Wednesday, November 6, 2013

What's Bayou Teche up to?

On Sunday I had a great opportunity to enjoy the beautiful afternoon (well, beautiful if you weren't watching the Saints game) out on the upper balcony at the Avenue Pub.

The reason I wanted to check out the Pub that day is that Bayou Teche brought two difficult to find beers there for fundraising purposes. The Avenue donated $1.00 for each beer sold went to help the efforts of the Bayou Vermillion District, which is a conservation and cultural non-profit for the Bayou Vermillion area. Bayou Teche brewed a special beer for it called Floatilla, a biere de garde aged on white birch. Believe me when I say it was fantastic. I had like three of them, which is unusual for me when I'm at the Pub.

It was a great example of the style with a smooth maltiness from a combination of Munich malt, Canadian pilsner malt, and 2 French malts along with enough French hops to make it an earthy, quaffable, balanced brew. The white ash aging is very subtle, just brings a nice dimension to the toasty malt backbone. Although the beer is malt-forward, it isn't particularly heavy or sweet - just a great beer to drink on a glorious autumn day. Damn, That was really delicious. I wonder if they still have any? They had six kegs to sell as of Sunday. Also, Bayou Teche is donating 100% of the proceeds from Floatilla to the Bayou Vermillion District, which makes it an even better reason to drink it.

I also tried Bayou Teche's Hop'elousas which is a hopped up tripel generally only served in their own tap room. The Avenue only got one single solitary keg of it. This beer was also really good. It hid its 8% well and had a lovely soft fruity pear aroma and great yeast character. I only had one of these but I enjoyed it thoroughly.

I also got a chance to chat with brewery founder and co-owner Karlos Knott for much of the afternoon about their upcoming seasonal beers, 3113, a beer inspired by the Louisiana cherry bounce tradition, and their Loup Garou oak-aged stout. Man, December's sounding mighty delicious.

We also talked about the collaboration with French brewery La Bambelle. Louis Michot went over on behalf of the brewery to assist brewing the recipe for Bayoust, which had been crafted between the La Bambelle brewers and Bayou Teche head brewer Gar Hatcher via Skype. The La Bambelle folks will be here in March to create the same beer here, to be distributed in time for festival season in April.

There's also some current discussion about a collaboration with Belgian brewery Brasserie L’├ęchasses in 2014, though that's still in the planning stages.

Oh! In non-Bayou Teche news, but in Belgian brewery news, when Belgian brewer Anne-Catherine Dilewyns from Brouwerij Dilewyns came to New Orleans earlier this year, she brought a tiny bottle of their brand new Vicaris Tripel Gueuze to share, even though it wasn't in release here yet. It was awesome. And now it is at the Avenue Pub!

This beer had a bright, citrus aroma heightened by the lambic with spice and lemon and Brett and fruity tripel notes and OMG it is fantastic. OK, now I want one of those too.  DAMN MY BUSY SCHEDULE TODAY!

All in all, a lovely day with delicious beer from near and far and interesting lively conversation with people who love beer. (I also met a beer dude from Australia, which was cool.)

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