It’s no secret that I’m a lover of all things local. Take your Hostess Pies and shove it, I’ll patiently wait for a Hubig’s. Even if Starbucks did add chicory to the shit they call coffee, I’ll still be filling up at Z’otz or PJ’s. If it’s home grown, expect me to prefer it.
The problem with homegrown stuff is that it’s usually more expensive than the chain stuff. It would kill me to settle for the cheaper, national junk than to buy locally. But now, I’m happily employed, so I have the money to burn on that kind of crap.
And, what better way to do it than with beer. Throughout college, I was a Miller Lite/PBR kinda guy, AKA poor as hell. The cheap beer wasn’t out of drinkability or to prove that I drank PBR before it was cool — it was out of necessity.
My postgrad career is full of beer, and nice beer, too. Thankfully, New Orleans and the surrounding areas have plenty of great options when it comes to craft beer and thankfully I have the wallet to support it every once in a while. Some guys have their wine, some have their whisky. I’m a beer guy, and here’s my local recommendations:
NOLA Brewing Co. – Rebirth Pale Ale
The reason why I thought of doing this list in the first place. NOLA’s new seasonal had its debut at a release party last night that I went to. Aside from some killer free jambalaya, NOLA’s Rebirth turned out to be a beer I’ll definitely keep an eye out for. It’s a seasonal American pale ale that is brewed with five different malt varieties and three types of hops. This beer is hoppy and bitter on the front end with a nice burn on the back. Part of the proceeds from this beer benefit The Roots of Music. Drinking for charity, good work, NOLA.
Tin Roof Brewing Company – Juke Joint IPA
I’m a recent convert to IPAs, or India Pale Ales. The extra bitterness was always a turn off for me. But, you know what they say, your tastes change with age. I love them now. Tin Roof’s entry into the IPA game is some next level IPA stuff. If you like hops on hops on hops, this beer is for you. It’s strongly bitter when it first hits you, but that doesn’t stay. It goes down smooth with floral notes on the end of the sip.
Covington Brewhouse – Heiner Brau – Kölsch
Covington has some great beers, but this one speaks to my German heritage. Kölsch, brewed under Covington’s Legendary Collection, is a light German style beer brewed just like they did in the old country. Kölsch is actually a style of beer traditionally brewed in Cologne, but Covington’s adds elements of a Kellerbier. It’s taken directly from the tank and unfiltered. It’s cold-aged into a lager, making it a perfect beer to accompany crawfish or any other spicy food. This is my preferred outdoor beer.
Bayou Teche Biere – LA 31 Boucanée
Paying homage to Acadiana’s culinary heritage with smoked foods, Bayou Teche’s LA 31 Boucanée uses cherry wood smoked wheat to craft this delicious wheat ale. The smokey flavor isn’t too prominent that you want to gag, but it’s definitely there and it’s definitely making a statement. That statement is “drink me.”
Lazy Magnolia – Southern Pecan
Okay, this beer is from Mississippi. Mississippi is like our younger, dumber brother. Sure, he may look stupid at times, but without him, we’d be nothing. Like any good brother, we share likes. One of those happens to be pecans. According to Lazy Magnolia, their Southern Pecan is the only beer, to their knowledge, brewed with whole pecans. This brown ale is lightly hopped, to minimize bitterness and to let the creamy, nutty flavors come through on the front and throughout the glass.
Abita – Andygator
You really think I wouldn’t include Abita? It’s like my bread and butter. It’s the biggest craft brewery in the state, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t hold up to the smaller ones. These guys haven’t sold out, and Andygator can prove it. A Helles Doppelbock, Andygator is a high gravity lager, pushing its ABV to 8%. This’ll knock you on your feet. It’s got a bite at first, hence the gator, but the end notes are fruity sweet. It just became available in six packs, so look out for them next to your Ambers.
I could go on and on about local beers. Honorable mentions include Tin Roof’s Bayou Bengal, NOLA’s Hopitoulas, and Abita’s Abbey Ale, but I don’t want to waste anymore of your time. It’s Thirsty Thursday and I have a half day. I’m practically wasting my own time. So, for every time you have a Bud Light, think of this list. Bud Light’s touching your tongue, you kiss your mother with that mouth?