Gordon Biersch (200 Poydras St., 504-552-2739; www.gordonbiersch.com/locations/new-orleans) head brewer Nicholas "Nick" Anzalone is determined to put his stamp on the Warehouse District brewpub.
Anzalone was a social worker and home brewer who turned to brewing as a second career. He has been with the brewpub for two years and became the head brewer in November 2016.
"I'm from New Orleans," he says. "I grew up in Mid-City, so I'm trying to change the beer culture here and embrace a newer, more local approach to the things I do. I'm still doing all of the traditional German lagers the slow, right way. But I'm also brewing newer styles, like my hazy IPAs, to go alongside the traditional stuff. I love that duality."
Anzalone has featured IPAs and other hoppy beers on multiple taps at the brewpub alongside traditional German styles. He also has embraced the benefits of working for a large company as well as the autonomy Gordon Biersch provides.
"I take full advantage of Gordon Biersch's corporate buying power, which gives me access to harder-to-get hops because of our big hop contracts," Anzalone says. "But I treat the Gordon Biersch New Orleans brewery as a separate little entity. I do all the recipe formulation, and all beer-related decisions come from me."
Anzalone is collaborating on new beers with local partners, including Jeremy Sauer, a former brewer at Dixie Brewing Company and a part owner of the Mid City Yacht Club (440 S. St. Patrick St., 504-483-2517; www.midcityyachtclub.com). Together, the pair brewed a Belgian wit called Mid City Wit that currently is available on tap at Gordon Biersch, along with a hazy, single-hopped Citra IPA and a piney, roasty black IPA.
Revelator Coffee Company (637 Tchoupitoulas St., 205-224-5900; www.revelatorcoffee.com) collaborated with Anzalone on a coffee lager. Revelator blends, roasts and grinds the beans to pair with Gordon Biersch's dark lager.