I’m wrapping up a visit to New England and the Beer Bloggers Conference in Boston. I hope the tips and tricks I’ve picked up will benefit Brewsday Tuesday and promote beer in the New Orleans area in general.
In the meantime, some big pieces of news have hit over the last couple of weeks that affect the local craft beer community.
• NOLA Brewing has announced an upcoming collaboration with New Belgium called Swamp Grape Escape, a Belgian tripel-style brewed with muscadine grapes, that will be released to coincide with Louisiana Craft Brewers Week Sept. 23-29.
• NOLA Brewing also is testing and tasting batches of pale ale and an imperial porter. The imperial porter will be released in the winter, taking the seasonal slot previously occupied by Irish Channel Stout, which has been moved to the year-round lineup.
• Sweetwater Brewing of Atlanta has signed a distribution deal with Southern Eagle in New Orleans, Champagne Beverage of Madisonville, and Mockler Beverage of Baton Rouge, and will be in the market Aug. 19.
• Cantillon brewery in Belgium announced a list of 46 locations all over the world that will be serving its 2013 Zwanze vintage — a spontaneously fermented tripel — on Sept. 14. The Avenue Pub on St. Charles Avenue made the list.
• Lazy Magnolia has announced the release of its new fall seasonal, Me and the Dev-Ale. It’s a rustic, Mississippi Strong ale inspired by the Delta blues. The brewery describes it as “a sinister brew with a seductive balance of sweetness, resinous pine and citrus aromas.” The brewery plans a September release.
• State-level law change in action: Parish Brewing Company in Broussard is now the first Louisiana brewery to sell beer directly to consumers in more than 20 years. The taproom lineup includes draft pints, specialty bottles and 64-oz. refillable growlers to-go. Growlers are a green way for customers to purchase brewery-fresh draft beer to-go. After the initial container purchase, the customer can bring the growler back to the brewery to be refilled for a low price. “It is the most economical and environmentally friendly way to get quality draft beer at home,” says Andrew Godley, Parish’s founder and brewmaster.
• Abita Brewing Company has announced it will start packaging Andygator in six packs starting in October. The Northshore brewery also added a new beer to its harvest brew lineup: a grapefruit IPA, which will be released in December. The harvest brews are made with all-Louisiana-grown ingredients and are available for a limited time and in limited quantities.
• Garden & Gun magazine has recognized Bayou Teche’s Biere Pale as one of the top 10 beers of the south.
I can’t wait to come back home and drink local Louisiana beer! Until then, cheers!
— Nora McGunnigle is a freelance writer, blogger, craft beer aficionado, event planner, and regular columnist for Gambit and Southern Brew News. You can follow her blog at www.nolabeerblog.com and read her column every Tuesday on Blog of New Orleans. Please let her know what you think or suggest topics for future columns in the comment section.