Showing posts from 2014

Pre Holiday Catching Up!

Man, I have not updated my blog with my new articles and stuff for ages. Let's fix that, shall we?

First of all, just a reminder that I've started a Tumblr page, mostly to house links of my stories, but also to reblog stuff I think is cute/funny/interesting and post photos. If you Tumbl, check it out!

I have two big stories out this past month. One is a profile of Hattiesburg Mississippi as a "Beer Destination" for Beer Advocate Magazine, and the other is an analysis of the impact of craft beer in five cities in the five states that surround the Gulf here: Houston, New Orleans, Hattiesburg, Birmingham, and the Tampa Bay area. This was really interesting to write and, I hope, interesting to read.

My Gambit pieces this past month or so have been pretty varied:

Great Raft beer hit town in NovemberI wrote a profile piece on local glass artist and homebrewer Andy PollockBig news: MUDBUG BREWERY IN THIBODAUX opened! That's the 13th brewery in the state. Check out Cresc…

Meet the next generation of local brewers: Grant Capone of Laughing Troll

New Orleans homebrewer Grant Capone has been dreaming about opening a brewery since 2011, when he received a Mr. Beer homebrew brewing kit from his wife, Megan. “I brewed two small batches and I was hooked.” After talking to several local brewers and homebrewers, Capone has developed a business plan for a three barrel system brewery and is actively searching for investors and a location. His hope is that the relative small size of the brewhouse will minimize startup costs while still leaving room for future growth.

The name of the brewery is Laughing Troll. Capone says that the name of the brewery as well as his beers - are drawn from pop culture, gaming, and other online sources. Blue Waffle Lemon Party (which I would recommend you NOT google, because what is seen cannot be unseen) is a wheat beer with blueberries and lemon rind, and his award-winning Demaciale is a Belgian dubbel. “I want the beer to be more than something to drink. I want to create an experience and connection thr…

The (New Orleans) Beer Writer's Annual Calendar

As pumpkin beer season fades and Thanksgiving beer pairing season looms, I was just thinking about how much repetition there is in the kinds of articles beer writers are called upon to produce. In New Orleans, especially there are some sacred cows of seasonality that cannot be messed around with.

January:  What Beer Pairs Best with King Cake; Winter Beers to Drink Now That It's Actually Pretty Cold Outside

February: Best Canned Beer For Mardi Gras; Where to Find Decent Beer on the Parade Route; Romantic Beers; Best Beers Paired With Chocolate or Despair

March: Strategies to Bring Enough Craft Beer to a Crawfish Boil All Season Long Without Going Broke; St. Patrick's Day Shenanigans; Beer to Drink to Forget That Football is Gone for Six Months

April: How To Smuggle Craft Beer Into Jazz Fest Because All the Beer There is Really, Really Terrible; Places in the French Quarter to Get Non-Abita Beer for French Quarter Fest

May: Kicking of Summer Beer Season Because Seriously, It's H…

Weekly beer roundup

All About Beer posted a roundup of beer writer and brewers, and other beer industry folks' takes on the New Yorker cover above. I'm one of the writers that's quoted, though with company like Sam Calagione, Greg Koch, Ray Daniels, and others, I don't know if anyone will notice! I don't mind though, it's an honor to be included in such a stellar lineup. Check it out though, it's a pretty interesting discussion.

In local news...

Courtyard's beer list for opening weekend

Got it! Starting in one hour, you will be able to enjoy these fine beers at the Courtyard Brewery:

NOTE: These will rotate throughout the weekend as kegs blow - they won't all be on at the same time. 
Blanche de Bruxelles Saison Dupont Cuvee Dry Hopping BFM 225 Sour Saison Anchor Lager Stillwater Stateside Saison Gnarly Barley Brewing Korova Milk Porter North Coast Old Rasputin Saint Arnold Divine Reserve 14 New Belgium Le Terroir Stone IPA Stone Hibiscusicity Green Flash Le Freak Lagunitas IPA Lagunitas lil Sumpin' Wild Green Flash Hop Odyssey Cedar Plank Founders Breakfast Stout
and last (but definitely not least) Great Raft Brewing's At Arms Length IPL.
See ya there!

Catching up, Courtyard Brewery, and Cocktail Week

Well, cats and kittens, it's been a crazy few weeks. After Louisiana Craft Brewers Week, I attended the National Beer Wholesalers Association's annual conference and then flew out to Denver to check out GABF. You can read a brief overview of those two events here, and I've got some photos of GABF up on Tumblr here.


I was a bit out of commission yesterday, but as I rest up for New Orleans On Tap tomorrow (I'm one of the judges for the homebrew competition so I need to be there early with a well prepared palate!) I wanted to post the schedule for wrapping up Louisiana Craft Brewer Week this weekend.

Looking forward to all the NOOT related shenanigans as well as the Bayou Teche event at the Avenue Pub. That jambalaya will be delicious, and allegedly will have rabbit in it.

Saturday, September 2711 a.m.: The Barley Oak holds its annual Louisiana Craft Beer Appreciation Day.

11:30 a.m.: All pitchers of Louisiana-brewed beer are $2 off at the Bulldog Mid City.

1 p.m.: The fifth annual New Orleans On Tap charity benefit for LA-SPCA, at the City Park Fairgrounds. New Orleans on Tap is a family and pet friendly beer festival that features free admission, live music, over 200 local and national beers, food, homebrew competition, games and giveaways. Go to to buy tickets and for more …

Thursday - Thirsty?

I've been playing around with my camera and have a few cool shots that actually came out well, as well as a couple that are kinda blurry. Once I get access to (and knowledge of) some photo editing software, I'll fix up the blurrier ones.

LaCBW - midweek update

Things started ramping up last night- went to Avenue Pub to try the Tin Roof single hop series and its experimental sour beer, then off to the Bulldog Mid City to get my hands on the Chafunkta-Gnarly Barley collaboration, Black Tooth Grin. If you missed the collaboration last night, fear not, it's on at the Avenue Pub tonight at 4pm. Should be a fun night all around, see below for everything that's happening - and don't forget to keep checking on my schedule for the week's events. I've been updating it daily over the past week. 

Tonight's events:
Wednesday, September 2411 a.m.: Happy hour prices on all Covington Brewhouse beer all day at the Columbia Street Tap Room

4 p.m.: Chafunkta/Gnarly Barley Black Tooth Grin collaboration party at the Avenue Pub.

5 p.m.: Abita cask, Pumpkin & Peach SOS, at the Bulldog Mid City.

5 p.m.: Parish Brewing visits the Avenue Pub. Tapping Export stout and a cask of Coffee Vanilla Export Stout, with bottle pours of Grand Reserve …

San Diego Beer Bloggers Conference Wrapup. With Pictures.

Upon returning back to real life and reflecting upon the Beer Blogger's conference last month, I have come to the conclusion that: 1) San Diego is awesome and four days to explore the beer culture there is just starting to scratch the surface; and 2) I love hanging out with my beer geek tribe. Meeting folks from all over, united by beer, and having pimp beer experiences together is the best.

BBC14 Ultimate Liveblogging: The Return

The Beer Blogger's Conference, held this year in San Diego, is a heady, um, brew of beer geeks, beer geek enablers, free beer, lots of information, and then also some beer. While I will be providing a more complete overview, I wanted to start out with the most intense (and my favorite) event of the conference, Live Beer Blogging. I recapped last year's here, and used a lot of tweets to capture it. And I'm doing it again!

All About Beer!

In exciting news, my cover story in All About Beer has been published! It's a feature length story about Bayou Teche Brewing, its connection to French farmhouse brewing, and a rundown on the history of the farmhouse brewing style.

Beer travels and links!

Bad Blogspot! It crashed and wiped out my previous draft of this blog post. However, I now suspect that it may have sucked, so it may be for the best.

Can't blog. Detoxing.

Another successful ACBW in the books. Avenue Pub had a 16% increase (in either volume or sales, I'm not sure) over last year. Lots of events, lots of beer, lots of breweries, lots of fun.

I'm a bit fried. So here are some other people's brainthoughts.

Go forth and taste grandly!

The local's night at the Avenue Pub was a lot of fun. A bunch of the brewers were there and I especially enjoyed the double dry hopped Catahoula Common by Gnarly Barley. Also the Off the Tracks and (to my surprise) the 40 Arpent stout on cask with ginger and wasabi. The crowd was lively but friendly and although the beer professionals in attendance seemed pretty weary from their week, they were awesome.

OK, for today, this is important - the Avenue Pub Grand Tasting actually starts at 1pm, not 3pm as previously reported. In fact, there's a bunch of stuff on tap right now that's available downstairs, so... no need to wait, get on out there!

Try not to put the "Fried" in Friday, OK?

Almost at the end of ACBW, hope everyone is holding up OK!

Yesterday afternoon/evening was gorgeous in New Orleans and today is shaping up to be the same. I'm heading over to the Avenue Pub to drink some of the newer, smaller, local breweries' beer this afternoon - hey, did y'all know that the Avenue balcony opens at 1pm on Fridays? - and then head over to Crescent Pie and Sausage.

I saw a bunch of ACBW stuff around on social media, and I thought it would be fun to post through other folks' eyes (i.e., Twitter accounts).

Thirsty Thursday

I thought I'd be all up in the middle of ACBW this year, having turned pro with the beer writing, but it turns out, I'm too busy actually writing about beer to go out and enjoy it. Heh. However! After I meet my deadlines today, I should be footloose and fancy free. I want to go to dba for the Bayou Teche shenanigans, but also there's a bunch of stuff happening on Freret Street, including a book signing at Midway of the New Orleans Beer book by Jeremy Labadie and Argyle Wolf-Knapp. Buffalo Wild Wings has a cool looking cask, and the Aline Street Beer Garden gets in the ACBW game tonight, too.

ACBW Wednesday - We're in the thick of it now!

Got out yesterday to the Avenue Pub for the barrel aged event, and it was MAD JAM PACKED. Literally, the line for the upstairs bar's beers went out the door and down the stairs. I was able to grab an Evil Twin Double Barreled Jesus (though I was wondering if Evil Twin counts as American Craft Beer) and an Against The Grain London Balling barleywine aged in "Angel's Share" barrels previously used to age ruby port wine. It was a pretty interesting beer. I also got a chance to try one of Bayou Teche's special ACBW beers, Coteau Rodaire. I liked it a lot- it's a farmhouse/saison style aged in French Sauvignon Blanc barrels. Little bit of funk, very drinkable, but with a pleasant complexity.

Day 2 - ACBW Tuesday

OK, I confess. I didn't go out last night for American Craft Beer Week. But it's a marathon, not a sprint, and I plan to go to two events tonight: The Avenue Pub's Barrel Aged Night, celebrating the best of barrel aged beers (of primarily bourbon barrels.) Here are the beers featured:

ACBW Monday Action

Good morning, and happy Monday! Did anyone get out to ACBW events from yesterday? (I was travelling in from out of town.) Let me know how they were in the comments! Here's what's happening today/tonight:

May Madness

May Day! And that means that American Craft Beer Week is almost upon us. It is also Jazz Fest. And Savor American Craft Beer and Food Experience is happening in Washington DC. And a new brewery, Gnarly Barley, is opening. April was also pretty crazy with the Brew Dogs hitting town, Festival International happening in Lafayette, and a bunch of new restaurants opening and other restaurants expanding.

I have a new gig! I'm writing features for Eater New Orleans. Some of them are straight up food writing, but I've also started a new recurring feature called Beer Here! which covers restaurants' beer lists, etc. In a testament to the tail-eating snake that is online media today, Todd Price of Picayune did an aggregate story on the work I'm doing on a primarily aggregate website. (Aggregate: pretty much where you round up cool stories and direct your audience to them - much like this blog is becoming for beer stuff). I love living in the future though. I'v…

Quick Hit Friday

I'm heading to Shreveport today to check out Great Raft and Red River Brewing, but before I go, a few things to share:

Brewsday Tuesday article about Bayou Teche's collaboration beer with French brewery La Bambelle, Bayoust, which will be released at Lafayette's Festival International.Article on the founding of New Orleans' Girls Pint Out on the Alcohol Professor website.Great article in the NOLA Defender by Sam Nelson about the Cajun Fire folks.

No Sleep Till Brooklyn...Brewing MASH is finished!

Brooklyn MASH has left the city after their whirlwind tour spreading beer, food, music, art, comedy, and general good times.

Beer School with Mary Wiles

Note from Nora: Tom's back with a report from the Brooklyn MASH "Beer School" event with Brooklyn Brewing's Technical Director Mary Wiles. I'll be providing a wrap up of the rest of the events I attended in the next couple of days.

When she worked for Anheuser-Busch, Mary Wiles, now Technical Director at Brooklyn Brewery, was responsible for Bud Light Lime, but she asks people not to hold that against her. On April 2nd, 2014, she held court in the upstairs bar at the Avenue Pub to share her extensive knowledge of brewing with anyone who wanted to listen. As is typically the case at any craft beer event, there were plenty of people interested in learning more about beer. Beer geeks seem to have an almost exhausting thirst for information.

Busy Week; Big News

I was finally able to get my hands on the current issue of Louisiana Kitchen & Culture, where my article on the Avenue Pub has been published!

This isn't available digitally, so go to Rouses or Barnes & Noble to check it out.

Festivals and events!

The New Orleans International Beer Festival is on Saturday in Champion Square - congrats to Scott LeTourneau who won the ticket giveaway contest here on my blog.
This week's Brewsday Tuesday profiles the Juke Joint NOLA Brewing beer tent at Hogs for the Cause next week, as well as the upcoming Brooklyn Brewing MASH beer-food-arts-culture collaboration extravaganza! I'll be running an interview with Brooklyn Brewing's in-house chef, Andrew Gerson next week.

Post Mardi Gras, Pre-St. Patrick's Day, and Beer Policies

OK, I know it was just Mardi Gras, but cowboy up and tackle St. Patrick's Day head on! I live in the Irish Channel so the parade on Saturday (3/15) is walking distance, as are the homes of several friends/neighbors who will be hosting get-togethers that day. I'm hoping to get my hands on a friend's homebrew, it's been a while since I had the privilege of enjoying it.

I have other St. Patrick's Day tips here!

New Orleans International Beer Festival, March 22- WIN TICKETS!

Hey, everybody! Want the opportunity to try pretty much every beer in the New Orleans market? Check out the cigar and beer pairing? Cider garden? Cask beer garden? CORNHOLE?

No Glass

(Note: behold a post/rant from my blogger in crime, Tom. I also posted a little something about this in the Gambit this week. This month's new Where Y'At also has my more in depth article on this subject. - Nora) 

"It shall be unlawful for any person to carry or drink from any opened glass container in or on any public right-of-way, including any street, sidewalk, park or alley within one block of a Mardi Gras parade route, two hours before the published beginning time of the parade, during the parade, or within one block of the published disbanding area of the parade within two hours of the published or actual ending time of the parade, whichever occurs later."

Beer Advocate and Gambit and Parades and Awesome

So, I can't link the content to Beer Advocate February issue #85, but look! My article on Bayou Teche is in it.

The Ladies, They Love It!

I've been working with Propaganda New Orleans for a couple months - it's an opportunity to write more about what I really love and use a writing style and tone that I can't really use when writing my more newsy and reporting pieces. The piece, "Ladies Who Love Beer In What's (Traditionally) A Man's Man's Man's World," was published yesterday and I have gotten some great feedback from other women. It really seems that my words resonated with people and seeing that is so rewarding in a way that I wasn't expecting.

The experience has shown me that being a writer isn't just about selling my ideas and writing articles, but about people reading what I write. This is a huge revelation!

Thirsty Thursday

First of all, congrats to Chris Paylor who won a pair of tickets to the NOLA Eats King Cake Tasting by suggesting a pairing of NOLA Brewing's Seventh Street Wheat with Haydel's king cake, on my Facebook page. Though I won't be able to make the tasting, I'm pretty excited to check this pairing out before Mardi Gras.

Second, Stein't Deli's Annual Beer Day is happening on Saturday! It involves a brewing demonstration and a bottle share. Also on Saturday: Abita's 2nd annual Abita on the Avenue, the Avenue in question is St. Charles. Go here to check it out.

Links and Carnival Contest!

Happy Carnival, y'all!

First, the contest. No, wait, first, the apology for letting too much time lapse between blog updates. I've had a lot of deadlines and doing any writing that I absolutely didn't NEED to do was not at the top of my list...

OK, now the contest. I have a pair of tickets to the NOLA Eats New Orleans King Cake Tasting on February 1 at the Little Gem Saloon. And all you need to win them is to visit my Facebook page and leave a comment on the contest post with the perfect beer to pair with king cake. The beer should be available to purchase in New Orleans, and you can be as specific or general with what kind of king cake you're looking to pair your beer choice with.

I'm the sole judge, but I can definitely be swayed by "likes" on your contest entry. Share as many ideas as you'd like! Contest winner will be announced Monday, January 20.

Onto the all important links!

Shout out to Great Raft!

Great Raft Brewing in Shreveport is hitting all cylinders right out of the gate. Andrew and Lindsay Nations opened their tap room on December 20, and sold all the beer they had brewed for the next two weeks, in two days.
They will be canning and selling the cans in Northwest Louisiana by Mardi Gras, and I found a great article about their can design that I wanted to share. They look beautiful, and I can't wait to drink the contents! The inspiration for the design is super cool to read about as well.

Also, the brewery is a cover story in January's Beer Advocate Magazine! Amazing and wonderful and well-deserved. Here's the cover photo that I downloaded from Great Raft's Facebook page:

I know that Andrew and Lindsay have been working so hard, every step of the way, and I'm happy to see that their meticulous planning and beer development has paid off so well, so fast. I reallllllllly hope to see their production expand so we can get some of their beer down here in New …