Category Archives: Homebrewing

The Springtime Scoop

The Avenue Pub is starting a fun Monday night series called “Fancy Glass Mondays.” It’s sponsored by Duvel and their line of, well, Fancy Glasses. On April 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30, patrons of the Balcony will have the opportunity to get a card to track three Duvel purchases throughout that week. If you drink 3, you get a glass!  Cards and glasses are only available on Monday nights on the Balcony. May’s fancy glasses will include Triple Karmelite Fleur de Lis goblets and Kwak Quarto glasses.

Crescent City Homebrewers will be holding their annual meeting this Wednesday at the temporary Deutsches Haus digs in Old Metairie at 1023 Ridgewood Drive. They will also be having a couple brew days this month, so if you’re interested, stop by on Wednesday or contact the club at cchhopline@aol.com.

NOLA Brewing Easter Keg Hunt is coming up on Saturday! The scavenger hunt will take place in the Warehouse District this year on Saturday April 7th and the registration begins at noon at the Howlin’ Wolf Den. Participants will scavenge the Warehouse District for clues in order to find the final destination where there will be live music and of course FREE BEER! You can register your team online before the event for $12 per person or register your team the day of the event for $15 per person. SPACE IS LIMITED so sign up and secure your spot! All proceeds from this years Easter Keg Hunt will go towards the Gulf Restoration Networks ongoing work to restore our beloved Gulf of Mexico. The Gulf Restoration Network is committed to uniting and empowering people to protect and restore the natural resources of the Gulf Region. Teams will consist of 2-6 people per team and there will be awards given for best team name, team costume, individual costume. We encourage every one to dress up and come ready to a great day of fun, music, and beer! You can find info and rules about the Easter Keg Hunt by clicking here…You can also register your team by clicking here.

Don’t forget, April 7 is also Session Beer Day! I plan on celebrating by drinking many NOLA Brown Ales, New Orleans’ locally made and available session beer.

On April 18, The Avenue Pub will be hosting a tasting of Sam Adams Small Batch beers, which look to be different than anything SA has ever done before.  The very small batch Sam Adams specialties don’t normally make it to Louisiana but have agreed to send a few for this event. Several folks from Sam Adams will be with us to chat about their beers and share some of the Sam Adams history. Check it:

  • Norse Legend Sahti, an primitive and ancient beer style from Finland that employs some wild yeast and little to no hops.
  • Cinder Block Rauchbier, smoked German bock beer
  • Griffins Bow oaked blonde Barley wine

The Bugs & Brew 2012 fundraiser to benefit the Drue Rodrigue Foundation will be held on April 21, and a lot of local breweries will be participating.  The event is free to enter, and a plate of crawfish will set you back $5 and a glass of local beer will be $3!  Eat and drink for a good cause – you know you’ll be doing it anyway. It’ll be at the field behind Jesuit High School in New Orleans, at the intersection of Banks St. and S. Solomon St.  Check out their website for more details, including info on the VIP pass which will enable pass holders to sample beer that isn’t for sale.

And keep the week of May 16-20 free for American Craft Beer Week! That’s always a good time.

OK, over and out- feel free to let us know about other beer happenings this month by posting on our Facebook page or commenting below. Drink safely and deliciously!

-The NOLA Beer Bitch

Emerging from post-Mardi Gras haze

I hope everyone had a happy and safe Mardi Gras and that you all took advantage of the increase in quality canned beers to enjoy craft brew while out and about watching parades and such.

Couple of things:

  1. If you’re a homebrewer and shop at Brewstock, make sure to sign up for the 2012 Brewstock Buyers Club for free in order to accumulate points that will count toward discount on future purchases.  It’s free to join, so don’t be a fool and pass this up!
  2. The gypsy brewer that created Stillwater Artisinal Brewing, Brian Strumke, will be in town to promote the release of his new beer, Kopsttotje, which is inspired by the Dutch tradition of beer to be served with a shot of Bols Genever (basically, a type of gin.) Oh, the Dutch.  I love you and your ways!  Anyway, you can meet Brian tonight at Cure from 5-7. Belloq from 11pm till late or tomorrow night at the Avenue Pub at 6pm.  A very interesting tradition, and New Orleans is one of ten American cities to be chosen for this event!
  3. NOLA Brewing’s “Brewer’s Crack” (a delicious combination of Irish Channel Stout and Hopitoulous IPA) will be on cask on Friday, which is something that I, personally, will be looking forward to all week long.  I remember last year’s cask got kicked within an hour and a half of tapping, so get there early!
  4. The dates of 2012’s American Craft Beer Week have been set, May 14-19.  The Avenue Pub’s big tasting will be that Saturday the 19th. Stay tuned for announcements of events all over town!
  5. New Orleans International Beer Festival (previously known as Top of the Hops) will be at Champions Square on March 24.

That’s all the news fit to print so far on this dreary Monday morning.  Let visions of beer get you through the day and the week…

Roundup – 1/12/12

Here’s the dirt!

  • Stein’s Deli will be holding its annual Beer Day on Saturday, January 28.  There will be brewing demonstrations, tastings, discounts, and general awesomeness.
  • Stone Brewmaster Mitch Steele has rescheduled his visit to New Orleans and at the Avenue Pub (originally scheduled for Monday, 1/9) to this upcoming Tuesday 1/17.  Come Meet The Brewer at the Avenue starting at 5pm on 1/17.
  • The American Homebrewers Association is holding their 33rd Annual National Homebrewers Conference and Homebrew Competition in Seattle on June 21-23, 2012.  Registration opens on February 1.
  • Also on the homebrew front, New Orleans Homebrew shop Brewstock is celebrating its third anniversary today!  Way to go, y’all!
  • There will be a cask of NOLA at the Avenue Pub on Friday (1/13), Hopoutoulas IPA dry hopped with Willamette hops
  • Cochon in Lafayette will be holding a Bayou Teche beer dinner on Wednesday, January 18. If you’re in the area, it sounds awesome! (Man, I gotta get me some of that Courir de Mardi Gras)
  • Waiting on the final draft of the Swedish Beer tasting dinner at Boucherie on Monday, January 23.  Keep a look out and for god’s sake, make your reservations ASAP!  There will be a second dinner 2 weeks later with all new dishes and pairings. Stay tuned!

Homebrew Call for Help!

This came to the Crescent City Homebrew email list yesterday:

As of this time, we do not have a brewmeister for the upcoming brewoff set for Saturday, January 7, 2012, at the HackenDome.  Therefore, …

We NEED A BREWMEISTER for the HackenDome BrewOff.  The brewmeister can choose what they wish to brew.

Please, someone, throw yourself into the breach.  We need you.  HELP !

If no brewmeister, then the BO will be cancelled or delayed as required.

Please, contact your faithful servant, me, at the phone numbers below, ASAP.  Thanks.

Merry Christmas.

Cheers, Richard Cuccia, Metairie, LA 70006, richardcuccia@cox.netrichardcuccia@hotmail.com504-454-3847 – h, 504-454-3847 – fax, 504-512-2814 – mp

Please, only leave messages on my home (h) phone, or call me until you contact me.  I don’t check messages on my mobile phone (mp).  Thanks.

40 Arpent Brewery Debut Tasting Event

So, Mr. Beer Bitch and myself made it over to the Rusty Nail to find out what the what was with 40 Arpent Brewery.  We tried some tasty, unique, and well-executed beers and had a chance to talk to Mr. 40 Arpent himself, Michael Naquin.

Michael has been a homebrewer for 10 years and a small business owner for 6 years, so it just seemed to make sense for him to take this next step closer to becoming a full-fledged brewery. I didn’t get a chance to ask him about the name of his brewery, but I did discover from my friend and yours, Mark Janes, that the 40 Arpent Canal is what is now called the Florida Canal and runs through St. Bernard Parish. Since Michael plans on brewing in Chalmette, that made sense to me.  Why not?

This, by the way, leaves NOLA Brewing as still the only brewery in Orleans Parish, although Michael did acknowledge them as being his most direct local competition.  Hey, a little healthy competition can only help us all drink more better beer in the long run, right?

40 Arpent has a very small setup right now – he’s starting with a 2 bbl system and is actively pursuing investment to expand to a 15 bbl system (if anyone is interested in doing some brewery investment, you can definitely jump on the train with this, investment starts at $5000 – there are some cool pledge opportunities as well starting at $50.) Michael’s working with Tulane Business School and Idea Village to get the business plan finalized, and the operation funded and off the ground.  The rate he’s brewing at now, he thinks he can only brew enough to keep maybe 5 bars in New Orleans supplied, so he’s hoping to expand really soon.

OK, onward to the beers!  I was surprised to see so many different beers, including a few lager styles.  We discussed his “lagering” process, and he said that he ferments at around 58 degrees and then after filtering he ages/lagers it at 32 degrees for several weeks.  He didn’t really consider this a true lagering process when he described it to me, but it sounded to me pretty close to it. Purists and homebrewers who know more than I may certainly disagree, though! (Note: we did not discuss yeasts.) Lagers available for tasting included the Paddle Wheeler Pilsner (4.8% ABV), an Oktoberfest-style Marzen, and an EXCELLENT hoppy lager, called the Duckweed Golden.  At 5.8%ABV, it’s a bit burly as far as lagers usually go.  It was definitely one of our favorites of the night. He used a lot of low-alpha hops and when serving ran the tap line through what Dogfish Head has dubbed a “Randall” (read here about the general idea about it, but the one that was being used tonight was much, much simpler, see below)

He also had the Rusty Nail Wheat (5.5%)  which was a very tasty dunkelweizen, a well executed way to work with wheat (which made up 80% of the grain bill) with a very balanced and sophisticated result, and the Milkmaid Stout, a huge crowd favorite- at 6.4% it was nicely warming on a cool December night and oh so drinkable.

40 Arpent’s pièce de résistance and what will likely be the flagship beer of the brewery is called Keltic Kajun and is, quite literally, a “Red Beans & Rice” beer. He uses Camellia red kidney beans for the color and brewer’s rice for about 10% of the grain bill (along with three other malts).  When Michael described it, I was intrigued, but wary about it going into gimmick territory.  We had our samples and were quite impressed with it – especially when we were told afterward that it was his first batch of the beer.  He plans to make it a little hoppier, and tinker with it a little bit.  It was a very good, delicately balanced beer. I’m really looking forward to trying it again soon.

Ah, but when will we be able to try these beers again? Michael hopes to have distribution in place by March.  He’s still working to find the best distributor for his small brewery, but is close to finalizing that decision.

In conclusion, I’m really glad we went and had the opportunity to taste Michael’s beers. It’s obviously a labor of love for him to get this enterprise off the ground, and I wish him all the luck and investors in the world. He has a deft touch brewing balanced, quaffable, and delicious beers. I was pleasantly surprised to see the range of styles that he’s brewed already- and very impressed.

If anyone wants to get in touch with Michael to learn more about 40 Arpent, you can email him at michaelnaquin78(at)yahoo(dot)com and/or Like the brewery’s Facebook page.

Did anyone else make it out to the Rusty Nail to try 40 Arpent’s beers?  Did anyone make it over to the Rock & Bowl to try the new Bayou Teche beers?  Let us know what you thought!

Homebrewers, Get To Twittering!

Brewstock, at 3800 Dryades St. will be tweeting one-off, limited-time deals on Twitter – so make sure you’re following them – @Brewstock!  So far, it looks like they’ve listed something I know EVERY homebrewer needs, regardless of what he or she is brewing.

Check it out and happy tweeting!