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 Christmas Eve meal at August) that I've gotten from my fellow craft beer enthusiasts is to bring special beers (that cannot be purchased in Louisiana, or at the very least, are not on that restaurant's list) to fine dining establishments, pay corkage, and drink those beers with the meal. It's a way of showing fine dining establishments that beer is an important part of excellent food. But, you know, be cool and courteous and tip appropriately. Ancora went above and beyond to show their hospitality and enthusiasm for craft beer. I highly recommend rewarding that commitment with going there and eating AMAZING food and drinking delicious beer! (For the designated driver, I highly recommend their homemade Italian sodas.) I can't thank Jeff, Bryn, and Kelly enough for their wonderful service and food. Man, I love Ancora so much, I can't even tell you.

Yesterday afternoon Tom and I went to the "Abita on the Avenue Pub Crawl" which included cask ales at 6 locations on St. Charles Avenue, so you know that was relevant to my interests. The Avenue Pub was pretty crowded, as was the Mia's-Blind Pelican block, so we decided to go to some of the quieter locations.

Mia's/Blind Pelican
First we went to Lucky's for a "ZSB" or "Zach's Special Bitter," which was an ESB style that had won Abita's 2012 Brewer's Brewoff Competition. ESBs are made for casking, so I was pretty pleased to have access to it.

Next, down the street to Slice, for a cask conditioned Restoration Ale. Also another style (pale ale) that takes well to cask conditioning, it drank quite easily. At the Irish House, they were pouring Wooden Indian IPA that had been aged for 8 weeks in fresh new oak barrels. I... didn't love the overpowering oak flavor, but that may just be my palate.  It was a lovely evening for a pub crawl, and the event seemed to be well attended.

Hooray, beer!


  1. I shared your sentiments on Wooden Indian IPA when I tried it last fall.


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