Thursday, May 29, 2014

Beer travels and links!

Matt Horney (Old Rail), me, Zac Caramonta (Gnarly Barley), and Josh Erickson (Chafunkta)
during ACBW at the Avenue Pub.

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.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

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.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Go forth and taste grandly!

Variety of beer from Local's Night at the Avenue Pub

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!

Friday, May 16, 2014

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

Ommegang seasonal at Coquette

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).

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Thirsty Thursday

Me at the Avenue during ACBW 2010. We moved to New Orleans that week.
Which is why I look exhausted and why I have band-aids on my fingers
- because I broke a dish while unpacking it.

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.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

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

The upstairs offerings of last night's Barrel Aged night at the Avenue Pub
(photo courtesy of the Avenue Pub's FB page)

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.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Day 2 - ACBW Tuesday

Kirk Coco and Peter Caddoo at SAVOR, an event dedicated to showcasing American Craft Beer

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:

Monday, May 12, 2014

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:

Thursday, May 1, 2014

May Madness

Cookies from 40 Arpent's ribbon cutting ceremony last week.

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've been doing some Jazz Fest interviews with musicians, too.

Brewfist beer selection from Pizza Domenica

American Craft Beer Week! I just submitted a feature and calendar of events to the Gambit, which should be published next week. I have also put up my annual online schedule of events, where I will be updating constantly, because let me tell you, brewers like to wait till the last minute to finalize stuff. This year was easier than last year, so I know they are getting better, so seriously, mad props for that. Still though, there's a lot of stuff that wasn't finalized, so keep an eye on the schedule here.

Brew Dogs! Man, that was a trip. From what I've heard, the production company was really pushing for the stereotypical "Nawlins" stuff, and to some extent that's in there, but there's some actually cool real New Orleans stuff happening too. I was able to hang at Ste. Marie (soon to be Meauxbar) during their filming of the food pairing segment, and Chef Kristin Essig served up some amazing food for Martin and James.

Brew Dogs and Derek addressing the unruly crowd.

Then, a few days later, they threw a party at NOLA Brewing to show off their crazy ass beer which included  filtered swamp water, mayhaw, and a plant/herb called the Rose of Jericho. It was, of course, brewed on an AIRBOAT!!!! on the bayou. We hung out during several takes of Derek Lintern (the NOLA Brewing representative) and James/Martin (the Brew Dogs) introducing the beer and then we finally got to taste the beer. I actually got interviewed on camera with James, but I have no idea if that will show up in the final edit because I was hideously drenched in all the sweat, yikes! Check out Laura McKnight's writeup of it for

Jeremy "Beer Buddha" Labadie discussing his impression of the beer with Brew Dog Martin

Gnarly Barley! They are rolling out on May 9 in their neighborhood beer joint in Hammond, Red, White, and Brew. Sam Nelson did a great piece on the Zac and Cari Caramonta and their brewery coming up in a few short days. (Side note: are y'all keeping an eye on NOLA Defender and Sam's work? It's awesome.)

Bayoust at Festival International

Pimpin'! Besides all my stuff at Eater New Orleans, my two recent Gambit columns were my Shreveport report and the upcoming Larry Hartzog Twisted Beer Competition on the Northshore. Oh, and regarding my column on the La Bambelle-Bayou Teche collaboration Bayoust, I went to Festival International to try it, and it was delicious! I really liked it.

Dancing at the Soul Creole set at Festival International.

In conclusion: exclamation point!