As the holidays approach, there are many reasons to toast in celebration with a beer. This year, New Orleanians can raise a glass of one of several new Louisiana beers and enjoy these upcoming events.
Citruslike hop flavors are are popular with consumers, and many brewers now add those fruits to beers. Abita Brewing Company's new addition to its Harvest series, which includes Strawberry and Peach lagers and Blueberry Wheat, is Sweet Orange lager brewed with Louisiana oranges.
Abita also will release its taproom favorite, the Bourbon Street Series' Old Fashioned, a barrel-aged pale ale brewed to capture the flavors of an Old Fashioned cocktail. It is brewed with rye malts and aged with orange peels and maraschino cherries.
NOLA Brewing Company's recently discontinued autumn seasonal, Smoky Mary, is discovering new life in the brewery's Lagniappe series at the taproom and select locations. Smoky Mary is the brewery's version of a German-style rauchbier, but pecan wood is used instead of peat to smoke the barley.
Shreveport's Great Raft Brewing will release its Grace and Grit double IPA in four-packs of 16-ounce cans — a packaging first for the brewery — scheduled to hit stores in December.
There will be an opportunity to sample two new Urban South Brewery beers at the Beer and Deer Dinner at Sac-a-Lait (1051 Annunciation St,, 504-324-3658; www.sac-a-laitrestaurant.com) Dec. 1. The venison-focused dinner will feature beer pairings including Urban South's flagship offerings, a satsuma wit brewed specially for the dinner and the first keg of the brewery's newest seasonal, Second Set Pilsner.
In Monroe, Flying Tiger Brewery (506 N. 2nd St., Monroe, 318-267-5614; www.flying-tiger-brewery.com) was cleared to begin brewing in late October, making it Louisiana's 28th brewery. Co-founders James Simpson and Robert Brewer plan to unveil the 2,000-square-foot taproom in late November. The 8,000-square-foot facility also houses a 15- barrel brewhouse system, 11 fermenters and brite tanks and a 2,000-square-foot taproom.