Brewsday Tuesday: Carnival-themed beer just in time for Mardi Gras


Bayou Teche's Courir de Mardi Gras beer is adorned in traditional Carnival colors. - NORA MCGUNNIGLE
  • Bayou Teche's Courir de Mardi Gras beer is adorned in traditional Carnival colors.

Since Carnival is a tradition all over Louisiana, it stands to reason that breweries around the state honor the season by creating beers specifically for the Mardi Gras season.

Bayou Teche’s Courir de Mardi Gras is a biere de mars, which is a variety of the French farmhouse style of biere de garde. First brewed in 2012, its bottle and six-pack holder depicts a rider on horseback wearing the traditional Cajun Mardi Gras costume, and the beer itself has a toasty malt flavor boosted by a touch of refreshing wheat and subtly soft hop spiciness. It can be found on various parade routes at the Avenue Pub, Ole Saint, and Lagers in Metairie.

Abita’s Mardi Gras Bock is the brewery’s homage to the traditional German maibocks of spring. At 6.5% ABV, the malty and full bodied bock kicks off Abita’s annual seasonal cycle of five beers brewed specifically for maximum enjoyment throughout the year. It can be found along the parade route at Samuel’s Blind Pelican, Irish House, and Superior Seafood.
Gordon Biersch’s Carnival Bock is another German-style beer, a helles bock which is stronger (8.5 percent ABV) and more warming than the maibock style. Head brewer Tom Conklin says that this is the annual recipe that he designs specifically for the clientele in New Orleans, a break from the styles that the corporate office requires. It’s only available in-house at the Biersch brewpub in the CBD.

NOLA Brewing is breaking all tradition by releasing its hoppy red ale called Flambeau Red, named to honor the traditional flambeau torch bearers who escort the night time Carnival parades. First brewed in 2011, the beer can be found along the Uptown parade route at the Circle Bar and New Orleans Hamburger & Seafood Company, as well as on the Endymion parade route at Theo’s and Holy Ground.

These beers are found in many more places than what’s listed above, so keep your eyes open for the opportunity to taste what local breweries are offering for Carnival.

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