Friday, January 29, 2010

Beering on Frenchmen St.

I like to think of myself as a Texas/Louisiana beer blogger, that travels a bit. And finally I'm getting some beering going in New Orleans.

The other day, I had some downtime and was able to hit 13 and dba for lunch/drinks and post lunch drinks. A very nice gentleman from NOLA turned me on to a few good spots for drinks and food back when they were just starting up. I think it was late 2008. Glad to see they've added another brand. Then we do a nice little tour of Old New Orleans' Rum distillery. ALL ON FRENCHMEN Street. I know folk like to say Bourbon St. or even Canal St. is where it's at. But unless you want watered down hurricanes or purchase a black college throwback jersey, I say give that one a rest and hit up Frenchmen. Hell, I may even buy me a "Who Dat" shirt, NOT!

State: Starving for beer and food, hanging out at 13

So they have this dive on Frenchmen called 13. Their website bills itself as a great place for vegetarians and health conscious folk, who I guess like their liquor hard and their women harder. Turns out at 1PM there weren't many people there, just some bohemian looking folk, complete with white people with long dreadlocks. Right on. Some old timey music playing and about 5 taps.

Finally I can get some damn NOLA beer. The beer pours a nice amber color with a decent amount of poofy white head. The nose is a touch malty, but not much there. The first few sips I'm kinda taken aback by how toasty and chewy this beer is. With the compliment of caramel malt and grassy hops, there aint nothing blonde about this beer. I had half a mind to ask the bartender if they want to check the taps, as they may have this switched up with somebody's amber beer. It's better than Abita Amber, which is saying something, but not what I would say is a blonde. High 3 Star.

I order another NOLA to eat with my Philly roast beef and tator tots, and chat up the locals about the NFL screwing over the New Orleans small businesses over the use of "Who Dat". I figured that you can't trademark bad grammar, but shows what I know. I also learn that the NFL is officially a non-profit organization. Damn shame.

Time Out:
Beer Log: right now
State: Still feeling the Sierra Nevada bock, but ready for another beer
Goliath Tripel Belgian Ale from Brasserie des Geants

Got this beer in the mail today from the Beer of the Month Rare Beer club. Nice Christmas present eh? Nose is sugar and sour, like candy, coming off of a hazy old gold color with sticky white foamy head, no homo. In my snifter I get a healthy amount of carbonation indicative of its bottle conditioning. The beer is kinda sweet, moderate sourness, and a funky hop aftertaste. There used to be a time when a Trippel was my favorite style, but I've been looking more for Belgian blonds, both the women and the beer. Beer is dry, a touch chalky, yet goes down pretty easy. No hint of that 9% ABV. Low 3 Stars. Must be the aging.

Time In:

So 13 reminds of the type of bar that one could consider a great secret of New Orleans. Doubtful you'll see many tourist find this spot at any time, pretty much all of Frenchmen is like that. The place is grimy as hell, looks like someone chewed up Washington Ave (Houston), and spit it back out 20 years later. But I can dig it. Just make sure the door is locked.

I walk on over to DBA as I know they have NOLA's new IPA, but they are closed. Damn shame. I don't think I'll EVER get into this bar. Everytime I go to New Orleans, something gets in the way to keep me from entering this bar.

Afterwards, I hop in the car, go north a mile or two, and make my way into Old New Orleans Rum distillery. The place kinda reminded me of Sister Creek Vineyard in the Texas Hill Country. You walk in and it looks rather warehousey, but had a very cozy tasting room. And tasting we did. They had a great sweet tea spiked with the ONO Cajun Spice. Probably the best Iced Tea I've ever had. They also had some sort of cranberry drink with their crystal rum. The tour was very informative, with a lot of nuances to distilling I never knew. And these dudes are experimenting like crazy. They are putting all kinds of fruit/flavoring rum combos in one of there rooms, that it looked like a high school science lab. Pretty disgusting looking, but it after couple drinks, and a whiff of their 180 proof stuff, it seemed pretty cool. There were some beer enthusiasts there as well and we talked Houston beer. They actually let us sample their coconut rum and their ginger rum. I think they put a little cocaine in there. Very nicely done.

Afterward we grabbed some beers at Rouses up in Covington and spent the night sipping rum with Trinidadians and downing Abita Mardi Bock, and an EXCELLENT Indian Summer Ale from Lazy Magnolia. I can't believe Lazy Mag put out one this awesome, and I didn't get any when I lived in Mississippi. We only live once. Holla.

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