Monday, June 16, 2008

Beering in New Orleans, Part 4 and Wrap Up

First the beer

State: Hot as balls in New Orleans
May 25th, 2008

Abita Wheat
In case you are wondering how hot balls are... 98.6 degrees.
Got this one at a bottle in the store. I had to make a choice between this one and Jockamo IPA. I am a hop head, but just couldn't feel an IPA right now while I'm sweating out my clothes walking the streets. That one will have to wait until I get back.
Wheat beer pours oange and smooth from the bottle to the plastic cup. Serious head on this one but a regular beer smell (if there is such a thing). The head is a little lacy. Some sweetness in the smell if I really try. Not bad. Medium-full body with hints of orange. I'm not a fan of the 60 second bitter aftertaste this one has. Though it has medium hops. I now step outside the hotel room. The hops makes it a slightly different experience for a wheat beer, and I can dig it. It definetly refreshes one at 95 degree heat. It still feels smooth, though no new flavors are coming out, save MAYBE a slight spiciness.

And that's it for the NO this time. I did not get to the Jockamo IPA, I got most of what I wanted to try. The other locations were beer bars (d.b.a., and Beerfest). I made it to beerfest but can't remember what we had outside of a jager shot.

I enjoyed beering in New Orleans and look forward to doing it again. I will likely stop by a grocery store to pick a Jockamo. I also did not get to Big Easy or Lagniappe. It seems that the local NO beers are really about being refreshing, not tossing your tastebuds around. Of course it was summertime, so it fits well. Not to mention that most tourists will drink their beer on steamy streets of the Quarter, which further boosts the case for not juicing the beer with lot of hops or malts.

Damn near anything will taste good after walking it out in NO for an hour. All the beer sold on the street are Miller and Bud lights, but it does the trick. I look forward to going back to NO in the winter for some winter seasonals to see how these guys get 'er done when it's time to turn it up.

Of course NOLA will not be ready until October 2008. In the meantime, I feel I have enough to give a top 3 beers of New Orleans.

#1. Abita Restoration Ale
I love the cause, but that was pleasant hop bitterness as well. Would be a great beer to have back in Houston. Just goes great with heat of NO, and whatnot. I also see on Abita's website the have a slew of Select beers. I can see I'll just have to make a day trip to Abita's brewpub.

#2. Abita Amber
Just so good and bready. Maybe b/c it was one of my early beers and we were partying it up, but I really enjoyed this one. It seems like if there was a general Amber beer, this would be it.

#3. Crescent City Red Stallion
I love the richness of this one. I'm a fan of Vienna style malts as well. This was CC's best beer, and I think it would work well as a foil for seafood. I have very rich ribs which kinda knocked down the sweetness, but I could see it still there. It's like if you eat pork-n-beans laced with brown sugar, and then try to drink Kool-aid. The kool-aid would taste like water. The act that I could get the caramel out of this one bodes well.

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