Monday, December 23, 2013

Pre-Christmas Links

My Christmas gift to you is lots of interesting articles about beer!

Bayou Teche's Karlos Knott sitting behind a pint glass full of cracklins, because why not.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Interesting looking beer from Stone

I went to Elio's the other day and saw some cool special Stone bottles that just came in:

So according the the websiite, the Crime and Punishment release is "our chile-infused bastardizations of two of the more robust members of the Arrogant Bastard Ale clan, are more than just spicy. They are downright incendiary."
Crime is Lukcy Basartd Ale (a blend of Arrogant Bastard Ale, Double Bastard Ale and OAKED Arrogant Bastard Ale) brewed with freshly harvested peppers and aged in bourbon barrels. Like a criminal act, this capsicum-laced temptation—brewed with jalapeños and black nagas, to name but a few—provides entrée into the seedy underbelly of Stone’s pepper-induced purgatory. Similarly, Punishment is 2013 Double Bastard Ale brewed with freshly harvested peppers and aged in bourbon barrels. Brutally hot and unyielding in its imposition, this intensely hellish spawn of Caribbean red hots, fatalis and Moruga scorpion peppers is a just dessert for any spice-taunting masochist who dares to engage it.
For the Southern Charred:
2012 Double Bastard Ale was funneled into heavily blackened Kentucky bourbon and American oak barrels, as well as a special set of Kentucky bourbon receptacles previously used to age a smoked imperial porter. Over a year later, the result is a monster of a beer that, in addition to its brawny malt bill and raging hop character, also pounces on taste buds with a well-rounded assault of vanilla, smoke, butterscotch and caramel.
So... if you're into that kind of thing (I am not) then check 'em out.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

News and Events From Around the Globe - er, I mean Internet.

How was your Thanksgiving? Uh-huh, uh-huh, that's cool, I don't really care. So much is happening in the wide world of beer!

My cover story for the current edition of Southern Brew News

FIRST of all, NOLA Brewing is gearing up to release their newest New Belgium collaboration called Black Strap Chicory Stout. It's a milk stout made with black strap molasses and chicory. Brewmaster Peter Cadoo and brewer Mike "Indy" Grap went out to Fort Collins at the end of October/start of November to brew the beer. Stay tuned for info on its release.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Guest Post: Sampling St. Feullien in Roeulx

A few weeks ago I got an email from Irish blogger/writer Seamus Murphy, who writes for Trenditionist and had recently been to Belgium. He wanted to know if I'd publish his account of visiting St. Feullien. Since I'm not going to be going there myself in the foreseeable future, I figured I'd take the opportunity to share this with my blog audience.  (all photographs are courtesy of Seamus Murphy.)

It's interesting (and a little sad to me) that Americans are still thought of as crappy beer drinkers, regardless of the fact that we have a huge number of craft breweries throughout the country. 

Also, when he start talking about the start of their St. Feullien tour experience, it made me think a little bit about this April Fools post from earlier this year which is hilarious. 

Thanks, Seamus!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Pre-Thanksgiving Beer Exploits, and Oh Hey, Also Feminism Just Because

Tin Roof's new seasonal out in cans
I started a new column for Propaganda New Orleans, called "Hopaganda" (see what I did there?) and I'm really excited about working with them. It'll be a much more laid back style of writing, maybe like one step up from this blog in tone, but a step down from the informational, interview-heavy reporting that I have been focusing on. This column focuses on my memories and thoughts about the beer scene here as a New Orleans transplant back in 2010.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Gambit's Fall FestivALE!

This weekend was the Gambit-sponsored FestivALES, their second beer pub crawl. The one in May down in the Warehouse District had too many "crafty" beers for my tastes, but this one on Freret Street had much more consistently good beers. I don't think I tried much I haven't had before, but every single Louisiana brewery currently producing (Abita, Bayou Teche, Chafunkta, Covington, NOLA Brewing, Parish, and Tin Roof) were represented as well as neighboring breweries that have a significant presence here, Lazy Magnolia (MS) and Saint Arnold (TX.)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

New Beers, New Bars, Holiday Pairings, Sexism, and more!

Wayfare on Freret Street

This week my story on Lauren Salazar from New Belgium Brewing went up on The Alcohol Professor. This was a fun one to write. She's super cool and fun to hang out with and her love of beer and life is contagious! I also did a writeup of last week's Boudin, Bourbon, & Beer event focusing on the Abita cask ale garden. And there's something cool in the works with a national beer magazine that I can't quite talk about yet, but I'm pretty psyched!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

What's Bayou Teche up to?

On Sunday I had a great opportunity to enjoy the beautiful afternoon (well, beautiful if you weren't watching the Saints game) out on the upper balcony at the Avenue Pub.

Friday, November 1, 2013

All Saints Day Weekly News

Did a photo shoot at Restaurant August for an upcoming article in Southern Brew News
Hope everyone had a great Halloween! I know the weekend ahead is still the holiday weekend, sort of, so stay safe and drink well. I am sort of a fuddy-duddy when it comes to Halloween - living in Salem, MA for 5 years can do that to a person. But at least now I enjoy being Halloween-adjacent, if not quite celebratory.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Fun Photos of My Work in the Wild

Just a quickie post to share a couple of pictures of my writing out in the world!

This one is of the article that I wrote for Houma Point of Vue. Since I won't get my hands on a copy for a couple of days, I was super excited that Joel Ohmer (one of the guys who founded the Bayou Beer Society that I interviewed) sent this to me this morning.

And this evening a friend of mine sent me a picture of some beer signage at Whole Foods that I wrote the copy for. Whole Foods reached out to a bunch of local beer geeks to do these writeups, including me and the friend who sent me the photo.

So much fun!

Friday, October 25, 2013

TGIF and catching up

Saint Arnold beer dinner at Domenica last week
I've got a new post up on The Alcohol Professor about my GABF experience. It's been a while since I had the opportunity to contribute to them, but hopefully I'll have more stuff published there soon. Almanac Brewing's founder Jesse Friedman also published a post about a brewer's take on GABF, which was cool.

This week's Brewsday Tuesday focuses on the two new breweries in Shreveport, Great Raft and Red River, who have just been licensed by the state to start brewing. ( also ran a piece on the new Shreveport breweries) I also had a post published about a couple beer dinners happening this week - last night's at Dat Dog and tonight's NOLA Brewing dinner at Delmonico.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

post-GABF links

My time in Denver for GABF was incredible and overwhelming and SO MUCH. I went to some great places while there: Euclid Kitchen (where we had lunch our first day and went to a great Deschutes "carnival"), Great Divide, Falling Rock, Freshcraft, Hogshead, Hops & Pie, and Lucky Pie Pizza & Tap Room. There were special promotions from breweries, especially Colorado breweries. I got a lot of info from friends and colleagues, and also this website. I'll hopefully be publishing my adventures in more detail shortly, so I'll be sure to link that next week.

Garrett Oliver pouring beer at GABF for Brooklyn Brewery

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Links from another time and place

I'm putting this list of links together early so that I don't have to worry about dropping the ball while I'm out of town in Denver for the Great American Beer Festival. I am SO EXCITED. I should be on my way to Fort Collins to visit the New Belgium Brewery by the time you read this on Thursday.

This week, for Brewsday Tuesday, I interviewed Wolf Koehler, founder, owner, and brewmaster of the Crescent City Brewhouse in the French Quarter. He's a very interesting guy who is passionate about beer, and has a lot of interesting stories and perspectives. I enjoyed talking to him.

While I'm gone, you can still get tons of news from the beer world, from Drink All The Beers' new news page.

The official presentation of the Louisiana Brew Trail by Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne caught the attention of the New York Times, which is pretty cool.

An issue close to my heart, an article exploring why chefs seem to be shy to work with craft beer, is up this week. The author asks a lot of good questions, and I hope it leads to further dialogue and education. I'm always up to talk with chefs and restaurateurs about incorporating craft beer in their menu, so please feel free to reach out to me if it's something you're considering but need more info about.

And last but not least, my colleague at the Brewers Association, Julie Herz, put together a list of the top 5 beer bar pet peeves. Seriously, the frosted mug is one of them. At least ASK if I want one before assuming and then I have to shout after you and look like a tool!

See you on the post Denver flip side!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Your Regularly Scheduled Thursday Links

Happy Thursday!

It's a quiet week for my own work, but here's my second Oktoberfest column in the Gambit. Hope everyone is ramping up for Oktoberfest at Deutsches Haus or checking out the gorgeous Franconian lagers at the Avenue Pub. Prost!

I did notice that Eater NOLA has been sharing many of my stories and calling me the "beer whisperer" which is pretty funny.

There are a bunch of State of Louisiana enforcement shenanigans regarding serving homebrew beer at non-profit/charitable events going on right now. A lot of the activity seems to be in Facebook threads in the Brasseurs a la Maison homebrew club out of Baton Rouge right now, but it seems that the state ATC commissioner is refusing to grant homebrew event permits due to issues of people indirectly paying for their beer as well as health and safety, by enforcing the provisions of the 2010 law that say that homebrew can only be served at homebrew club meetings to homebrew club members. It's a pretty narrow interpretation of the law and there is some hope that through meeting with Commissioner Hebert, this can be resolved. You can check out an online pdf of the law in question here.

The Advocate has been doing some good stuff on the business side of local craft beer. This week they reported on the Covington Brewhouse's new ownership.

Jay Ducote of Bite & Booze does a great overview of Tin Roof's new bottled black double IPA, Rougarou. (I have a bottle of this in my fridge just waiting for me to get past my deadlines to try.)

What does your favorite beer say about you?
Last but not least, I laughed hard at this "Complete Guide to Craft Beer At Your Local Bar." My favorites were:  "Barton Bros Something Weird Like Oh I Don't Know Fish Heads Ale" and "Twin Forks Obligatory Red Ale."

Monday, September 30, 2013

Winding Down - Post-LaCBW Blues and a Top Ten List

It has been a crazy week - I can't believe it was only one week ago yesterday that we were hanging out with the Bayou Teche guys, one of whom was dressed as Napoleon.

I had some really cool experiences during this week, some of which I'll be expanding upon in the near future (either here or other publications). But for right now, here are some highlights:


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Thirsty For Some Thursday Links?

Parish Brewing's Dr. Hoptagon at the Avenue Pub on 9/25

Super link-a-licious this week. Not only has Louisiana's Craft Brewer Week hit the national press, but a few of my own articles came out as well.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Louisiana Six Pack Project

Several weeks ago I was contact by North Carolina blogger Bryan Roth, who has been working on what he calls "The Six Pack Project." The idea is to select six beers that are in bottles or cans to properly represent the craft brewing culture of the state of Louisiana.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Release of Swamp Grape Escape

Andy pouring a pint at the Pub
And Louisiana Craft Brewer Week continues with the release party of the NOLA Brewing/New Belgium collaboration beer, Swamp Grape Escape. It's a Belgian single style brewed with Louisiana local muscadine grapes, making it a perfect beer to kick the week off with.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Louisiana Craft Brewer Week Begins!

Yesterday, Bayou Teche kicked off Louisiana Craft Brewer Week by bringing a pot of jambalaya and a couple beers to the Avenue Pub. According to brewmaster Gar Hatcher, the newly released honey braggot Miel Sauvage is a blend of two batches - one aged for 100 days in whiskey barrels and one aged for two months in fresh oak barrels.

Friday, September 20, 2013

News about Covington Brewhouse!

Covington Brewhouse has new ownership - one of the owners is the brewmaster, Brian Broussard.

I'd heard rumors about it, but it's done and done and can be announced now. 

It's staying in the same location, and I'm not sure about staffing changes... obviously Broussard is still in place. 

The press release says that the main contacts are: David Arbo, President ( and Brian Broussard, Brewmaster (

Late Links

Apologies for not getting these out yesterday, but I've been under the weather.

This week was a two-fer for me in the Gambit: my feature article on Louisiana Craft Brewer Week and my regular Brewsday Tuesday column on the Avenue Pub's badass events in the recent past and near future.

I also suggest you investigate my other blog to read about local eatery Salu's Oktoberfest kick off pig roast that's happening tomorrow, Saturday 9/21 for both lunch and dinner.

Also, check this blog out for my writeup on the new NOLA Brewing taproom as well as suggestions as to how to help get the word out about it on national beer sites.

Speaking of NOLA Brewing, Thrillist named it the best craft brewery in Louisiana in their story choosing the best craft brewery for every state.

And also speaking of Louisiana Craft Brewer Week above, Todd Price did a great writeup in in which he spoke with local brewers like NOLA Brewing and Gnarly Barley. Love it!

I am so proud that my friend Dan Murphy, head brewer of Fairhope Brewing in Alabama, is part of this writeup about homebrewers that transitioned to professional brewers. Dogfish Head's Sam Calagione was also profiled, so that's some great company to keep.

In general beer world news, this glossary of craft beer terms is helpful, this article on emerging craft beer culture and its challenges in Mexico is interesting, and the announcement that craft beer has its first billionaire is somewhat mind-blowing. (shout out to Vanessa Gomes for posting these three articles on Facebook earlier this week.)

Next week will be Louisiana Craft Brewer Week, and I will be starting my Oktoberfest coverage in the Gambit. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

NOLA Brewing Tap Room

NOLA Brewing's tap room is now open for business 6 days a week for beer selling and general merriment. It opens at 2pm on the weekdays (except Tuesday, when it's closed) and 11am on the weekends, and closes at around 10pm at night. (You can read more about it here.)

As this is the second tap room opening in the state, and the first on in New Orleans for quite some time now, I'm hoping we can get the word out about it so that it becomes a must-visit stop for anyone in town looking for some fresh, quality beer. In order to do so, we need it to start showing up prominently on beer review sites like RateBeer and Beer Advocate.

So, if you are an active member on either of these sites, go here to RateBeer and here to Beer Advocate and add your two cents. After you've checked out the new tap room, of course.

I've been there three times now- once for the soft open during the last Saints pre-season game, once on their official grand opening, and once for my birthday party. All of those events were well attended and Jen Harvey, the tap room manager, ensured that everything ran smoothly. I'm really excited to have access to NOLA Brewing's one off and experimental brews as well as fresh pints of their regular lineup.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Thursday Linkday!

The NOLA taproom opened this week!

I have been keeping busy working on a couple pieces for the Gambit and Where Y'At as well as hustling doing pitches for other publications, which is why I haven't been able to write a blog post about the awesome Bayou Teche beer dinner I had at Sainte Marie Brasserie last week (a week ago today, actually.) I'm really hoping to get that up with some pictures in the near future, because it was pretty kickass. The chef, Kristen Essig, was so warm and welcoming and so excited about the pairings! It was great.

ANYWAY, for your links du jour:

Thursday, August 29, 2013

You guys!

My Inside Northside article has been posted online!

I also updated my Published Article page, did y'all know that I have that? It's a tab near the top of the page right above my cartoon self banner. There should be more going up in the next couple of weeks...

Links of the Week!

I have a new and diabolical (OK, not really so much with the diabolical) plan to post a weekly roundup of beer related links I find interesting. This post will likely appear every Thursday or Friday. If you have links you'd like me to include, please email me at nora(at)nolabeerblog(dot)com or share your link in the comments below.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Brewsday Tuesday in Transition

So, there will be no Brewsday Tuesday this week, because I am transitioning to having my beer column included in the print version of the Gambit, starting with next week's issue.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

(More) new beers on the Northshore

Image courtesy of Brian Broussard
Not only has Chafunkta announced that they would be debuting their Kingfish Ale during the Grapes and Grain fundraiser, but also Covington Brewhouse will be releasing their Anonymous IPA at the same event. I'd already tried it at the WYES Private Beer Sampling in June, and thought it was excellent. So not only will Anonymous be available at another fundraiser, but according to head brewer Brian Broussard, it will released as one of Covington's beers during Louisiana Craft Brewers Week in September!

Good news, everyone!

Baton Rogue Metro Council has approved an ordinance amendment to permit breweries to sell up to 10% of their product in a tap room environment. This means that Tin Roof can move forward with their planned tap room construction, which is great news for them.

Sweetwater Brewsday Tuesday, a new online gig, and more

I'm a little behind on updating since I've been on vacation without my laptop, but behold the following:

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Grapes and Grain (and Food and Fun)

There's a beer-focused fundraiser (OK, also wine and food) happening in Mandeville on August 23, 7-10pm at Benedict's Plantation (1144 North Causeway Blvd.)

The big news (from my perspective) is that Chafunkta Brewing has announced that they will be debuting a brand new beer at the fundraiser. It's still a mystery right now, but Josh Erickson, head brewer, gave this as a hint:  "We wanted to bring our passion for quality, craft beer to a larger audience. We selected a style that, to our knowledge, is not currently being commercially brewed in Louisiana. It's one that we think will appeal to a broader market, but the style is one that still takes quite a bit of care to brew correctly."

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

It's Brewsday Tuesday!

And you know what that means... new column up on The Gambit's blog. It's a very condensed version of my impressions of the Beer Bloggers Conference, focusing on my Louisiana compatriots and the two breweries that we have access here in Louisiana, Samuel Adams and Harpoon.

I'm currently working on a Sweetwater beer review piece for the next Brewsday Tuesday, so keep an eye out for that next week.

I hope everyone had a great IPA Day last week! I ended up enjoying several delicious beers at the Avenue Pub, the highlight being rum barrel-aged Hopitoulas from NOLA Brewing. Then I came home and had a Heady Topper, just because.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Final day of the Beer Blogger Conference

Putting the "blogger" in the educational content, the last day of the conference kicked off with 10 different blogger attendees sharing five-minute presentations on the work they do, be it with a specific audience, using a special tool, or working with public or private partner organizations. Louisiana's own Jay Ducote of Bite & Booze fame presented on his work with the state travel authority,, by providing the content for their LA Beer Trail page and filming a video of Louisiana's breweries. There were also presentations on generating revenue from blogging (hint: really not so much) and one I was super excited about, an introduction to a new beer app called Brewhorn. Brewhorn is an app that helps beer drinkers figure out what they would like to drink based on their preferences and location. I think it will really help people new to craft beer or curious in expanding their craft beer horizons in a way that is respectful to the consumer's own palate. Also discussed: "boutique" beer events (100 people or less) and managing online content with multiple contributors. And lots of other stuff! It was a great idea. Would love to see this done both days, if possible.

Speed Blogging and Harpoon

Speed blogging is pretty much what it sounds like - think speed dating but between brewers and bloggers. And the brewers have beer. And the bloggers write about it. Quickly, though, 'cause you only have 5 minutes with each brewer/beer before the bell tolls and they move on, and a new one moves in.

We arrive via bus at the warehouse run by Burke Distributing, a member of the MA Beverage Alliance and sat at one of 14 tables, and waited for the process to begin. I think that the gist of the tasting is best provided via tweets, just to get a feel for it.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Beer Learnings (Beer Bloggers Conference 2013, Saturday sessions)

Saturday was the main educational component of the Beer Bloggers Conference. For the entire morning we had sessions like "The Current State of Beer Blogging Survey Results" and "Mechanics of Beer Pouring" while conversing on Twitter. I particularly enjoyed the panel of "industry" bloggers - bloggers and social media gurus working for breweries. It gave an intriguing view of the different paths this blogging thing could potentially lead to, if an independent blogger was interested in making that switch.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Kate the Great and Utopia

I'm experimenting with sexier blog post titles!

My second day as a Beer Blogger Conference attendee started out with several dozen other sleepy conference attendees boarding a bus on a drizzly Portland morning. We were heading down to Portsmouth, NH to have lunch at the beloved Portsmouth Brewery (and brewpub).

Friday, July 26, 2013

The Way Beer Should Be

One of Maine's many state slogans is "The Way Life Should Be," and my time in New England so far would bear this sentiment out. The reason I'm here is to attend the Beer Bloggers Conference, held in Boston but with a pre-event excursion in Portland ME and Portsmouth NH.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Guest Post: New Belgium beer dinner @ Dat Dog

On Tuesday, July 23rd, Dat Dog on Magazine street hosted a unique beer and food event, a six course pairing of beers from New Belgium with a selection of “Haute Dogs”. 

The menu

Nora was on a plane to Boston at the time, so I attended in her stead. Each course consisted of a smaller portion of hotdog and bun, paired with a 4oz pour of the accompanying beer.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Post-Tales, Pre-Boston, and Dat Dog tonight!

My piece on the beer "scene" at Tales of the Cocktail is out today. I can't pretend it was a very prominent part of the experience, but there was a connection between beer and cocktails or brewing and distilling that could be felt, if not seen, most of the time.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Much Louisiana news to share!

While I have been in my own little world at New Orleans' Tales of the Cocktail, several very interesting tidbits of beer news has come down the pike.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Brewsday Tuesday continues... "Some Summer Beer Pairing Dinners."

I did a writeup of upcoming beer dinners (and brunches!) as well as a mention of NOLA Brewing's beer brunch at Crescent Pie & Sausage Company this past Saturday. (It was gooooood.)

Friday, July 12, 2013

Zwanze Day - September 14, 2013 at the Avenue Pub

Zwanze Day 2011

Today, the Cantillon brewery in Belgium announced the list of 46 locations all over the world that will be serving its 2013 Zwanze vintage on September 14, 2013. Once again, the Avenue Pub on St. Charles Street in New Orleans has made that list, a testament to its beautifully curated beer list and dedication to get the best beer to its customers that it possibly can. It's so great to see them get this kind of kudos and recognition - it's so well deserved.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Cask verdict...

...Delicious! Thanks so much to everyone at Covington and Aline Street Beer Garden for providing more delicious cask beer to New Orleans!

Jason Comboy, owner of Aline Street Beer Garden, tapping that cask

Robert Mingo, of Covington  Brewhouse, getting it set up

Steadfast bartender Noel dispensing beer.

The fruit of everyone's labor


Monday, July 8, 2013

Post-holiday Beer News

Highlight of the last couple of weeks: obtaining this bottle of beer

I hope everyone had a great Fourth of July week/weekend. After I hit my deadlines early in the week, I pretty much vegged out until today. I'm resting up for what I imagine will be a bit of a crazy couple of months...this is my excuse in advance of why I probably won't be blogging as much as I'd like to.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

North Shore Shenanigans

For the last week or so, ever since returning from NYC/Savor (with the exception of my wild WYES weekend) I've been working on a story for a lovely local magazine called Inside Northside, which focuses on Northshore business, art, and lifestyle. This means several trips up to Mandeville, Covington, Slidell, and Hammond over the last week or so.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A Blogger Blogs

Enjoying a pint at the Kent St. Ale House in Brooklyn

Starting on week 2 of my new adventure of writing professionally about beer full time, I've realized that I need to keep sharing this stuff here. Sure, I've got the Brewsday Tuesday column in the Gambit, and the Southern Brew News column starting in August, and several other irons in the fire. But this blog is where I can express myself in a relatively uncensored fashion and write about anything and everything I want to.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Post & Run

Good morning, beer peeps!

I'm out the door to head up to the Northshore, but I wanted to share a couple things:

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Louisiana REPRESENT!

I'm pretty excited about having been able to promote the Louisiana Craft Beer Collective in this week's Gambit column along with the Louisiana Craft Brewer Week and the Louisiana Brewery Trail.

In other Louisiana brewery news,

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Louisiana Craft Brewer Week -September 23-29, 2013.

Awesome news! I know that the LA Craft Brewers Guild has been working to get this resolution passed by the LA Legislature for a while- I think this will be huge to promote local craft beer as well as indicating that we do have support on the state level. That's huge! Here's the deets:

Monday, June 3, 2013

Interesting news from Abita Springs

I was talking to Keith Pumila and Leo Basile of Abita at the beer share held at NOLA Brewing on Saturday (THAT is an entirely different blog post which will be published sometime this week) and got the scoop on a couple of new beers.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Ladies Getting Beer Done

Sorry I haven't been able to update this week! I was busy at the New Orleans Wine and Food Experience (NOWFE) over the weekend and the life stuff this week. I did publish my Brewsday Tuesday column at the Gambit though! It has been pointed out to me that I didn't include much for the Northshore, but I will be rectifying that with an article I'll be writing for the Northshore magazine Inside Northside for their Sept/Oct issue. Exciting!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Media roundup

As we close out the week on this fine Friday, I would like to present the premiere of my new Gambit blog column, "Brewsday Tuesday." It debuted this past Tuesday and featured a writeup of ACBW, which took place the previous week. Keep an eye on it and let me know if you have any feedback or ideas for future columns!

I also visited the Wayfare this past week and posted about it on my other blog, Nora in NOLA. Since I didn't drink any beer there, I didn't write it up here, but they do have a great beer selection (especially in bottle/can) so I wanted to call attention to it on this platform as well.

The upcoming weekend and week will be focusing more on fine dining and wine, so that will be an interesting  change.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Call for volunteers for WYES' International Beer Tasting 6/22!

Do you like pouring beer? Do you like drinking beer? If you answered "yes" to either or both of those questions, then WYES has a proposition for you!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

All work and all play make Nora something-something.

... Go crazy? Don't mind if I do!

I kid! Although ACBW was a very busy week and I got pretty tired by the end of it, everything was so much fun. Great beers, great people, great general vibe. Yesterday's Grand Tasting at the Avenue Pub was the showcase event of the week, and I think Polly and her amazing staff pulled off a high quality and smooth running event.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

TGIFACBW - and Avenue Pub Grand Tasting today!

First of all, thanks for all the positive feedback on yesterday's blog post. It was a little on the personal side, so I wasn't sure how it would be received. As I do more and more writing, I'm trying to find my "voice" or style, something that's informative, interesting, and enjoyable to read.

Last night was the St. Charles cask crawl. I showed up a little later than usual at the Avenue (had a meet & greet for Nyx riding members at Finn McCool's right after work.) I headed upstairs to try the Parish Envie cask and ran into fellow drinkin' writer Todd Price from who was celebrating his birthday there! That was very cool to finally meet, since we'd corresponded in email and on social media a bunch but never met in person.

Friday, May 17, 2013

New Belgium out on draft on Monday!

The hubbub of ACBW plus the fact that we are already drinking a bunch of New Belgium after its release a month or so ago has made me forget that New Belgium isn't on draft yet here in Louisiana.

On Monday, that's about to change, 'cause New Belgium is rolling out some kegs!

ACBW Fatigue (Thursday, 5/17)

I am so tired.

I'm not hungover, and I've been getting a decent night's sleep every night - the precautions I've stuck to have definitely been working. It's like a cumulative exhaustion that gets more and more intense every morning I wake up. I love beer, I love drinking beer, I love talking to people about beer, I love seeing others enjoy beer. I love it more than pretty much anything else. I am still enjoying myself going to events. But I'm tired.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Wednesday: Four Sours and a Braggot (ACBW 5/15)

Another day, another 6 different beers sampled.

The Avenue Pub held its "Funky Town" sour beer sampling event. They had ten different sour/wild beers on deck, both served on draft and in the bottle. I bought a sample pour ticket and selected the following four:

Hill Farmstead / Fantome Five Sciences Collaboration.- Tasting Notes: When this beer arrived it was not ready to pour. Shelton brothers told us to cellar it for at least two months to allow the re-fermentation process to complete. Many shops put this beer on their shelves right away so people that tasted it then will have tried a completely different beer. Made with Fantome’s famous wild yeast strains it has subtle grapeskin flavors and a lacing of smoke, strong carbonation and lightly tart. Nora's Notes: A very delicate and subtly complex beer, practically dissolving on the tongue as soon as I took a sip. This was a beer that I would have liked to have more time and ounces to get acquainted with. I definitely got the hit of smoke in this beer, which was a nice part of the flavor profile.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Tuesday is Barrel-Aged Day (ACBW report 5/14)


Good times last night. The thing about ACBW isn't just the beers that are on display, but it's the event itself. There are people new to beer, brewers, brewery sales reps, industry folks, and beer geeks all coming together to celebrate American craft beer and it's just a lot of fun and the opportunity to listen to and talk with some very cool people. It's part of the celebratory nature of the week, and is incredibly energizing for me.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

SAVOR American Craft Beer and Food Experience press release from Bayou Teche

We (briefly) interrupt our coverage of American Craft Beer Week to share this press release from Bayou Teche. Being selected to present at SAVOR is a huge honor, and it's a very prestigious national event. I'm super excited because I will be attending this year to chronicle the Louisiana offerings and events (Abita is a sponsor and will be present as well.)

This is the press release in its entirety directly from Karlos Knott, co-owner of Bayou Teche. Has a lot of cool info about the beer, the food, the brewery, and the event itself.

Official Start to ACBW - Monday, 5/13

And... we're off! (officially) Although the official span of ACBW is May 13-19, the weekend preceding had several fun events. But Monday is when things get real.

Monday, May 13, 2013

ACBW Pregame Day #2 - Sunday 5/12 report (and a list of events on Monday 5/13)

Sunday was a glorious spring day after the rain and humidity of the few days preceding it. A little cool for a May day in New Orleans, but that made it perfect.

We biked over to the Avenue Pub to partake in the Bayou Teche crawfish boil and Cocodrie launch. Cocodrie is a tripel Belgian IPA and weighs in at 8%. It drinks so beautifully that the guys at Bayou Teche got T shirts to indicate its deliciousness that comes with danger...

The Irish House and ACBW

I just found out about a whole host of food-craft beer pairings that are happening this week at the Irish House. Chopped winner chef Matt Murphy has created a small plate to pair with a specific American craft beer for every night this week, starting tonight. All pairings are $11.

  • Monday, May 13: Stone Ruination IPA served with an Irish cheese plate
  • Tuesday, May 14: Ommegang Abbey Ale with fish & chips
  • Wednesday, May 15: Harpoon IPA with truffled chicken
  • Thursday, May 16: Green Flash West Coast IPA with baked redfish
  • Friday, May 17: Rogue Dead Guy Ale with corned beef & cabbage
  • Saturday, May 18: Anchor Steam with bacon & cheese croquettes
  • Sunday, May 19: Covington Strawberry Ale with BBQ oysters
Also on Thursday, May 16, the Irish House will be hosting a three course beer dinner with NOLA Brewing. It's $45 and starts at 7pm. Limited seating, call 504-595-6755 for reservations.

Here's the menu:

Sunday, May 12, 2013

New addition to Bayou Teche ACBW week lineup

Breaking news: Bayou Teche will be providing a sneak peek of their upcoming beer, Miel Savage. It's a high abv (9%) honey braggot. It will be at dba on Frenchmen on Wednesday night.

This beer won't be released for another several months, so go get you some!

ACBW Pre-Game- yesterday's FestivALES and today's events


Yesterday, the rain held off to ensure the crowds of beer drinkers in the Warehouse District were able to enjoy the offerings from five different bars as part of the Gambit's foray into ACBW, the inaugural FestivALES event. As an attendee, I was relieved at the unexpected break in the weather, but conducted my logistical plans in a manner that would be most efficient in case of downpours.

Monday, May 6, 2013

New Gambit article about ACBW - PLUS new web page on this blog

I've been published in this week's Gambit reporting on ACBW and putting together a calendar of events for the week: behold!

ACBW in New Orleans story ("Coming to a Head.")

Listing of ACBW 2013 events in New Orleans, Metairie, and the Northshore ("Tap That.")

However, I've been getting small bits of changes after my submission deadline and I plan on keeping the listing updated on a special page on this blog. Look at the top of the page above the tiny German beer-drinking Nora and you'll see a tab that says "ACBW 2013 Events." That will bring you to the most complete updated page of events in the area. Spread the word!

Homebrew number two

May 5 is the eleventh anniversary of when Tom and I started dating. To celebrate that, Cinco de Mayo, and National Homebrew Day/Weekend, we collaborated on a beer together. Since I had Tom's partnership in this endeavor, we decided it would be fun to try an all-grain recipe. I was intrigued by a cool looking malt bill in an English Mild recipe I saw in Zymurgy, and started brainstorming around that. We ended up brewing the Mild recipe out of John Palmer's "Brewing Classic Styles" book, and I have a cunning plan to dryhop the Mild (which obviously makes it not a traditional style) with Simcoe hops. So it's like a British-American combination, much like Tom and myself.

Doing a mash and a batch sparge and vorlauf and all that stuff was pretty labor intensive, I kind of almost forgot everything I learned on my first brewday. However! It did all come back to me, more or less, with some gentle reminding. We went to Brewstock to acquire some Maris Otter, Crystal 60, Crystal 120, Pale Chocolate Malt, Black Patent Malt. Aaron was out for the day at Jazz Fest, but the folks there were super helpful and actually measured and crushed the grains for us. Got some Wyeast (liquid smackpack this time!) some Kent Golding for bittering and Simcoe for dryhopping, some sanitizer, and one of those adhesive thermostats so I can better monitor the fermentation temperature this time around.

Grains before the mashing

The general set up - mash tun on the left, brew/boil kettle on the right

Having a homebrew while homebrewing


Sparging some more...

From mash tun to...

... boil kettle

Brewing assistant/cellarcat

The Cooling of the Wort

Brew days are very exhausting!
The efficiency wasn't as great as one might hope - only at 68%. But hopefully we will still have a good beer at the end. I've rigged up a plastic container with some water and ice packs to keep it cool (in the 68 degree range) and Tom covered the fermentor with an old T-shirt to let evaporation do its thing all over it and keep things cool. I am hoping this will help with the issues I ran into with fermenting too warm last time.

I'm excited to see what happens! Hopefully, something generally delicious.