Monday, June 16, 2008

Beering in New Orleans: Part 1

And now I get to my New Orleans trip in my notebook. I attended a conference in New Orleans over Memorial Weekend. There is nothing like travelling on Expense. So I set up my beertinerary to try and go to Abita, but all their beers are available at the corner stores. For better or worse, you can buy single bottles of beer at the corner store, slap it in a plastic cup, and drink it right there on the street. I was so blown when the guy a Gordon Beirsch asked me if I wanted my beer TO GO. And what's more, the corner stores on Canal Street have a beer selection that's better than the Kroger. They may have just as much selection as a basic HEB. All in single bottles as well. So throughout my trip in NO, I bought several Abitas and Dixie Beers from the stores, and drank them out of plastic cups either at the hotel room or just milling about. I even hit up the brewpub in the French Quarter.

I would also like to send a special shoutout to NOLA Brewing, a new microbrewery in New Orleans. I called them up asking about a tasting room and though they weren't open yet, the guy on the phone was a great help in finding not only some good beering, but good restaurants to eat at as well.

For the record, I still do not have the heart to visit the Lower 9th Ward or the harder hit areas of NO. As a Katrina evac myself (my wife and I lived in Ocean Springs, MS just outside of Biloxi when the storm hit), I cannot look at the yet worse state New Orleans is in. And how they could re-elect Ray Nagin just makes me vomit in my own mouth. I get so pissed off I can barely speak about it without a LONG string of obscenities coming out of my mouth. It could drive a man to drink. Speaking of which :)

May 23rd, 2008
Abita Amber (got it on draft, in a plastic cup)
Picked up this joint a little bar on a Riverboat restaurant. They only had two taps, but I hadn't had this one before. If you'll recall from my earlier posts, I was NOT impressed with Abita Beer and Turbodog. But here we go. It has an amber-auburn color, go figure, and is pretty clear. First taste if of high breadiness, nice medium body, medium carbonation. As it warms up (and it warmed up quickly in the heat and in my plastic cup), you get a nice cool maltiness. I'd say this was a very good session beer. The slight offwhite head remained the entire time. Very good stuff as I sit outside overlooking the old Mississippi river.

Abita Purple Haze
Negros chat up this beer quite a bit, so I had to cop this one at the store on the way back from the boat. Straw color slightly hazy, strong white head. Slight fruity and sour smell. Kinda like raspberry. The first taste is kinda empty at first, then I notice the light body, high carbonation, and low raspberry flavor. It moderately drinkable. It has low hops and low on the wheat. I really expected more out of this one.

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