Category Archives: Holiday Beers

Mardi Gras Madness!

The Avenue Pub is opening its Balcony for beer geeks who want a great place to watch the parades while drinking great beer and hanging out with others who want to drink great beer while watching the parades!

For the second year, The Avenue Pub has taken the first week of Mardi Gras to line up some great beer events. This is the weekend that the balcony is open to the public. They, of course, want their best beer customers up there and the best way to get them to show up and watch the parades with us is to line up some great beers. Drinking the beers will get you access to the balcony for the parades (first come first serve of course). There will be lots of industry people in town for these events and they sound awesome!

Friday Feb 10th
Saint Arnolds night: Divine Reserve 11 & the rollout of their newest beer: Bitter Belgian.
Krewe of Oshun parade start 6pm, by the pub by 8pm
Click here for more info and to RSVP

Saturday Feb 11th
Stone Brewing & NOLA collaboration rollout:”Pour Me Somethin’ Mistah” on cask and in draft. Plus a couple of other goodies that Stone is sending and a special cask of NOLA’s wheat with grains of paradise (a combination inspired by the Beer Bitch herself!)
Krewe of Ponchatrian parade Start 2pm, by the Pub 3:30pm
Krewe of Sparta parade start 6pm, by the Pub 7:30Pm
Krewe of Pygmalion parade start 6:45pm, by the pub 8:30pm
Click here for more information and to RSVP

Sunday Feb 12th
Sierra Nevada Releases Torpedo on Draft!
Krewe of Carrollton parade start 12 noon, by the pub 1:30pm
Krewe of King Arthur parade start 1pm by the Pub 3pm
Click here for more information and to RSVP

Wednesday Feb 15th
Abita night!
Rum Barrel Aged Abbey Ale & Double dry hopped Jackamo on cask.
Krewe of Druids parade start 6:30, by the pub 8pm
Krewe of Nyx, parade start 7pm, by the pub 8:30.
Click here for more information and to RSVP


Beer Buddha’s Mardi Gras Guide for Beer Geeks

You may or may not have seen the Beer Buddha’s annual Beer Geek’s Guide to Mardi Gras 2012 Edition,  but you should definitely check it out!

It has an overview of beer bars and stores in the city, listed geographically. Most of these places can be found elsewhere on this site, but this is a great Carnival-centric listing.

Any good places to celebrate Mardi Gras with a good beer that was left off?  Comment here or there!

Holiday Weekend and Beer Drinking

On Festivus Friday, Mr. Beer Bitch and I had a nice beer-centric day. We went to lunch at the Rendon Inn and enjoyed delicious NOLA Brewing Hopitoulous Ales with our J’Anita’s sandwiches – I had the Swamp Ruben and Tom had the Best Fish Sammich. Yum.

Back to the Irish Channel to walk over to their weekly Friday NOLA Brewing tour. They had the Brewer’s Crack on cask (Irish Channel Stout mixed with Hopitoulas) which is all I drank, and drank a lot of it.  We saw most of the NOLA gang- Head of Brewing Operations Melanie Knepp led the tour (hooray for the addition of the wireless mike!) and VP Dylan Lintern, as well as staffers Billy and Indy.  Brewmaster Peter Caddo was hustling around behind the scenes, brewing a super secret test batch of something to be revealed in the future. Intriguing!

After drinking several beers, we walked home and prepped our dinner before heading to the Avenue Pub for a couple beers. It was nice to see Eileen and Beth before the holiday weekend.  I tried the Old New Orleans Rum barrel aged Abita Honey Rye, which was an interesting blend of the sweetness of the honey, the spiciness of the rye, and the rum flavors of the barrel aging. I’m not sure it totally worked (for my palate at any rate.)  I think it actually could have done with some more aging to smooth out the harsh edges of the alcohol from the rum barrels. But it was still an interesting brew. I also had a 4 oz of Ommegang’s 2010 vintage of Three Philosophers, which was not quite as full tasting or complex as I’d hoped. Still drank it though. Ended with a 4 oz Brooklyn Companion, which I’d had before and enjoyed again last night.

The Beer Bitch household plans on celebrating Christmas by drinking some beer we’ve been hanging on to for a while. We have some Jolly Pumpkin Oi Baudelaire, Stone Vertical 10-10-10 and 11-11-11, and our last Trader Joe/Unibroue bottle, 2008 vintage. Also a bottle of the Stateside Saison. We’ve also enjoyed a recently reinvented Shmaltz Brewing Genesis Hoppy Session Ale that’s been popping up in Rouses and Breaux Mart- been one of our preferred “everyday” beers as of late.

I hope everyone out there in New Orleans Beer Guide world has a Hoppy Holiday!

Tis the Season to be Drinking

Things have been hectic as of late with the oncoming holiday season, so we’ve been away from the blog for a few days.  Sorry about that!  Here’s a catch all post with some info and links about beer-related holiday stuff.

  • Have you investigated NOLA Beer Blog Contributor, The Beer Buddha’s post on Christmas gifts for the beer lover in your life?  (Or, um, yourself?)  Check it out as we come down the wire… 
  • I sadly missed out on the Avenue Pub’s Christmas beer tasting last night, and even more sadly, wasn’t able to get online to remind you all about it.  I hope that some of the beers are still on tap when I stop by to get my beer on tomorrow night!
  • Speaking of tomorrow night, the Avenue Pub’s Firkin Friday will feature a cask of St. Arnold’s Christmas Ale.  This beer on draft has been super popular so it will likely go fast tomorrow night.
  • New Years Eve at the Avenue Pub will cater to those who want to drink well but not indulge in the craziness of the quarter. It will start early, however, in case you wish to do both or are bar-hopping or whatever. There will be special menu items to be announced and on Draft will be: Cantillon Fou foune and Amager Hr Fredrickson Imperial Stout. Bottle Openings will include: Cantillon Mamouche. There will be a toast at midnight with Brooklyn Local One.

That’s all I can think of off the top of my head… what am I missing?  Anyway, drink well and be safe!

-NOLA Beer Bitch

Winter Beer Wednesday Report

Last night was filled with merriment and tasty beer that warmed the body and soul. Let us begin at the Irish House for the release of this season’s Irish Channel Stout. This is the second year of its seasonal release, and the folks at NOLA Brewing, always ready to have a reason to drink beer with friends and the beer community at large, elevated this launch party at the Irish House in several ways.

#1: they rented an antique Studebaker carriage and 2 horses to carry the crew over from the brewery to the Irish House.  Very reminiscent of the Budweiser draft horse imagery, and an awful lot of fun to see on the way in to the bar.

#2: they brewed a special cask called something like Drunken Girl Scout Thin Mint, which was quite delicious, even to me, who doesn’t actually like those Thin Mint cookies.  (I know, I know.) They used fresh mint leaves and cocoa nibs in the ICS for a subtle, herbaceous beer with a depth of flavor (and not sweetness) provided by the cocoa nibs which complemented the dark malts used in the stout.  I was quite impressed.

#3 they commissioned and donated an original work of art based on the Irish Channel logo by Derek Ross, an artist friend of Melanie Knepp, NOLA Brewing brewer.

All in all, a good time had by all.  I had the Mark Janes version of the Brewer’s Crack, which is 90-10 IC Stout to Hopitoulous. It’s also tasty in a half-and-half format.

We took our leave and went up the street to the Avenue Pub for their Anchor Christmas Ale vertical tasting. It was quiet up on the balcony, but with a steady stream of customers wanting to try the Anchor beers.  They have the 2008 keg upstairs on the balcony, and the 2009 and 2011 kegs downstairs. They were all terrific.

The 2008 vintage was piney, herbaceous, with a very smooth and velvety mouthfeel.  Very rich.

The 2009 was brighter, sassier. A bit more quaffable, maybe?

The 2011 is also tasty.  Obviously, it’s missing a bit of the complexity that a few years of aging will put on it, but it is a very satisfying and drinkable dark ale.  Man, I love it when the Anchor Christmas Ale comes out. Slightly different label, slightly different recipe… it’s definitely something to look forward to every year.

In conclusion: Fun Had By All.  (Parallel conclusion: Feeling Crap At Work Today.) Did anyone out there make it to Dan Stein’s tasting?  We’d love to hear about it if so.

Oh, and as a reward for all who read this entire blog entry, the Avenue Pub will have a cask of the ICS on tomorrow night (Firkin Friday!!) which will be aged with vanilla bean and cayenne. Looking forward to trying it.

Exciting Beer is Here!

Well, tonight’s the night of many options.  Previously discussed here in detail, I also wanted to add that if you’re on the North Shore and can’t come in for the NOLA Brewing Irish Channel Stout Release, the Avenue Pub’s Anchor Christmas Ale vertical tasting, or Stein’s Holiday/Winter Ale tasting, you can still attend the Barley Oak’s Abita Specialty Night!  (UPDATE: The Barley Oak event is NEXT WEDNESDAY, 12/14.)

From the Barley Oak:  “Take a break from the holiday hustle & bustle and come out to enjoy some specialties from Abita that we’ve hung on to just for you! Abita Reps on hand to give out cool Abita Schwag! See ya then!!”

Featuring on Draft:
* Barleywine
* Bourbon Barrel Aged 25th Anniversary Vanilla Doubledog
* Honey Rye
* Amber
* Andygator
* Purple Haze
* Amarillo Hopped Restoration
* Oyster Stout

Also, some more info on the NOLA Irish Channel Stout unveiling from Kirk Coc himself:  “Come to the Irish House on St. Charles for Celtic music, our new Stout and the wonderful blend of Stout and Hopitoulas IPAD known affectionately as Brewer’s Crack (hey, I didn’t pick the name.)”  Apparently there will also be a cask ale there as well, so you KNOW the Beer Bitch is gonna be there in full force.

Come out and break up the week with some local brews, wherever you may be, and however your tastes may run.

What’s a Beer Geek To Do?

Holy smokes, this Wednesday (12/7) is CHOCK FULL of awesome beer-vents, but as there are only so many hours in the day, I kinda wish they’d been staggered out through the week!  Check it out:

Here are some suggestions on how to hit all these events:

  1. (5:30-6:45) Hit the Irish House right after work, try some stout, talk with Kirk, Dylan, Melanie, Peter, and the gang.  Maybe try to eat something.
  2. (6:45-8:15) Walk up the street to The Avenue Pub, order some food if you haven’t already done so at the Irish House, go upstairs to the Balcony, and enjoy Anchor’s Christmas ales from 2008 and 2009 on draft and try out this year’s version.
  3. (8:15-10:00) Get yourself over to Stein’s, settle in to drink and discuss some holiday beers.  There will be some food available, so you’ll be covered there.

OR, you can take a chance that the Anchors will still be around Thursday or Friday and skip step 2, giving you a bit more wiggle room to enjoy the ICS release party.

OR, you can wait to try ICS at the Pub/Balcony on cask on Friday (12/9).

Lordy. Is there anything else happening on any other days this week?  Or, gods forbid, anything else happening on Wednesday the 9th?