Tuesday is Barrel-Aged Day (ACBW report 5/14)


Good times last night. The thing about ACBW isn't just the beers that are on display, but it's the event itself. There are people new to beer, brewers, brewery sales reps, industry folks, and beer geeks all coming together to celebrate American craft beer and it's just a lot of fun and the opportunity to listen to and talk with some very cool people. It's part of the celebratory nature of the week, and is incredibly energizing for me.

I started my evening with a couple of beers at the Midcity Bulldog. It's actually the first time I've been there ever, which is weird (I've been at the Uptown one lots.) They were prepared for their West Coast tap takeover later that night, with plenty of Stone and Green Flash (would have loved to get a Le Freak, but alas, needed to stay focused!) Since I got there before the 6pm tapping of the NOLA Irish Channel Stout aged in Old New Orleans Rum barrels, I settled in the patio with a refreshing Southern Tier Live.

Ah, refreshing.

As I was waiting at the bar to get my Irish Channel Stout, I chatted with a couple guys from NOLA Brewing, as well as Nick from Crescent Crown and Scott from Courtyard Brewing. After ordering and drinking about a third of it, I discovered that the ABV from the rum barrel aging had increased to 8.8%. Had I known that, I'd have ordered a smaller glass!

But I did enjoy its transition as it warmed up. I think it would be interesting to try a version aged for longer than 3-4 weeks, as this batch was.

Onward to the Avenue Pub for their "Beer & Its Bourbon" event. This event had eight different barrel aged beers (mostly stouts) which could be paired with the bourbon, rye, or rum that was made in the barrel the beer was aged in. An awesome concept and it was beautifully executed. You could order a 10 ounce pour, a 4 oz. sample, and/or a 4 oz sample with a half ounce of the accompanying spirit

When I went upstairs, the line was crazy, so I tried to be strategic to avoid having to go back there for a while. I ended up getting a 10 oz glass of Against the Grain's Bo & Luke Imperial Stout aged in Pappy Van Winkle barrels, and a 4 oz sample of the Brooklyn Cuvee Stout aged in Elijah Craig Barrels refermented with Champagne yeast with the accompanying Elijah Craig pour.

Bo & Luke

Brooklyn Cuvee and Elijah Craig whiskey
The beers were just excellent, and the Elijah Craig was a bit of strong sipping, but I did enjoy and finish it. I loved the Bo & Luke.

Later I went back and got a 4 oz pour of the He'Brew Funky Jewbelation aged in Sazerac barrels by Schmaltz along with a pour of the Sazerac Rye. At this point, I was getting quite warm and fuzzy. I chatted with Karlos and Stephanie Knott from Bayou Teche, and Polly and Vickie from the pub, and many other fellow beer geeks - some of whom I've seen every day so far this week (hi, Roger!) and some who I haven't chatted with for a while. (Lois and family!) I sipped on what I imagine will be my last taste of Bayou Teche's Biere Joi aged in Jack Daniel barrels with chile arbol and cocoa nibs and had a lovely time outside on the downstairs patio. Left at around 9pm, so got home and in bed at a reasonable time, hooray!

Here's the scoop for today:

Avenue Pub
5 p.m. — Funky Town: Sours, Saison and Funky Beers, including: Stillwater’s Lower Dens; Local Option’s Gose and Dampf Loc; Against the Grain’s Tickle Me Elmo; Saint Arnold’s Bishop’s Barrel Number 2 (Sour Cherries aged in White Wine Barrels); Hill Farmstead’s La Vermontoise and Fantôme Collaboration.

Barley Oak
7 p.m. — Chafunkta and Covington Brewhouse night. Covington: Draft - Pontchartrain Pilsner (Northshore Black & Tan); Bottle - Covington Strawberry. Chafunkta: Draft Old 504 Coffee Porter (Northshore Black & Tan) and Voo Ka Ray IPA.

Bulldog Mid-City
5 p.m.-7 p.m. — cask of Abita Belgian Golden Ale and free Abita glassware.
8 p.m.-10 p.m. — Saint Arnold Pint Night featuring their Icon, Bishop’s Barrel, Amber, and Endeavour.

Bulldog Uptown
5 p.m.-7 p.m. — Tin Roof Pint Night with Blonde, Juke Joint and Voodoo Bengal on tap. Also available, a special release of Perfect Tin with English Yeast Hops (Manchester Brewnited Amber).

Chimes of Covington
7 p.m - Southern craft beer dinner. Start time TBD. Five courses, paired with beers from Lazy Magnolia, Tin Roof, Chafunkta, St. Arnold, and Covington Brewhouse. $45 plus tax and tip. Contact the Chimes directly at (985) 892-5396 for more details.

dba (618 Frenchmen St., (504) 942-3731; http://www.dbaneworleans.com/)
7pm - Bayou Teche cask of an unreleased beer, Miel Savage (a strong honey ale, or braggot) on cask.

Irish House
Small plate pairing, $11. Harpoon IPA with truffled chicken

Mellow Mushroom Covington 
6 p.m.-8 p.m. — Abita cask of Buffalo Trace Turbodog and free Abita glassware.

St. James Cheese Company (5004 Prytania St., 504-899-4737; www.stjamescheese.com)
7 p.m. — Fermented Foods With Jeff Roberts - a wonderful night of fermented goodies- cheese, wine provided by Moises Wines, bread provided by Bellegarde Bakery, beer (Flambeau Red) provided by NOLA Brewing, and Cleaver & Co. bringing the cured meats.

Swamp Room (5216 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 504-888-5242)
7 p.m. — New Belgium sampling.

I will be at the Avenue from 5:30-7pm tasting a few of the sours, then heading to Frenchmen Street to check out Bayou Teche's braggot on cask at dba, along with some live music, if you're into that kind of thing I guess.

Reminder: have you bought your ticket to the Avenue Pub's Grand Tasting on Saturday yet? If you buy it in advance, you get three extra pours for free!