Showing posts from April, 2013

Two interesting beer tidbits

1) Ron Swodoba, Director of Craft Beer Education at Crescent Crown Distributors, is now the second person in New Orleans to be designated a Certified Ciccerone! The test sounds really hard, and I'm really glad his hard work paid off. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

2) Got a peek at August's new beer menu from my old friend Robert Wailes; and it looks nice.

our beer

Saison Dupont,farmhouse Ale Belgium Citrus and spice notes, full-bodied and malty; It sparkles on the palate and finishes with a zesty hop and citrus attack.  12.
Duvel Belgium A strong, golden ale with aromas of citrus, apple, hops and yeast.  It has a delicate sparkle and a refined silky taste.  9.
Brasserie Trois Dames, L’amoureuse No. 1 Ste-Croix, Switzerland  This ale is brewed with 15% of Chassalas grape must Medium in body.  Malt forward with light hops, bitterness and a dry finish  13.
Unibroue, La Fin Du Monde Canada This triple-style golden ale is mildly yeasty with a complex palate of malt, fruit and spice notes followed…

Southern Brew News!

Finally, the new issue of Southern Brew News has been uploaded to their website!

I wrote the cover story, "Louisiana's New Brewery Boom"

Bugs & Brew For Drew!

OK, I'm late getting this blog post up - I am working on an article about American Craft Beer Week, so that's been taking up a lot of my beer brain space.

But! Bugs and Brew For Drew was a huge success (so it seemed!) and a whole lot of fun. We were signed up for the cask beer "garden" tent, which had casks from Abita, NOLA Brewing, Covington, Parish, and Bayou Teche. Tin Roof didn't do a cask, but they did do a special keg of their blond ale fermented with Thai chiles which was crazy spicy on the aroma but pretty fruity and balanced on the tongue. Interesting, and a nice surprise.

My favorites of the day were Abita's ZSB (Zach's Special Bitter), which I've had several times before, but this was by far the best. I think it's pretty cool that they have such a solid, approachable beer as exclusively served on cask. Definitely gives the concept a lot of exposure to folks who haven't had cask ale: I think the Abita name is trusted by the local, mo…

Homebrewing and the French Quarter Fest

The homebrewing and the FQF actually have nothing to do with each other, besides the fact that they were to two beer related activities I had this weekend.

Homebrewing: after my tales of brewing and bottling, this was the easiest (but most nerve-wracking) step of all: tasting.

The color and the clarity (as you can see) came out beautifully.

As far as aroma and taste goes, the hops presence I was hoping for really didn't make it into the final product, so it wasn't really what I was expecting. However, I still really like it! The absence of the hop flavor gives prominence to the yeast. Still plenty of bitterness. So it's kind of more like a Belgian pale ale? I need more palates to tell me if the spiciness in the flavor is just yeast and hops intermingling, or if it fermented too warm and those are esters or off-flavors all up in there. But it's plenty drinkable. Definitely not a masterpiece, but I enjoy drinking it and I MADE IT! Me! Now, what to brew next...?

In other …

Links to Bugs & Brew buzz from around the interwebs (also NOLA Brewing Friday tour news)

My previous post about the beer lineup at Bugs & Brew For Drew has gotten some notice:

Here's my slightly different writeup for the Gambit blog, posted yesterday.

Here's a link from La Trappe Monk's beer blog

I love the cask ale love! I hope it leads to more and more of it!

Also, re: NOLA's famous (or infamous) brewery tours, starting tomorrow (4/12) they are going to start charging $5 for a pint glass that is necessary to gain admittance. According to a Facebook post made this afternoon:

"Starting tomorrow, we're changing the setup of our Friday tours due to the steady increase in size. We will now be charging $5 for a NOLA logo pint glass when you arrive. This will still include unlimited beer and an actual tour, but you will now get to take the glass home with you when you leave!"

Personally, I think this policy is long, LONG overdue.Five dollars isn't too much, but it's enough to discourage habitual free loaders (myself included!) They spend…

Bugs & Brew For Drew on April 20

I haven't mentioned much about this, since everything's just beginning. But I've been working alongside other beer nerds to create a nonprofit that will promote New Orleans and Louisiana craft beer and craft beer culture. It's called the Louisiana Craft Beer Collective. You can find us on Facebook and Twitter, and a website with more on our mission will be coming soon.

While exploring this idea, I got together with Conrad Rolling, the Executive Director of the Louisiana Craft Brewers Guild. The Guild is the professional organization representing the brewers in the state and their interests. (Keep an eye out for them opening their membership up to "enthusiasts" which is non-professional member category.)

When talking to Conrad about potential partnership opportunities, he told me about his connection with the local fundraiser "Bugs and Brew For Drew" which is held annually to benefit the Drew Rodrigue Foundation, which has the mission to "change…

St. Arnold's Pub "Qrawl"

The "Q" in "Qrawl" stands for "Quarter" as in the French Quarter.

Yesterday was a fine day to wander about and drink beer. I don't hang out in the Quarter too often, so I thought this would be a nice opportunity to do something different and maybe see if there were any surprises for craft beer in the Quarter. It was an interesting day, for sure.

We biked to the FQ and went promptly to the first stop on the crawl, Finnegan's Easy on St. Peter between Royal and Bourbon.

Finnegan's was a nice place: long wood bar, great natural light, a gorgeous courtyard in the back. The Saint Arnold they provided was Santo, a "black Kolsch" which is easy drinking and flavorful. They also had Canebrake, NOLA Blonde, Tin Roof Voodoo Bengal, Guinness, and Abita Amber. I'd definitely duck in here if I was looking for local craft in that area. The Santo was $4.25, the cheapest beer we had on the crawl.

Next up was Bayou Burger. This involved two of my…

New Belgium launch and Southern Brew News!

So, today was the first day of New Belgium release in Louisiana! I saw the display in Rouses on North Carrollton at lunch:

$2.99 for a bomber, FYI. I need to pick up a six pack of Shift ASAP.

So, New Belgium is only in bottles and cans right now- it'll be on draft at the end of May, from what I hear. The Avenue Pub offered bottle pours for the occasion today - $14 for six 4oz pours, which included a nice glass. I also scored a lip balm, a hat, and a coozie. Single 4oz pours were also available, $1.50 for the standards and $3.50 for the three Lips of Faith. I focused mostly on the Lips of Faith stuff, since I had the basic lineup beers last week at the distributor roll out. I did start out with a Shift, though, 'cause that's my jam. And I did use a Fat Tire to cleanse my palate after drinking the Cascara Quad.

First of all, the La Folie- a Flanders Oud Bruin, It was straight up excellent. I need to see if I can get my hands on a bottle. Or two. After that, I tried the Dieu …