Monday, November 18, 2013

Gambit's Fall FestivALE!



This weekend was the Gambit-sponsored FestivALES, their second beer pub crawl. The one in May down in the Warehouse District had too many "crafty" beers for my tastes, but this one on Freret Street had much more consistently good beers. I don't think I tried much I haven't had before, but every single Louisiana brewery currently producing (Abita, Bayou Teche, Chafunkta, Covington, NOLA Brewing, Parish, and Tin Roof) were represented as well as neighboring breweries that have a significant presence here, Lazy Magnolia (MS) and Saint Arnold (TX.)


There were lots of great placed to eat, like Wayfare, Midway Pizza, Dat Dog, and our lunch selection, Ancora Pizzeria.

Ah! Ancora. Man, I love that place.

I was really pleased about the beer selection and the selection of Freret Street establishments for this event. I think Ancora and Midway in particular have been dedicated to craft beer for years, and the Wayfare has recently put in a 30-tap system that looks pretty badass even on a regular day. The Freret Street PubliQ House and Dat Dog have been steadily increasing the quality and quantity of craft beer selection (the GM of the PubliQ House says they will be opening up their draft lines even more in the coming months.) Gasa Gasa was a very cool find with about a half dozen taps and tons of bottles that I'd never even noticed, even though it's next to our regular comic book store, Crescent City Comics.

Only part of Wayfare's new draft system!

My husband and I both had a GREAT time. My one suggestion for the next FestivALES is to encourage tipping the bartenders, because they aren't being paid extra for the throngs of people who are looking to get 4-5 three-ounce pours at a time, each. The bartenders I dealt with were fantastic, but I can imagine it's quite a grind for the six hours of the event.

Gasa Gasa's taps for the event

folks in line for beer at Dat Dog
 I liked that there were lots of option for food - along with the quality of craft beer selections, I definitely recommend keeping that aspect of the FestivALE. I think there could be more of an opportunity for the business to make money, if they were encouraged to provide a signature snack for a couple bucks that the attendees could get quickly throughout the day at each stop. From what I hear, the restaurant/bar owners only make about 1/3 the cost of the special $1 pours that many people elected not to partake in, since they cost extra. I think that trying to give the businesses and their staffs the opportunity to come out on top for this kind of thing would be a great way to ensure high quality destinations and beer.

Good times at Midway

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