Thursday, May 30, 2013

Ladies Getting Beer Done

Sorry I haven't been able to update this week! I was busy at the New Orleans Wine and Food Experience (NOWFE) over the weekend and the life stuff this week. I did publish my Brewsday Tuesday column at the Gambit though! It has been pointed out to me that I didn't include much for the Northshore, but I will be rectifying that with an article I'll be writing for the Northshore magazine Inside Northside for their Sept/Oct issue. Exciting!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Media roundup

As we close out the week on this fine Friday, I would like to present the premiere of my new Gambit blog column, "Brewsday Tuesday." It debuted this past Tuesday and featured a writeup of ACBW, which took place the previous week. Keep an eye on it and let me know if you have any feedback or ideas for future columns!

I also visited the Wayfare this past week and posted about it on my other blog, Nora in NOLA. Since I didn't drink any beer there, I didn't write it up here, but they do have a great beer selection (especially in bottle/can) so I wanted to call attention to it on this platform as well.

The upcoming weekend and week will be focusing more on fine dining and wine, so that will be an interesting  change.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Call for volunteers for WYES' International Beer Tasting 6/22!

Do you like pouring beer? Do you like drinking beer? If you answered "yes" to either or both of those questions, then WYES has a proposition for you!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

All work and all play make Nora something-something.

... Go crazy? Don't mind if I do!

I kid! Although ACBW was a very busy week and I got pretty tired by the end of it, everything was so much fun. Great beers, great people, great general vibe. Yesterday's Grand Tasting at the Avenue Pub was the showcase event of the week, and I think Polly and her amazing staff pulled off a high quality and smooth running event.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

TGIFACBW - and Avenue Pub Grand Tasting today!

First of all, thanks for all the positive feedback on yesterday's blog post. It was a little on the personal side, so I wasn't sure how it would be received. As I do more and more writing, I'm trying to find my "voice" or style, something that's informative, interesting, and enjoyable to read.

Last night was the St. Charles cask crawl. I showed up a little later than usual at the Avenue (had a meet & greet for Nyx riding members at Finn McCool's right after work.) I headed upstairs to try the Parish Envie cask and ran into fellow drinkin' writer Todd Price from NOLA.com who was celebrating his birthday there! That was very cool to finally meet, since we'd corresponded in email and on social media a bunch but never met in person.

Friday, May 17, 2013

New Belgium out on draft on Monday!

The hubbub of ACBW plus the fact that we are already drinking a bunch of New Belgium after its release a month or so ago has made me forget that New Belgium isn't on draft yet here in Louisiana.

On Monday, that's about to change, 'cause New Belgium is rolling out some kegs!

ACBW Fatigue (Thursday, 5/17)

I am so tired.

I'm not hungover, and I've been getting a decent night's sleep every night - the precautions I've stuck to have definitely been working. It's like a cumulative exhaustion that gets more and more intense every morning I wake up. I love beer, I love drinking beer, I love talking to people about beer, I love seeing others enjoy beer. I love it more than pretty much anything else. I am still enjoying myself going to events. But I'm tired.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Wednesday: Four Sours and a Braggot (ACBW 5/15)

Another day, another 6 different beers sampled.

The Avenue Pub held its "Funky Town" sour beer sampling event. They had ten different sour/wild beers on deck, both served on draft and in the bottle. I bought a sample pour ticket and selected the following four:

Hill Farmstead / Fantome Five Sciences Collaboration.- Tasting Notes: When this beer arrived it was not ready to pour. Shelton brothers told us to cellar it for at least two months to allow the re-fermentation process to complete. Many shops put this beer on their shelves right away so people that tasted it then will have tried a completely different beer. Made with Fantome’s famous wild yeast strains it has subtle grapeskin flavors and a lacing of smoke, strong carbonation and lightly tart. Nora's Notes: A very delicate and subtly complex beer, practically dissolving on the tongue as soon as I took a sip. This was a beer that I would have liked to have more time and ounces to get acquainted with. I definitely got the hit of smoke in this beer, which was a nice part of the flavor profile.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Tuesday is Barrel-Aged Day (ACBW report 5/14)

IN IT TO WIN IT!

Good times last night. The thing about ACBW isn't just the beers that are on display, but it's the event itself. There are people new to beer, brewers, brewery sales reps, industry folks, and beer geeks all coming together to celebrate American craft beer and it's just a lot of fun and the opportunity to listen to and talk with some very cool people. It's part of the celebratory nature of the week, and is incredibly energizing for me.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

SAVOR American Craft Beer and Food Experience press release from Bayou Teche

We (briefly) interrupt our coverage of American Craft Beer Week to share this press release from Bayou Teche. Being selected to present at SAVOR is a huge honor, and it's a very prestigious national event. I'm super excited because I will be attending this year to chronicle the Louisiana offerings and events (Abita is a sponsor and will be present as well.)

This is the press release in its entirety directly from Karlos Knott, co-owner of Bayou Teche. Has a lot of cool info about the beer, the food, the brewery, and the event itself.

Official Start to ACBW - Monday, 5/13

And... we're off! (officially) Although the official span of ACBW is May 13-19, the weekend preceding had several fun events. But Monday is when things get real.

Monday, May 13, 2013

ACBW Pregame Day #2 - Sunday 5/12 report (and a list of events on Monday 5/13)

Sunday was a glorious spring day after the rain and humidity of the few days preceding it. A little cool for a May day in New Orleans, but that made it perfect.

We biked over to the Avenue Pub to partake in the Bayou Teche crawfish boil and Cocodrie launch. Cocodrie is a tripel Belgian IPA and weighs in at 8%. It drinks so beautifully that the guys at Bayou Teche got T shirts to indicate its deliciousness that comes with danger...

The Irish House and ACBW

I just found out about a whole host of food-craft beer pairings that are happening this week at the Irish House. Chopped winner chef Matt Murphy has created a small plate to pair with a specific American craft beer for every night this week, starting tonight. All pairings are $11.

  • Monday, May 13: Stone Ruination IPA served with an Irish cheese plate
  • Tuesday, May 14: Ommegang Abbey Ale with fish & chips
  • Wednesday, May 15: Harpoon IPA with truffled chicken
  • Thursday, May 16: Green Flash West Coast IPA with baked redfish
  • Friday, May 17: Rogue Dead Guy Ale with corned beef & cabbage
  • Saturday, May 18: Anchor Steam with bacon & cheese croquettes
  • Sunday, May 19: Covington Strawberry Ale with BBQ oysters
Also on Thursday, May 16, the Irish House will be hosting a three course beer dinner with NOLA Brewing. It's $45 and starts at 7pm. Limited seating, call 504-595-6755 for reservations.

Here's the menu:

Sunday, May 12, 2013

New addition to Bayou Teche ACBW week lineup

Breaking news: Bayou Teche will be providing a sneak peek of their upcoming beer, Miel Savage. It's a high abv (9%) honey braggot. It will be at dba on Frenchmen on Wednesday night.

This beer won't be released for another several months, so go get you some!

ACBW Pre-Game- yesterday's FestivALES and today's events

IT HAS BEGUN.

Yesterday, the rain held off to ensure the crowds of beer drinkers in the Warehouse District were able to enjoy the offerings from five different bars as part of the Gambit's foray into ACBW, the inaugural FestivALES event. As an attendee, I was relieved at the unexpected break in the weather, but conducted my logistical plans in a manner that would be most efficient in case of downpours.



Monday, May 6, 2013

New Gambit article about ACBW - PLUS new web page on this blog



I've been published in this week's Gambit reporting on ACBW and putting together a calendar of events for the week: behold!

ACBW in New Orleans story ("Coming to a Head.")

Listing of ACBW 2013 events in New Orleans, Metairie, and the Northshore ("Tap That.")

However, I've been getting small bits of changes after my submission deadline and I plan on keeping the listing updated on a special page on this blog. Look at the top of the page above the tiny German beer-drinking Nora and you'll see a tab that says "ACBW 2013 Events." That will bring you to the most complete updated page of events in the area. Spread the word!

Homebrew number two

May 5 is the eleventh anniversary of when Tom and I started dating. To celebrate that, Cinco de Mayo, and National Homebrew Day/Weekend, we collaborated on a beer together. Since I had Tom's partnership in this endeavor, we decided it would be fun to try an all-grain recipe. I was intrigued by a cool looking malt bill in an English Mild recipe I saw in Zymurgy, and started brainstorming around that. We ended up brewing the Mild recipe out of John Palmer's "Brewing Classic Styles" book, and I have a cunning plan to dryhop the Mild (which obviously makes it not a traditional style) with Simcoe hops. So it's like a British-American combination, much like Tom and myself.

Doing a mash and a batch sparge and vorlauf and all that stuff was pretty labor intensive, I kind of almost forgot everything I learned on my first brewday. However! It did all come back to me, more or less, with some gentle reminding. We went to Brewstock to acquire some Maris Otter, Crystal 60, Crystal 120, Pale Chocolate Malt, Black Patent Malt. Aaron was out for the day at Jazz Fest, but the folks there were super helpful and actually measured and crushed the grains for us. Got some Wyeast (liquid smackpack this time!) some Kent Golding for bittering and Simcoe for dryhopping, some sanitizer, and one of those adhesive thermostats so I can better monitor the fermentation temperature this time around.

Grains before the mashing

The general set up - mash tun on the left, brew/boil kettle on the right

Having a homebrew while homebrewing

Sparging!

Sparging some more...

From mash tun to...

... boil kettle

Brewing assistant/cellarcat

The Cooling of the Wort

Brew days are very exhausting!
The efficiency wasn't as great as one might hope - only at 68%. But hopefully we will still have a good beer at the end. I've rigged up a plastic container with some water and ice packs to keep it cool (in the 68 degree range) and Tom covered the fermentor with an old T-shirt to let evaporation do its thing all over it and keep things cool. I am hoping this will help with the issues I ran into with fermenting too warm last time.

I'm excited to see what happens! Hopefully, something generally delicious.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Living the Northshore Life, Drinking Local and Looking at Dogs.

Yesterday was a beautiful day to go out and enjoy the sunshine and lack of horrible rain. So we went across the lake to the Barley Oak. Chafunkta Brewing decided to do a little celebration for Saturday, 5/04 , by promoting their Old 504 Porter and donating a portion of the proceeds to St. Tammany Humane Society. Local beer, puppies, and sunshine... it was the perfect Saturday.

View from the Barley Oak balcony

Old 504

Summer the cutie pie puppy!
Josh and Jamie also told me of a delicious concoction they were calling the "Old Ray" which is their Voo Ka Ray topped, black & tan style, by the Old 504.

The beautifully poured Old Ray

Stone's Enjoy By! Hooray! (been looking for bottles of this for weeks)

Josh and Jamie Erikson from Chafunkta and me in my awesome new Chafunkta T-shirt
In conclusion, best Saturday outing ever! Local Louisiana beer, good friends, awesome dogs, and the sun (finally) shining. It's nice to get out of the city and just sit back and enjoy the simple and good things in life. I find that more often than not, craft beer helps with that.

Also, I have discovered that Chafunkta will be unveiling a new beer at the WYES Private Beer Sampling on Friday, June 21. Josh wouldn't tell me what it is, but I will hopefully find out once his test batch comes out. So stay tuned!