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 de Ciel collaboration, Heavenly Feijoa, a tripel with hibiscus, Belgian yeast, and Nelson Sauvin hops.

Heavenly Feijoa, on the Balcony of the Avenue
Also, feijoa? Which is also known as a pineapple guava? I didn't get the tropical fruity feijoa aroma, but it was a nice beer. Hibiscus was well deployed.  Finished up with the Cascara Quad, which was far too much beer for a sunny day like today. I also had a second glass of La Folie, because of its extreme awesomeness.

Spent some time with Casey from Crescent Crown, the distributor that has New Belgium in its portfolio for New Orleans (I'd been confused and thought it was Southern Eagle before, but I was wrong.) She seemed pleased and relieved that this day had come to pass after so much planning and work. I also met Rusty, a New Belgium Ranger from Austin. Regarding the New Orleans Ranger position, it will stay posted for about another week or so and then they'll start processing applicants. It appears that there has been a lot of interest in the position.

So that was much fun. Saw a lot of friends enjoying the new brewery in town. It was a lovely day drinking good beer with good people. That's what it's all about.

UPDATE: (on 4/3/13) As my fellow writer Brenton Day up in Baton Rouge pointed out in his writeup on The Ale Runner (and I forgot to mention, and Imma blame the Quad for that) is that Louisiana's getting New Belgium's Sunshine Wheat is actually the first time it's been rolled out from the start in a region, and I believe that really there aren't many places that have it in bottles at all (like Florida, though NB regional manager Rusty Hancock says they will probably be distributing Sunshine Wheat in the Sunshine state soon.)
I was also intrigued by news of New Belgium's summer seasonal that Brenton writes about: - "Rolle Bolle, which is brewed with monk fruit and soursop." That should be available on May 20, along with beer on draft, six packs of bottles (Rusty also mentioned that we're one of the first markets to get the shift in can six-packs, which is awesome, because it's my favorite,) and their Rampart Imperial IPA and black lager 1554. Props to Brenton for his excellent coverage and reminding me what I forgot!

AND! The Southern Brew News issue (April/May) with my front page article was at the Pub too, so I was able to not so quietly geek out about that.

It's not online yet, but I'll link it when it is!