I wrote my first article for Gambit on Louisiana's craft beer scene in March 2013. At the time of that story's publication, Chafunkta Brewing Company had gotten its permits and licenses but hadn't started brewing, Courtyard Brewery planned to open in Bywater, Old Rail Brewing Company was waiting for its final permits, and Gnarly Barley Brewing Company, 40 Arpent Brewing Company, Mudbug Brewery and Great Raft Brewing still were in the planning stages.
A lot has changed since then. Louisiana went from having six production breweries and two brewpubs to five brewpubs, 18 production breweries and five nanobreweries. New Orleans now has 10 breweries, up from three in 2013.
2017 is shaping up to be a year of change as well: Not only have seven breweries opened so far, but my time as Gambit's beer writer has come to an end.
Gambit was my first professional gig as a beer writer. As New Orleans' and Louisiana's beer scenes have grown, so have opportunities for me to write about them. I've reported on the passion and unique culture of Louisiana as it relates to beer and food for national publications including Beer Advocate and All About Beer Magazine.
It is truly humbling to be in New Orleans, the finest food city in the country, and write about what we eat and drink and how we celebrate. I've written 211 Beer Buzz columns — every week without fail since May 21, 2013 — including dozens of stories (many of which were breathless announcements of breweries opening), guides to American Craft Beer Week in May and Louisiana Craft Brewers Week in September (since 2013).
Now it's time for me to move on to new projects, and leave Gam- bit's beer correspondence in the capable hands of Mark Burlet, former beer writer with the New Orleans Examiner website, blogger and passionate beer fan.
Thank you. And cheers!