For me, it started last Sunday at Dinner on the Farm with Brooklyn house chef Andrew Gerson and Dante/Noodle & Pie chef Eman Loubier, held at Grow Dat Youth Farm in City Park. We brought a picnic blanket and plates and silverware, and chilled out on the banks of the bayou watching the sun set and an alligator swim while drinking Brooklyn's Lager and Summer Ale and listening to live music.
|Grow Dat's Jabari Brown|
We got a tour of the farm by Grow Dat site manager Jabari Brown - the farm hires kids from six different New Orleans schools to work on the farm, which sells 60% of its produce to support its operations, and donates the remaining 40% to families in need. It's a great program combining local food production, job skills training, and supporting community needs.
|Pork shoulder confit, cornbread, roast vegetables, mustard green salad, and potato salad|
After the tour, we ate delicious food and escaped before the mosquitoes devoured us in turn.
On Tuesday, after trying Founders KBS at the Avenue Pub, I headed over to NOLA Brewing to hear NOLA CEO Kirk Coco, Abita President David Blossman, and Brooklyn Co-Founder Steve Hindy discuss the "Craft Beer Revolution," which, not so coincidentally is the title of Hindy's new book. Brooklyn Technical Director Mary Wiles was also on hand and had some interesting stories about being a woman in the brewing industry. Several questions were raised about distribution laws (Hindy recently wrote an op-ed about the second tier). We discovered that Abita was actually able to self-distribute back in their early days, and is concerned about the return of the "tied house" if distribution laws are changed in any way.
|(l-r) David Blossman, Mary Wiles, moderator Mark Burlet, Steve Hindy, Kirk Coco|
I was also able to try Brooklyn's Hammarby Syndrome and Abita's new Select Series Imperator, an imperial black IPA.
Wednesday I did a non-Brooklyn thing - went to 40 Arpent for the monthly Crescent City Homebrew Coub meeting. Owner Michael Naquin got up and told us all about the path that led him to opening a brewery. He served up his Delacroix Abbey Ale only on tap during Lent as well as their milk stout. Sadly, the other flagship beer, Red Beans and Rice, has to have its recipe approved because of the use of the beans and rice in it.
But I sent Tom to the Mary Wiles Beer School at the Avenue Pub, and he did a writeup of it here.
|Brooklyn house chef Andrew Gerson|
Third course was a beef tartare with the Silver Anniversary Lager, a solid pairing. Following that was a grilled lamb chop with anchovy butter with cauliflower couscous and roasted brussel sprouts paired with Brooklyn Local 2, which I've discovered is great with braised and grilled meat. Then for dessert, coffee ice cream with this AMAZING chicory caramel, paired with the Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout (always a solid dessert choice).
Saturday I shook off the slight hangover I acquired by perhaps overindulging in the French 75 beer cocktail at the Dinner Lab event and went off to the Brooklyn Cask Off at the Avenue Pub, and tried the Summer Ale, EIPA, and Brooklyn Blast. Also got to try the Mary's Maple Porter.
Today, I rest. And drink water.