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Jim Barrett and Joel A. Ohmer want people to know that Houma is getting serious about craft beer. The longtime friends founded the Bayou Beer Society (www.bayoubeersociety.org) last year when Ohmer says they realized, "If you wanted to do anything with beer, you really had to go to New Orleans." They decided to change that through education, advocacy and events.

  The society is holding its first event, the Bayou Beer Fest, (www.bayoubeerfest.com) Saturday on the grounds of Southdown Plantation (1208 Museum Drive, Houma, 985-851-0154; www.southdownmuseum.org). Organizers suggest arriving close to the noon start time in order to sample the full array of local and nonlocal craft beers and homebrews. Plantation tours are free for festival attendees, and there will be music by Soul Creole. Proceeds go to charities that serve Louisiana veterans.

  The festival's tickets-for-beer format is based on the annual LA/SPCA (www.la-spca.org) beer fundraising event, New Orleans On Tap. Louisiana breweries will sell their beer, and Bayou Teche Brewing will offer a special Bananas Foster beer based on its Biere Noir with the addition of bananas, brown sugar, chocolate, cinnamon and vanilla.

  Gambit's second FestivAles event also is scheduled Saturday. The Freret Street pub crawl begins at noon and attendees can visit six participaiting bars and restaurants at their own pace. The event features all craft beers, including brews from Abita Brewing Company, Covington Brewhouse, Lazy Magnolia, Brewery Ommegang, New Belgium Brewing Company and others. Southern Tier Brewing Company will serve its 2XIPA and there's Old Rasputin from North Coast Brewing. Visit www.bestofneworleans.com/festivales for details.

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