Saturday, June 25, 2011

Coverage of the event

A couple of local news crews were in the mix last night, here's a look at their story- I'm interviewed, exciting!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Heeeeyyy Ahhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OK, so no updates lately because of the planning of the Beers Not Bullets fundraiser which oh by the way sold out and was totally awesome.

So many excellent beers but now I must go to sleep for a day or 2, ok zzzzzzzz.

Is it wrong to mention I've been too busy drinking beers and thinking about drinking beers to write about drinking beers? I dunno, but I will leave you with this pre-event article which is actually pretty effing awesome. Though not as awesome as the event, 'cause, how could it be AMIRITE??!?!?!?!?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Across Lake Pontchartrain!

Over the causeway and through the woods...

Tom and I went to Mandeville to pick up some excellent beers being donated for the Beers Not Bullets fundraiser that's happening THIS FRIDAY (Have you got your tickets yet???). Driving across the causeway always makes me feel so sleepy. Doubly so on the way back after having stopped at the Barley Oak Old World Draught House. The Barley Oak is a big supporter of the event, so I've been going back and forth with them via email about sponsorship stuff. I was very pleased to have the opportunity to go visit the place after all our communication!

The location was beautiful and it was an ideal day to go. It's right on the edge of the lakeside so it was just blue sky and water as far as the eye could see. We ate and drank inside, but it was breezy enough to enjoy a beer out on the patio in the shade very comfortably. Tom said that it reminded him of an English pub- especially the wallpaper that covered about half of the interior walls. There was also lots of beautiful dark gleaming wood, comfy chairs arranged by the fireplace, and a general dark and cozy feel that was a beautiful contrast to the sunny day and water scene outside.

They had a nice beer selection - looked to be about 40-45 beers on tap. I had the newly released NOLA Hurricane Saison, which is just excellent this year. I spoke to Kirk Coco about the difference between last year's version and this year's and the big thing was the yeast. Last year, NOLA Brewing didn't have the resources to propagate yeast in-house, so they were dependent on a commercially available dry Belgian style yeast. There aren't that many to choose from, so the yeast flavor profile options were limited at best. But this year the capacity of the brewery has increased so that they are able to use a more traditional yeast for the saison. And it makes a huge difference. In a saison like this one, so much of the character comes from the yeast. It's really excellent, and I highly recommend it.

I would also like to note that I held this conversation with Kirk while serving his beer at a neighborhood event in the Irish Channel to benefit the Lyons Center facilities. NOLA Brewing donated 2 kegs for the Lyons-Burke Booster Club to sell as a fundraiser. Between this weekend and next weekend with the Beers Not Bullets fundraiser, Kirk and the entire NOLA Brewing team have really shown their commitment to community service. Stay awesome, NOLA Brewing! (at least until after Friday.)

Anyway, Tom had a crisp, refreshing Schmaltz Coney Island Mermaid, an American Pilsner which was a very enjoyable and quaff-able beer on a hot and sunny day. His second beer was the Chatoe Rogue ORE-gasmic American Pale Ale, a hoppy pale. The beer poured beautifully- a gorgeous orange-copper color. A little hazy. It was quite hoppy and bitter, but also very very malty. The two aspects of the beer seemed to be wrestling it out for dominance. An interesting beer, I'd definitely try it again.

We also had a quick late lunch- cheeseburger for me and a grilled cheese sandwich for Tom. Nothing fancy, but they were both prepared very nicely. My accompanying potato salad had bacon in it (an automatic win) and the burger bun was some sort of delicious brioche type thing- it held together great, but was still soft and very tasty. Tom enjoyed the marinara-type dipping sauce (which he pepped up with some hot sauce) for his grilled cheese. Nicely prepared comfort food. Nothing fancy, but done right.

We've been rumbling about taking a vacation lately, and today's drive around the Mandeville lakeside has me wondering if they have vacation rentals there... Walking distance from the Barley Oak, of course.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Good beers, good times

I had a couple really good beers this evening at da Avenue Pub. Very different but extremely delicious.

First was the Rogue Brutal Bitter. Balanced but very flavorful, like an amped up ESB. I ended up getting a growler of it to take home. (hooray growlers!) An interesting beer to say the least. It's a cross between the hoppiness of an IPA and the smoothness of an ESB. Apparantly in recent releases it's been renamed "Brutal IPA" which I think is misleading, because as IPAs go, it's not brutal at all. "Brutal Bitter" sums up the style quite nicely, a bitter with some West Coast OOMPH. A delightful discovery!

The other beer of note that I had was the Cantillon Rose de Gambrinus, a raspberry lambic from the very highly regarded Cantillon brewery in Belgium. These people make amazing beers, and I hope to drink more of them in the future. This particular beer is incredibly sophisticated, complex, and exploding with fruit notes and funk and amazing flavor. It's got an acidic sourness of raspberries and lemon, and it pours a beautiful deep rose color. It was an exciting beer and I was thrilled to be drinking it.

Speaking of exciting beer, I'm really looking forward to the Beers Not Bullets fundraiser- not just because I'm helping to organize it and it will be awesome - because of the awesome beers that will be coming out from Louisiana beer geeks' collection! Pliny the Elder, 2011 Three Floyds Dark Lord, Flossmoor Station Killer Kapowski, Ithaca Old Habit, Founders Centennial IPA, Bruery/Cigar City Maron Acidifie, Surly Coffee Bender, 2008 Alaskan Smoked Porter, Lost Abbey Carnevale, Sixpoint Bengali Tiger... and on and on it goes. Please to get your tickets, all 7 people who follow this blog!

Oof, I'm sleepy. Gonna go to bed and dream of Brutal Bitters and Cantillon the color of roses...

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Beers Not Bullets fundraiser needs YOU!

Many have asked what they can do to help. Here's the main thing:

Buy a ticket and attend the fundraiser! Bring all your friends! Here's the link to the ticket website: http://beersnotbullets.eventbrite.com/

The other thing we really, really need is your help in acquiring rare and hard to find beers for the Beer Advocate/beergeek pouring table. This is how The BeerBuddha first imagined the event and we feel it's an important aspect, even though now we have all of Louisiana's breweries and distributors on board, as well as Lazy Mag in Mississippi, homebrewers, and several bars including the Avenue Pub, the Bulldog, and the Barley Oak.

So please either comment here or email me at nora(dot)deirdre(at)gmail(dot)com with what you plan to bring and donate to the cause! Once I get that information from you, as a thank you, I will email you a discount code that will knock $10 off the price of admission. (of course, if you'd rather that money be used for Nathaniel's recovery, you don't need to use the code when you buy tickets.)

Please note- you do need to buy a ticket for entry even if you are bringing beers. You will need to show the beer you're bringing at the entrance along with your ticket.

I look forward to hearing from all you local beer geeks (and anyone who wants to ship anything from out of the state, email me and let's talk.)

Huge props to the BeerBuddha and Derek Lintern for spearheading the beer participation for the event!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Beers Not Bullets- Fundraiser for Nathaniel Zimet

(this is cross-posted with my other blog, Nora in Nola. Apologies for the redundancy, but I didn't think I needed to re-invent the wheel for a new post!)

Longtime readers of this blog may know my deep and abiding love for the Riverbend area restaurant Boucherie, one of my favorite places in the city. A couple weeks ago, the chef-owner, Nathanial Zimet, was shot and seriously wounded in an attempted armed robbery. He has no health insurance, and the hospitality industry has galvanized into action, contributing proceeds from dinner sales, wine sales, tips, and the major and amazing fundraiser on July 10 at the Howlin' Wolf called Beasts & Brass.

However, the beer community wanted to be involved too. It all started with a blog entry by Jeremy "The Beer Buddha" Labadie:

If you've ever been to Boucherie you know that the food is fantastic as is the beer selection. The Brooklyn beer dinner that was held in New Orleans was held at Boucherie and was amazing. Nathanial is an outstanding chef, lover of good beer and is one of our own. I think we as the beer community must come together and put on one of our best tastings ever with all proceeds going to help Nathanial.

This tasting is in its infancy and I need some ideas. I'm hoping that those readers that live out of town can help out by donating beer to this great cause. If you're interested please email me at thebeerbuddha@gmail.com and I will give you my address. Those of you that live here in town be prepared. We need to open up our beer fridges and crack open some amazing beers. If you are a local brewery or restaurant reading this perhaps you'd be willing to donate some food or even brew a special beer for this event. Anything could help. Just let me know. Let's come together and help out Nathanial.


Well, as is often the case here in New Orleans, the interest in helping out a member of the community was enormous, and Jeremy set up a planning meeting. Now, I was not originally part of the planning meeting, but I was hanging out at the Avenue Pub with Jeremy a couple Fridays ago, and that of course was the time and place of the planning meeting. Some amazing people came to meet with Jeremy and I just kind of got sucked in by all the planning! I can't help it, y'all, it's like an event planning sickness. And a good cause. I was so shocked to read about it- I remember we were at the New Orleans airport waiting to board our plane to go to CT. (readers of NOLA Beer Bitch may recall my tales of taking the opportunity to rig up a beer luggage system so that we could check through 8 beers that are not found in Louisiana to donate the event. And this was before I got sucked in!)

So we just had another meeting this past Sunday and damn, this thing has grown about a hundred times more than what Jeremy first mused about. NOLA Brewing is hosting, we've got kegs coming from local distributors Southern Eagle and Crescent Crown, as well as local breweries: Heiner Brau, Tin Roof, Bayou Teche, Gordon Biersch, homebrewers, and even New Orleans Old Rum Distillery is donating to the cause! We'll have food: crawfish (hopefully to be sponsored), jambalaya from Crescent City Pie and Sausage, food from J'Anita's... raffle prizes- gift certificate, rare beers, gift baskets, and all sorts of stuff... music!

And we launched our ticket site yesterday: CHECK IT OUT!

So, anyway, that's what I'm up to these days. This town- you just go out for a beer and get pulled into the amazing generosity of the people here. Love!

If anyone wants to send me beer for tasting- we are still doing a Beer Advocate style tasting that Jeremy originally envisioned - let me know!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Gotta get down on Friday!

I SWEAR TO GOD, TOM IS MAKING ME LISTEN TO THAT DAMN SONG RIGHT NOW. I WILL KILL HIM. LATER.

Anyway. It may come as a surprise that I don't actually sit around and analyze all my beers as I drink them all the time. For example, I had several very nice beers this evening (NOT at the WYES VIP beer thingie, can you believe they never got back to me about my press pass request???) And I drank 'em up without taking any mental notes.

Here are the beverages I enjoyed: Brooklyn EIPA (which is always a good hot weather beer to start with), followed by an Aphrodisiaque from Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel, an absolutely yummy stout with vanilla, caramel, cocoa, coffee notes all roasty and smokey. (First on the list of beers here.) I finished at the Avenue with the Page 24 Biere De Printemps, (check it out here) which was crazy excellent. It's a beer de garde from Brasserie Saint-Germain.

Highly recommend.

Drink any and all of these beers whenever you see them. DRINK THEM! I know I was having too much fun hanging out and having conversation and enjoying a Friday night to really analyze WHY you should drink them (I do that all the fucking time, so enjoy the respite), but do it anyway.

Goddamn, I love beer.