April 5, 2018

Walking (and Beering) In New Orleans

I'm fortunate enough to have a wife who loves to travel as much as I do, and a favorite city of ours has always been New Orleans. We've had so many great memories in this wonderful city through the years and typically get down there for a long Easter weekend, as we did this year. There was a time not long ago when the beer lovin' side of me didn't leave disappointed per say, but was never exactly blown away. Sure, there's always been The Avenue Pub, a beer geek favorite dive bar with tons of great selectiions, but I'm talking more about a real lack of local choices. Well, in the last few visits, that's all changed. Now there's a great (and growing) local beer scene to go along with the great food you can find all over.

We stopped at Gnarly Barley Brewing in Hammond on the way in to the big city to get our hotel fridge stocked (never bring beer with you, always buy new) and check-out their brewery and also pick up some merch. Got their wonderful Jucifer IPA and also some Peanut Butter Korova Milk Stout plus a shirt and misc other items as I've always been a fan of this brewery. The taproom wasn't actually open but the people are super friendly and will sell you stuff including cold packaged brews.

On our first night we hit Brieux Carre Brewing Company over in the Frenchmen Street area and had a couple of brews in their nice patio area before walking around to art markets and listening to some great music in one of my favorite areas of the city.

After a 10K race on Saturday morning, we decided to keep the mileage going and walked what I've seen referred to as the "Tchoupitoulas Brewery Corridor" where in about a 3-mile stretch there lies 4 breweries. We started near our hotel at Courtyard Brewery, then on to Urban South's HUGE 2nd Anniversary Party, moved on to Nola Brewing's fantastic taproom before our last stop just down the Mississippi River at Port Orleans Brewing. All of them stand on their own as pretty unique places and we enjoyed the brews and meeting people at each. It's all walkable and feels like a pretty safe area, plus you can get a "walking beer" at each stop to help you on your way. Or call an Uber if you're a lazy ass I guess.

Finally, on the way back to the Natural State, we stopped at a favorite of mine just across Lake Pontchartrain, Abita Brew Pub in cozy Abita Springs. I'd had their Hop-On New England style IPA while wandering around the French Quarter and really dug it so it made me think to stop by the brew pub for the first time in years, where I really enjoyed a catfish po-boy and their wonderful Maison Blanc. It's a really neat little brewpub filled with cypress and slate where they brewed and bottle until 1994, when they outgrew it. 

That was it for our brewery stops over the weekend, but there are also plenty of great places to grab craft beer now as it seems like every restaurant or bar has some choices. It's a great change from just a few years ago.

Here's a few of my favorite beers I recommend from this trip, in no certain order:

Gnarly Barley Jucifer
Parish Envie
Abita Hop-On
Second Line A Saison Named Desire
Port Orleans RoyalTea
Nola Hoppyright Infringement
Urban South Coop'd Up
Courtyard The Wild Party
Urban South Lime Cucumber Gose

And there are plenty more I have in my fridge that I haven't even tried yet. There are just plenty of choices in the Big Easy now.

Here's a bit of the Twitter rundown you can click on for some pictures of each stop:

Cheers y'all!

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