Living Life Right - Nuit Belge in New Orleans (3/9/18)
Mark your calendars for Friday, March 9, at Generations Hall.
My absolute favorite beer event (and one of my favorite events in New Orleans) is Nuit Belge, an evening focusing on pairing Belgian beer and high end food. 2018 is the third year the party has come to town, and it is delicious, delightful, and just the teeniest bit debauched. (I myself stumbled -literally- out of the Saint at 4am after Nuit Belge.)
I call it Beer Nerd Prom, and the attendees have really leaned into that, getting super gussied up to drink fancy-ass beer, eat amazing food from some of the city's best restaurants, and suck down Murder Point oysters all night long.
It is killer.
This year it looks like there's a stellar lineup of really solid Nuit Belge veteran chefs and some exciting newbies. From previous years, Boucherie, Mopho, Coquette, Peche, Angeline, Cochon Butcher, and Toups' Meatery. Newcomers are Carrollton Market (with Chef Jason Goodenough coming straight off New Orleans Magazine naming him Chef of the Year) as well as Saffron, Turkey and the Wolf, and Marjie's Grill, which are three of the most exciting restaurants in the city, as well as three of my faves.
This year, they're doing, like, an exchange program - bringing a Nashville restaurant here (Two Ten Jack) and then sending Isaac Toups up to Nashville for their Nuit Belge.
Another new twist for 2018, each of the restaurants/chefs will have two beers to pair with 2 different dishes. So, with 12 restaurants represented, that means there will be 24 paired bites/beers.
Still early days yet, so the actual dishes and pairings are up in the air, but some of the beers to look forward to include:
- Cantillon Fou' Foune apricot lambic (NOTE: the apricots for this year's batch were pitted by several Avenue Pub employees including owner Polly Watts alongside the Cantillon brewers.)
- Blaugies Saison D’Epeautre
- De Ranke Simplex
- St. Feuillien Grand Cru
- Creature Comforts Subtle Alchemy blended saison and Booger Hill honey Biere de Garde
- Whiner Beer Company Miaou American Wild Ale
- Great Raft Brewing You Me and Everyone We Know wild ale batch 005 (with blackberries)
Those are just a few - check out the website to get an idea of some of the other beers that will be there: Nuit Belge's Belgian Beers.
A new thing this year is a collaboration beer brewed at Blackberry Farm Brewery, with BFB, NOLA Brewing, Creature Comfort, and Jester King - called Pleiades. Check out this page to learn more about it, but in a nutshell:
In December of 2017, a collective of brewers spent two days under the Winter sky at Blackberry Farm in East Tennessee. Each brought gifts from their respective houses to form a Bière de Coupage we reverently call the Pleiades. Named for the prominent star cluster, the Pleiades has been chased across the celestial sphere for millennia, with each culture weaving magical stories to explain its existence. Like its namesake, our Pleiades is full of mojo, worth the pursuit and sure to inspire a few stories as well.Pleiades will be served in the VIP session and at the "Friends of Rhizome" bar in the general admission session.
Tickets are $10 less this year than last - $89 for the general session an $139 for the VIP session (that sells out SUPER fast, btw, only 40 tickets are available. It's a special Blackberry Farm beer and food pairing, and the beers they brought down here last year were amazeballs. Plus you get access to the other food and beer pairings a little early.)
FYI, I have a discount code to bring it down another five bucks - nora5. Hey, $5 is $5.
Nuit Belge week is becoming a thing much like American Craft Beer Week and Louisiana Craft Brewers Week. Jester King and Creature Comfort beer will be temporarily in the market (check with Stein's). Last year there were several special events - the small plates pairing at Toups South with Creature Comfort beer was my favorite, especially the Murder Point oysters on the half shell paired with Tropicalia.
The Avenue Pub has already announced a post-Nuit Belge Hangover Brunch for Saturday, March 10, starting at noon. Atlanta chef Shay Lavi will be presenting a menu that will pair well with the collaboration beer, and the Pub will be pouring that as well as beers from Creature Comfort, Jester King. Blackberry Farm Brewing, and NOLA Brewing.
Waiting on word of other events happening around town - if I don't write about them here, keep an eye out on my Facebook: Nora's Beer Blog. Also looking forward to hearing about what these chefs are going to come up with for their dishes (plural!)