Interesting news from Abita Springs

I was talking to Keith Pumila and Leo Basile of Abita at the beer share held at NOLA Brewing on Saturday (THAT is an entirely different blog post which will be published sometime this week) and got the scoop on a couple of new beers.

The first one I came across while copy editing the WYES booklet and couldn't find mention of it anywhere: Strawator, a Strawberry Doppelbock. It's 8% ABV and an extension of their very popular annual Strawberry Harvest Lager:
Strawator is a take on our most popular Harvest Series  beer, Strawberry Harvest lager. It is a strong golden  lager made with malted barley and wheat. Despite being strong, it is still light in color. It is hopped with German perle hops to give the beer a delicate hop flavor. After filtration, generous amounts of fresh Louisiana strawberry juice is added, giving the beer a pleasant sweet taste and aroma, as well as a nice golden color and slight cloudiness. 
Be interesting to see how fans of the regular Strawberry think of this.

The other beer I just found out about today: the "French Connection."
The French Pale is a unique unfiltered beer with all of the raw ingredients sourced from France. The grist is a combination of French Pale, Vienna, Wheat, and Caramel malts, which gives the beer a hazy golden color. It is hopped and dry hopped with Aramis, Strisselspalt, and Triskel hops, which are all grown in Alsace region of France. This results in a beer with a fruity and hoppy flavor and aroma. The beer is fermented with a Saison yeast similar to what is used in French Farmhouse Ales, giving this beer a spicy and estery aroma.
This seems to be somewhat in step to what Bayou Teche is doing with their Alsatian hope usage as well as close to Parish's Farmhouse IPA. I think what those breweries have been doing within this beer genre has been interesting and delicious, and I'm interested to see Abita's take on it. Not sure if this is going to be an ale or lager, but the ABV is 6.8%.

I imagine Strawator will be rolling out this month sometime, I'm unsure if its presence at the WYES Private Sampling event on Friday 6/21 is its premiere or not. Looks like the French Connection has an order deadline by June 14, so I don't know how many weeks out it translates to release on draft. These are both in the "Select" series of Abita beers.

Keep an eye out on this blog as well as tomorrow's Gambit Brewsday Tuesday for more info on the WYES pair of events on Friday 6/21 and Saturday, 6/22.