Showing posts from January, 2013

Even more new guys on the block!

In my recent research of breweries in the state, I came across two I hadn't heard much (or, indeed, anything) about - Cajun Fire in New Orleans and Great Raft in Shreveport. I had the pleasure of talking to the brains behind both these operations this week.

Cajun Fire (warning: music playing upon loading) joins Courtyard Brewing as another Orleans Parish brewery hopeful for a 2013 opening. I spoke to Jon Renthrope, the guy who started it all in October 2011. He's a New Orleans native (as are all the other Cajun Fire folks) who fell in love with beer when off at college and moved back home to try to pursue his dream of opening a brewery. Right now, Jon's brewing a barrel at a time in a rented commercial kitchen space while Cajun Fire makes plans. They are in the process of looking for a space, and are hoping to find something in the New Orleans East area. The plan is to start with a nanobrewery model (a 3 bbl system) and see where it goes. They want to keep the batches small…

Beer and Degustation at August

Reveillon Dinner at Restaurant August is a Christmas tradition of ours. In 2009, we were there for Christmas Night dinner, even before we moved here. It was so wonderful that it became a tradition for us right around the holiday- since they are no longer open on December 25, we shoot for Christmas Eve instead. Last year, we noticed that the beer list was pretty extensive but focused mostly on bottles from local breweries like Abita and Bayou Teche. Nothing too exciting, but, you know, August is more a wine-oriented fine food place so it wasn't a surprise to us.

This year, though, we decided to take advantage of August's generous no-corkage-fee policy and bring some special beers we'd been saving. The Reveillon menu was online, so I was able to get an idea of the flavor profiles and chose accordingly. I brought a Lost Abbey Avant Garde bier de garde for the amuse and the first 2 courses, and Boulevard and Pretty Things' "Collaboration No. 3," a Yorkshire Sting…

Ancora and Abita - a Weekly Update

This week was a bit of a quiet one on the beer front - getting back in the swing of things at the Day Job took it out of me when it came to matters of craft beer. Hopefully all that will balance out soon. I've got a few exciting things in the works, and I'm very much looking forward to talking with brewers, restaurateurs, and other local beer enthusiasts and writing about them!

Last week, me and a few other craft beer lovers met to discuss ideas and strategies around promoting craft beer in New Orleans and Louisiana. We were warmly welcomed by Ancora, which is a Neopolitan pizza/farm-to-table Italian restaurant on Freret Street, whose management loves craft beer and curates their 6 taps carefully to bring a diverse list of excellent craft beer to their customers. The management also kindly permitted us to bring bottles of beer that cannot be purchased in Louisiana to share, which is super cool of them. Note: one idea (and I'll discuss this in a future post about our Christ…

Round up!

Louisiana breweries have been getting some great press in the new year!

Read about a Bostonian beer blogger's experience in New Orleans, especially at NOLA Brewing.

Brenton Day AKA the Ale Runner updates us on what Andrew Godley and Parish Brewing are looking to accomplish in 2013.

Jeremy "Beer Buddha" Labadie does his annual 2013 Mardi Gras roundup. explores the Old Rail's current bureaucratic limbo.

Very cool to see more and more people talking about craft beer!

A couple other items of note:

NOLA Brewing is going to release Irish Channel Stout YEAR ROUND! There will be an "Abita on the Avenue" pub crawl on Saturday that will feature several different kinds of very special cask ales. I want to try the Wooden Indian IPA, the Cask Conditioned Restoration Ale, and the ESB. ESB on cask! I hope it lives up to my expectations. It starts at the Avenue Pub at 3:30pm. I hope everyone turns out to support MORE CASK ALE in New Orleans!Stein Deli's "Beer …

The Courtyard Brewery

I'd heard rumors of a new brewery coming around in New Orleans called the Courtyard Brewery. I'd seen some tweets from the brewer but wasn't sure what it was all about, except that it was going to be in New Orleans. I saw mention that Courtyard was finalizing a location a few weeks ago, and I sent a direct message asking about it. Not only did the question get answered (more info on that below) but I was warmly invited to come by and try their beers.

Scott Wood and his wife Lindsay live in Lakeview where they brew beer and are raising their son. Lindsey is from Louisiana and Scott is from San Diego, and when they got together they moved to New Orleans. When they first moved back they lived in an apartment complex in the French Quarter, which had a communal courtyard, which is where they started brewing more than three years ago. Thus, the name. They moved to Lakeview and have much more space and have a six-tap draft system for their test batches, which I was lucky enough t…

Craft Beer & BBQ Pop-Up Tonight!

Tonight! My House, an event planning organization that works on pop-ups and food truck events, is having a BBQ and craft beer dinner tonight at Casa Borrega (1719 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.) There will also be... dancing! It starts at 7pm, and you can still purchase tickets online (for $8! They are $10 at the door) until 3pm- click here for that.
I spoke to Barrie Schwartz, the founder and director of My House, and she told me that although she's lived here for two years, and loves New Orleans and its creative culinary community, she does miss the craft beer culture in her previous home of Michigan, and wanted to bring a bit of that to a New Orleans event. So she got local "BBQ Master" Richard Shilling (I don't think I've ever had his food before, so I'm looking forward to it) to cook and paired it with local New Orleans beers.
Richard will be serving ribs, collard greens, and mashed potatoes, and there will be a cash bar serving beer, with several local craft…

Brewing Competitions!

Attn: all homebrewers! There are TWO upcoming homebrew competitions in Louisiana which sound quite exciting.
1) Aaron Hyde at Brewstock has announced the organization of Louisiana's first statewide homebrew competition in November 2013. It looks like it will coincide with all matter of beer celebration as well! The specific rules will be posted this month, but according to the press release: All 23 BJCP beer categories will be allowed for entry, with ribbons going to the top three beers in each category.  Prizes from sponsors will also be awarded.  The competition will be open to residents of Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas and Arkansas only.  Judging will take place over the course of a weekend in November, to be determined. 2) Covington Brewhouse and Main Grain Homebrew Supplies are co-sponsoring an excellent homebrew competition that may result in your beer being produced for distribution! In the tradition of Iron Chef, Bombastic Brewer will pit home brewers against each other i…