Beer lovers: It's "Bugs & Brew For Drew"

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Saturday, April 20 brings the 4th annual Bugs & Brew For Drew fundraiser and its new alliance with the Louisiana Craft Brewers Guild will result in a real treat for Louisiana craft beer enthusiasts. All seven distributing Louisiana breweries (Abita, Bayou Teche, Chafunkta, Covington, NOLA Brewing, Parish, and Tin Roof) and only those breweries will be in attendance selling their beers. In addition to their regular keg beers, each brewery will be providing a cask ale for a cask garden. To have the opportunity to sample such a variety of cask (or “real”) ale is a rarity in the area and something for local craft beer fans to savor.

Confirmed casks so far:

● Bayou Teche will be bringing a cask of Bec Francaise, which is a Louisiana style pale ale that was dry hopped with beaucoup hops imported from Alsace France. The hops are Bouclier, Triskel, and Aramis.
● Covington is providing a cask of Pontchartrain Pilsner that was dry hopped with Citra and Glacier hops, aged with toasted oak chips and primed with honey from the head brewer’s personal beehive.
● NOLA is bringing a cask of Irish Channel Stout with Centennial hops and primed with Brown Ale 1st wort.
● Parish is providing a cask of Canebrake that has been dry-hopped.
● Not a cask, but a special keg - Tin Roof is bringing a version of its wildly popular seasonal Parade Ground Porter - a Bourbon Bacon Parade Ground Coffee Porter.

In addition, there will be free tastings of up and coming breweries like Gnarly Barley (Catahoula Common and Radical Rye Pale Ale) 40 Arpent (Red Beans & Rice Ale,) and Mudbug (King Cake Ale) as well as homebrewers showcasing their beers.

Cask conditioned ales are ales that complete their secondary fermentation in a cask, which gives it a natural carbonation. Cask ales are served at cellar temperatures, which allows the drinker to better taste all the nuances of the beer. Often a brewer will make additions of hops, spices, wood chips, or other ingredients when adding the beer to the cask, which creates a fun and different take on a favorite beer.

Volunteers from the newly formed Louisiana Craft Beer Collective will be pouring beers. The Louisiana Craft Beer Collective is currently organizing to promote Louisiana craft beer and craft beer culture.

Attendance is free! Just pay for beer and food.

Where: River City Plaza at Mardi Gras World

When: April 20, 2013, 11:00am-5:00pm

Who/What: Crawfish enthusiasts, local breweries, and musicians come together to support the fight against cancer.

How:
● Crawfish competition with over fifty teams
● Local music, including Papa Grows Funk, Honey Island Swamp Band, Johnny Sketch, and Stone Rabbits
● Admission to the festival is FREE. Advance VIP tickets can be purchased online for $50 until April 15 at www.bugsandbrew.com, or after April 16, for $60. Also known as the Cajun Pass, this ticket allows you to eat and drink all day. Separate drink and food tickets will also be sold at the event.
● Entertainment for kids
● Raffle supported by local businesses

On April 11 at 6 pm, join the Bugs & Brew event planners, ticket sellers, and foundation members at the Bayou Beer Garden (326 N Jefferson Davis Pkwy, Mid City). Abita’s new Lemon Wheat beer will be available to try, and it is not in release yet anywhere else. Check out the event on Facebook for more details.

— Nora McGunnigle is a New Orleans beer writer. Follow her at nolabeerblog.com.

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