Tuesday, February 26, 2013

New Orleans International Beer Festival - 3/9/13

The New Orleans International Beer Festival is returning to Champions Square on March 9. It moved over here from the Northshore last year and has had a good turnout and reputation for engaging local breweries. It's sponsored by Abita, with participation of all local breweries like Tin Roof, NOLA Brewing, Parish Brewing, Bayou Teche, and Chafunkta.

Yes, Chafunkta! This will be their debut appearance as a fully licensed and legally distributed beer - stop by their table and try their Voo Ka Ray IPA and Old 504 Porter, a coffee-infused vanilla robust porter. And congratulate them for their huge accomplishment!

Andrew Godley with Parish Brewing says that he'll be bringing his trademark Canebrake wheat beer along with the first commercial batch of their new year round beer, Envie Pale Ale and a keg of 2012 Grand Reserve barleywine.

Tin Roof is sponsoring the cornhole tournament (come out and cheer for New Orleans' own Beer Buddha team!) and will be bringing their flagship beers in cans to share: Perfect Tin Amber, Voodoo Bengal, and Blonde.

Covington Brewhouse will have Bayou Bock, Pontchartrain Pilsner, Strawberry, and Kolsch on hand, and are hoping to have a firkin in the VIP tent. That's still up in the air though.

Abita is still finalizing their list and Bayou Teche is busy this week up in NYC debuting their brand there in time for NYC Beer Week, so I'll catch up with both of them later and do an update post.

I'm super excited that there will be a "cask beer garden" dedicated to firkins of cask ale. Whoo!

New brands to the Louisiana market will be in attendance as well, like Goose Island and Green Flash. Gypsy brewer Stillwater will be there, and powerhouse craft breweries like Stone and Brooklyn will be pouring beers as well. A number of cider brewers will be in the new "Cider Garden" which has been set up to address artisinal cider's rising popularity. St. Arnold, which is not technically a local brewery (they are from Texas) but might as well be, given the great events and goodwill lavished on the New Orleans market, will be there too.

Tickets on sale now. Go get you some!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


OMG, Mardi Gras, y'all. Recovering and doing some writing.

We mostly drank Sierra Nevada in cans and the NOLA Brewing beers available (Blonde, Brown, Hopitoulas) during parades, with the notable exception of Mardi Gras day itself, when we were outside the Avenue Pub for Zulu and Rex. Check out this beer list!

Yum! I enjoyed the Bluebird Bitter especially.

More stuff coming up soon, as soon as I put myself back together!

Friday, February 8, 2013

New Belgium is Coming! New Belgium is Coming!

So, anytime a major brewery moves into this market, it's a good sign. It's an indication that distributors, stores, and bars think they can sell it. Which means an acknowledgement that craft beer is on the rise in New Orleans!

I've been hearing rumors for over a year now about New Belgium expanding their market to Louisiana - the word that they are building a second brewery in Ashville, NC has increased the buzz on that rumor as well.

And as of April 1, New Belgium will be releasing 22oz bottles of Fat Tire, Ranger IPA, and others, including at least one of their special Lips of Faith series. About a month after that, draft beer will be available, and a month after that, regular 6 packs will come out. I am not sure why the staggered release - I know Green Flash was available in bombers, 6-packs, and draft at the same time, so maybe the distributor (I don't know yet if it's going to be carried by Southern Eagle or Crescent Crown) wants to gauge interest or stir up anticipation or if it's just a logistical issue or what.

But, exciting! Really looking forward to the roll out.

They are also hiring a "New Belgium Beer Ranger" (aka New Orleans sales rep/manager), so if your interests lie in that direction... check it out!

Shout out to Todd Price for breaking the news today, which was my primary source for this blog post.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

I am the WORST!

Been fully neglecting my duties as faithful beer blogger while... chasing down info that I can blog about.

Here's some quick info:

Went to the Northshore this past Saturday to check out Abita, Covington, and Chaunkta. Was warmly welcomed by all breweries and had the opportunities to talk to brewers at Covington and Chafunkta. Lots of changes coming up for those two... one, which has just been announced publicly  is that Chafunkta just got their permit to brew and serve beer approved by the Commissioner of the LA ATC!

NOLA Brewing had a Superbowl party that I was able to swing by and try Bayou Teche's new crawfish season beer (in big bottles) - Saison D'Ecrevisses. I only got a little sip but it was pretty good. Looking forward to seeing this come out on the market.

NOLA also just got the can design for MechaHopzilla approved, so that is a go! Those will be some high-test cans of beer.

In conclusion, Super Gras.  Be merry and safe! And drink delicious beer! Also, it's a marathon, not a race, so pace yourself accordingly.