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Beer buzz: Wayward Owl opens, Nuit Belge returns

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New Orleans' newest brewery, Wayward Owl Brewing Company (3940 Thalia St,, 504-827-1646; www.waywardowlbrewing.com), has opened a tasting room to sell test batches of beer before its official grand opening event Dec. 17. Located in the renovated Gem Theater in Broadmoor, the brewery's tasting room is open 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

  The brewery began a soft opening Nov. 25. Initial offerings are brewer-owner Justin Boswell's Clean Slate IPA, which uses Mosaic and Equinox hops for a piney and citrus hop flavor, and the early tasting-room favorite, Tawny Twit English Pale Bitter, an ESB (extra special bitter) originally brewed to propagate yeast to use in the brewery's Scotch Ale.

  "Now that we have it, we love it," Boswell says.

  Boswell plans to add the English-

style beer to its regular rotation.

  Test batches of Wayward Owl's Kristallweizen and Scotch Ale also are available for sampling.

  "The soft opening is all about getting feedback in order to be sure that the beers are finely tuned before sending them out to retailers, which is our main focus as a production brewery," Boswell says.

• Nuit Belge, an event featuring Belgian and Belgian-style beers, returns to New Orleans at 7 p.m. Feb. 3, 2017 at Generations Hall.

  Tickets are available at www.nuitbelge.com for both the general session ($99) and the VIP session ($149). The VIP session begins at 5:30 p.m. and features a special tasting of rare beers from Blackberry Farm Brewery. Seating is limited. Among the 13 restaurants scheduled to pair food with Belgian or Belgian-style beers are Maypop, Patois, Peche, Angeline and Compere Lapin.

  Ticket buyers can get $10 off the price of the general session by using the code nora10 until midnight Dec. 11.

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