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, more casual beer drinker, and this was a great way to turn them on to this style of brewing and serving beer. I had a lot of awesome conversations with both total beer nerds and neophytes, and everyone seemed like they were having fun.
My other favorite of the day was the Canebrake dry hopped with Pacifica hops. Canebrake is a very well made beer and is much loved around these parts, deservedly so. But the style is not really in my wheelhouse, so while I respect the beer, I don't usually drink a lot of it. Dry hopping and cask conditioning really made this batch sing. It was just excellent. Parish was also pouring samples of their soon-to-be-released Farmhouse IPA, which was also very good. A little over-carbonated, but I know the small kinks will be worked out; it's a well made and great tasting beer. My hat is off to the folks at Parish.
But every cask had its fans in the crowd; it was very cool to see people come up for more and talk excitedly about what they loved about what they were drinking. I can't thank the organizers of the event as well as the Louisiana Craft Brewers Guild for providing this opportunity to showcase local beer. I was privileged to be a part of it.
Also ran into the breweries that are still getting their businesses together- Michael at 40 Arpent had brewed a new Belgian ale that came out nicely, and Leith with Mudbug had his King Cake beer - the first run off his newly installed Psycho system. I tried the King Cake with and without the rim, and it's so much better without it. It doesn't need the cinnamon-sugar to highlight the flavors, the beer does that very well already. Gnarly Barley was also in the house, serving their Common and Imperial Rye Pale Ale.
|40 Arpent's stout description|
|Insane contraption brought by the homebrew store on the Northshore|
|Half rimmed King Cake ale|