Friday, October 16, 2015

Oktoberfest at Press Street Station

Press Street Station is holding a Thursday night supper series this month, and the one on October 29 will be an Oktoberfest themed dinner with German food. The menu looks awesome (see below) and you can go here to make a reservation on the hour (5pm, 6pm, 7pm, and 8pm.)

The folks at Press Street originally wanted me to come try the food and make some recommendations that Press Street could make for people to bring with them - Press Street is still BYOB. It didn't work out to do that, but Patrick Hunter, resident beer geek at Brady's Wine Warehouse took a look at the menu and made some pretty spot on recommendations.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Louisiana Has TWENTY Breweries

On the heels of a laughably ridiculously ignorant article that appeared in The Advocate this week (I'll get a little more into detail with that later), my Facebook thread (on which I posted the link to the journalistic travesty) had a very interesting discussion about what counts as a brewery?

I realized that I've been segregating brewpubs from my number and I don't think that was right. I think that if you brew beer and legally sell it to people in Louisiana, that should be considered a Louisiana brewery. Therefore, we should count Crescent City Brewhouse, The Old Rail Brewing Company, and, yes, Gordon Biersch, which is a franchise chain but does brew every drop of beer it sells on site. Locally. In New Orleans. The brewers there are talented and work hard.

The lines are getting so blurred, more and more each day. Courtyard is a very unique beer business model for the area. Broken Wheel is a brewery added to an existing restaurant so it's now a brewpub (but wasn't one originally). These diverse breweries will continue to evolve. So let's stop leaving brewpubs out in the cold and welcome them into the fold. I know that's how the state law is broken down, microbreweries/production breweries or brewpubs and never the twain shall meet, but that legislation is being re-evaluated and will hopefully be changing in the near future.

(Hm, I haven't heard anything about that lately, anyone got a sitrep?)

So here's my up to date list of Louisiana breweries, as of October 7, 2015. (In order of their opening.)
  1. Abita Abita Springs, opened in 1986
  2. Crescent City Brewhouse (brewpub) New Orleans, opened in 1991
  3. Gordon Biersch (brewpub) (chain) New Orleans, opened in 2004
  4. Covington Brewhouse Covington, opened in 2005 (as Heiner Brau)
  5. NOLA Brewing New Orleans, opened in 2009
  6. Bayou Teche Arnaudville, opened in March 2010
  7. Parish Brewing Broussard, opened in July 2010
  8. Tin Roof Baton Rouge, opened in November 2010
  9. Chafunkta Mandeville, opened in March 2013
  10. Old Rail Brewing Company (brewpub) Mandeville, opened July 2013
  11. Great Raft Shreveport, opened December 2013
  12. Red River Shreveport, opened December 2013
  13. 40 Arpent Arabi, opened March 2014
  14. Gnarly Barley Hammond, opened May 2014
  15. Courtyard Brewery New Orleans, opened October 2014
  16. Mudbug Thibodaux, opened December 2014
  17. Broken Wheel Marksville (Central LA), opened January 2015
  18. Flying Heart Bossier, opened April 2015
  19. Second Line New Orleans, opened August 2015
  20. Cajun Brewing Lafayette, opened September 2015
I'm going to keep updating it, and I've added a new tab on this website's homepage with it so that SOMEONE has an actual, up-to-date list of brewery numbers and basic info. Because apparently it's too difficult for some writers to research? Because I guess just anyone can jump in and do beer writing, I mean, it's just beer, right? No complexity or sophistication or moving parts to good ole beer, no siree!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015


Taps at the Wayfare

So, one of the things I'm lucky enough to do is experience a pretty wide variety of beer and food pairings with local and national craft breweries (and occasionally some international ones too). I think that this has honed my palate over the years to appreciate the interplay between different food flavor profiles and the diversity of flavors that comes from beer's malt, hops, alcohol content, and thousands of other chemical compounds and interactions.

It takes practice, and I've been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to practice a lot.

A specific opportunity recently came my way with the Wayfare restaurant on Freret, who reached out to me to pair a beer with one of their dishes. I chose Great Raft's Provisions and Traditions 3, an oak-aged Marzen style. It was a bit of a gimme, given that it was created in partnership with Chef Drake Leonards at Luke, and was therefore very food friendly.

I headed to the Wayfare and ordered an insane number of sandwiches (plus a salad and a side of mac & cheese) to see what worked. I ended up choosing the Wayfare's BL(fg)T, their BLT with additional fried green tomato. Now it's the recommended Nora McGunnigle Oktoberfest Special, running from October 19-25.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Keeping the Faith, Spreading the Word

I've been continuing my beer dinner shenanigans this month, and I don't really need to bore you with the details, but I've noticed an interesting trend the last couple dinners I went to, where I've sat with a table of people who I don't know and aren't in the beer world. I had a great time talking to new people not only about the beer we're drinking together but also the beer scene in New Orleans and Louisiana. It's like doing craft beer outreach on an individual level. I love it! It's like evangelizing, spreading the good news about something I really believe in.