial Brown aged in Bourbon casks. This packed quite a punch- at 11% ABV, that's pretty much a given. I don't remember a lot of specifics about this beer, except that it was tasty, drinkable, the flavor changing beautifully as it warmed up, and most importantly, how it made me feel about myself. There's a lesson there somewhere.

American Craft Beer Week (ACBW) in New Orleans: lots of cool stuff going on in pubs all over town, not just the Avenue Pub. Get out there to some of the places you don't think about primarily for beer and let them know that you love craft beer and will support places with it!

Here's the schedule for everything happening in town.

>Here's the schedule for what's happening on the Avenue Pub website, which goes into the beers at their events in greater detail, if you are interested in that.

Here are the Beer Buddha's recommendations and picks for the entire week. Read them... READ THEM!

Here's the website for ACBW national.

All right, then, get out there and drink some amazing beer! And come back here to tell me all about it in the comments.