Showing posts from March, 2013

Bottling Day

After my previous gravity check, I waited 12 days to check again. I really only meant to wait a week, but things have been crazy busy. When I checked it yesterday, it measured in at 1.012 exactly, hooray! So that was super exciting. The taste was much less sweet as well. That meant that bottling would have to be done this weekend.

Let me first say: My Kingdom for a Kegerator! Sadly, that is not really an option at this point, so bottling it shall be.

First step: check to see if all supplies are in the house (priming sugar, bottles, bottle tops both regular or flip, sanitizer, siphon thing, bottling wand, tubing.

Second step: go to Brewstock to get the random flip top cages and assembly as well as a couple new liter swingtops. (subset of the second step, burble to Aaron about your beer and your future homebrewing plans and get the scoop on the First Annual Louisiana Homebrew Competition).

Third step: Sanitize the living crap out of everything, starting with the bottle tree, the bottles…

Southern Tier coming to Louisiana!

So, while I was talking to Vanessa Gomes (Head of Craft Beer Management for Louisiana Craft Beer - Northshore) and Mr. Joel Champagne (President of Champagne Beverage Co.) I discovered that Southern Tier will be coming to Louisiana in the next month or so!

I don't know many more details than that, but I was told it was confirmed and OK to share, so HOORAY! If you are not familiar with Southern Tier, they make many awesome beers including Unearthly, Iniquity (one of my favorites), Phin & Matt's, Pumking, Krampus, AND SO MUCH MORE!

New Belgium rollout!

Today I hopped over the lake on the causeway to celebrate the Northshore distribution debut of New Belgium. From what I hear, getting New Belgium here in Louisiana was a long time in the making, so everyone at Champagne Beverage Co. (who hosted the event and will be distributing the brand) was very happy and very relieved that all went well. And it did go well! It was a super event. Had a canoe full of crawfish, shrimp, potatoes, and corn; tables of BBQ and fried seafood, and of course, stands serving 5 of New Belgium's beers - Fat Tire, of course, Ranger IPA, Shift (a pale lager hopped with Nelson Sauvin), Sunshine Wheat, and Trippel Belgian style ale.

Thanks go to the always wonderful Vanessa Gomes, the new head of Craft Beer Management for the Northshore location of Louisiana Craft Beer distribution group. The Louisiana Craft Beer portfolio is distributed by Champagne Beverage Co. on the Northshore, and Crescent Crown on the south shore (New Orleans). She invited me to the even…

Surprise nice tap list!

This past week has been much less beer-centric than usual. I had many awesome food experiences which I'll be writing about on my other blog, this week.

However, in the course of having lunch at Byblos on Magazine Street this week (I was checking out their overhauled menu) I caught a glimpse of their new tap list, which is much improved from their previous incarnation down the street.

Got local beer represented, like Canebrake and Abita, regional with the Saint Arnold's Santo, larger national microbrews like Magic Hat #9 and Brookyn's Sorachi Ace, and yes, the Redd's is a Miller-Coors apple ale that sounds terrible (though to be fair, I have not tried it) it's more interesting than sticking a tap of Miller Lite or Blue Moon up there.

I like seeing these random tap lists at places you wouldn't think would have stuff like this. I think it speaks to a shift to more local restaurants taking chances on craft beer that would previously not had this sort…

Brewing update

So, I finally was able to get a sample from my beer to see how things are going. Conclusion: Okaaaay, I guess. The gravity readings are a good 5 points (when factoring temperature in) over the high part of the range for the style. I wonder if maybe my dry yeast needed a bit more help. So, we'll see it still needs some more fermentation time and if the gravity comes down in the next week. If it's still under-attenuated, I'll probably pitch some live liquid yeast and hopefully I'll get it to where it needs to be.

Some pictures of today's adventures:

Zwanze sneak peek! (also other upcoming Avenue Pub events)

Apparently, the 2014/15 Zwanze might be a spontaneously fermented stout? Relevant to my interests!

Speaking of Cantillon, Avenue Pub is hosting a Cantillon Lambic and Gueuze tasting on March 20. And in further sour events, there will be the opportunity to try a very rare Italian sour (also at the Avenue Pub) on March 27 at the Xyauyu open bottle night.

You all probably know that New Belgium will be released upon the area on April 1. As the first wave of New Belgium beer will only be in bombers, the Avenue Pub will likely have several Lips of Faith on hand to sell by the bottle (and probably an event with bottle pours for sale) as well as New Belgium's collaboration with Dieu de Ciel, Hemelse God and their other regular releases. Polly's great about keeping their Facebook event page updated as stuff is finalized, so keep an eye out for that.

ALSO, Stone Enjoy By is coming to Louisiana! It'll be Enjoy By May 17. This is exciting news. I'll post where it can be found in b…

New Orleans International Beer Festival wrap-up

Yesterday was the 2nd Annual New Orleans International Beer Festival at Champion Square. As a member of the press, I was able to attend for free with a media pass, and also had VIP tent access. Being able to come in an hour early is one of the biggest perks of the VIP pass. Because by the time 3:30 rolled around, it was so crowded that getting around was difficult, and figuring out who was in line for what you wanted as opposed to just hanging out was near impossible. I think they sold too many tickets for the event. However, it was pretty cool to behold, and made me think, "who ARE all of these people?" Were they craft beer fans, or fans of being able to drink as much as they could?

So, I arrived at 1pm and got my media pass, and made the rounds. Got to see Josh and Jamie from Chafunkta, Buck, Ben, and Wild Bill from NOLA Brewing, Bryan from Covington, Karlos from Bayou Teche, Andrew from Parish as well as other beer enthusiasts I consider friends.

There were several beers…

Local British Pub Just Got British-er

Fyi, one of my favorite British pubs not in Great Britain, the Sovereign Pub in New Orleans, now has Thornbridge Jaipur, Thornbridge Kipling, and Fuller's London Pride.Go get you some!

New Orleans International Beer Fest follow up

OK, so the New Orleans International Beer Festival is this Saturday, March 9, from 2-6pm. Here's a few updates from Louisiana breweries as to what they'll be providing (folks that I didn't include in my last post.)

Covington: Will be bringing a cask for the cask garden!

Abita is bringing all their standards, including Abbey Ale, Spring IPA, Oyster Stout, and Strawberry Harvest Lager. They are contributing 2 casks to the cask garden: a cask conditioned version of Vanilla Double Dog and ZSB – Zach's Special Bitter.

Bayou Teche (got this from the New Orleans International Beer Festival website): LA31 Biere Noire, LA31 Biere Pale, LA31 Boucanee, LA31 Passionee, ACADIE, and their new seasonal, Saison D'Escrevisses.

For more info on what beers will be available at the Festival, visit the Breweries page on the Festival's website. You can still buy tickets here. I'm pretty sure that Gambit and the Beer Buddha are giving tickets away, too. (NOTE, deadlines for the …

Article in the Gambit!

Here are links & stuff:

Here's the digital/"flipbook" version of the article. Basically a digital copy of the entire magazine with all layout intact. (with the ads and the photos, etc.)

Here's the permalink to the article, and a link to the sidebars.

Love, your NOLA Brew Maven (according to the Gambit.)

PS, this is why I've had a hard time updating as much as I'd like! Only so many beer writing hours in the day.

Brewing and writing and boiling oh my!

Today has been bananas. Planned to get up & at 'em early-ish (9am) to start prepping for brew day. Today is the first time I've ever homebrewed, exciting! Woke up to find out that there was no water in most of the city. So, that's a problem. Then after a little while, it came back, but we were under a boil advisory, so while that didn't cause too much of an issue, it did cause us to waste like a case of bottled water when we added it to the wort after it cooled.
I discovered that brewing involves mostly two things; 1) sanitizing and 2) waiting.

I decided to do an easy recipe so I could focus on the process - I love a nicely hopped pale ale, and I purchased a monthly kit from Brewstock - their March kit is called "Pontchartrain Pale Ale."
Designed with spring in mind – this hoppy pale ale (not as hoppy as an IPA), will go with a walk along the lake, a picnic in the park or a concert in the square. Single hopped with Centennial, we balanced the bold floral…

Presented without comment (but much glee)


Did you know...

... that on the corner of Aline and Prytania, there's a German style beer garden with an amazing variety of German beer styles from different regions? It's called the Aline Street Beer Garden, it opened about 6 weeks ago, and I highly recommend checking it out. I had a weizen/wheat beer from Köln which was great (had a hoppy bitterness that played off the spicy, fruity yeast flavors) and very different than the standard Bavarian hefeweizen.

I'll be going into much more detail about this place in an upcoming blog post, probably next week.

... that next to the Beer Garden is a tiny British style pub (owned by the same guy who owns the Beer Garden) called the Sovereign Pub? While I find the strength of the beer selection true to the regional style is better over in the German-themed Beer Garden, the Pub quite accurately captures the vibe of a British Pub.  It has a great single malt selection as well, little conversation nooks, and periodicals like the Financial Times, the Gu…