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Beer buzz: New Orleans beer news in 2016

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Its time to raise a beer to celebrate the new year and look at New Orleans' beer scene in 2016 and 2017.

  In 2016, two breweries opened in New Orleans: Urban South Brewery (1645 Tchoupitoulas St., 504-267-4852; www.urbansouthbrewery.com) opened in March and Wayward Owl Brewing Company (3940 Thalia St., 504-827-1646; www.waywardowlbrewing.com) followed in November.

  The city is expected to see three breweries open in 2017. Brieux Carre Brewing Company in the Marigny, Royal Brewery in New Orleans East and Parleaux Beer Lab in Bywater all have brewing equipment in place and licenses in hand.

  Parleaux co-founder Eric Jensen says his New Year's resolution is "to swing a lot less hammers and spend a lot more time stirring mashes."

  In 2016, the city saw the addition of two beer and brewery bus tour companies. New Orleans Original Brewery Tour (www.neworleansoriginalbrewerytour.com) began daily tours of Urban South, Courtyard Brewery and NOLA Brewing in March.

  In September, NOLA Brew Bus (www.nolabrewbus.com) began offering a more diverse set of tours, in which guides share tales of the city's history while participants ride between breweries or beer bars.

  Freret Beer Room (5018 Freret St., 504-298-7468; www.freretbeerroom.com) opened in December and focuses on pairing beer and food. It also offers happy hour specials. Owner Eli Gay says all Louisiana-brewed draft beer is $2 off from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays. Meat and cheese boards are $10 and a paneed chicken sandwich is $9 from 10 p.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays.

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