I just returned from a weekend in New York City, having attended Savor: An American Craft Beer and Food Experience, where two Louisiana breweries were showcased for their beer as well as the pride with which they represent their regions.
Arnaudville’s Bayou Teche Brewing presented a salon on Cajun culture, which tied their beer, Cajun food, and traditional music together to immerse attendees in the experience of being a part of the joyous traditions that inspired Bayou Teche’s creation. Their salon session at Savor, titled, “Cajun and Creole Artisanal Foods and Bieres in Quadraphonic Sensaround” intended to present a total sensory immersion as a parallel to how folks down here approach life. I’ll be writing about it in more detail in the near future, but suffice it to say, they knocked it out of the park. Abita Brewing was a sponsor of the event, so they were pouring their Mayhawk and their Vanilla Double Dog with other sponsors such as Ommegang, Dogfish Head, and Boulevard.
In local beer events: the WYES Private Beer Sampling and International Beer Tasting are Fri. June 21 and Sat. June 22, respectively. I’ve had a sneak peek of what’s going to be offered, and there’s some really fun stuff, especially when it comes to not-quite-officially-opened breweries like Cajun Fire, Gnarly Barley, Great Raft, The Old Rail, Mudbug and 40 Arpent. I’m excited to try the various and plentiful homebrews that will be there. There will be many, many beer options available (especially on Saturday) so be smart and strategic. Visit the WYES website for more information and to purchase tickets.
You also have the opportunity to win a pair of tickets to Saturday’s International beer tasting by attending tonight’s Louisiana Craft Beer Collective French Quarter meetup at Evangeline (329 Decatur St., 504-908-8008). When you purchase your first beer, you are eligible for the drawing to win the tickets. (Must be present at time of the drawing to win.) Viist the Facebook event page for more information and to RSVP.
In other news, Louisiana’s newest production brewery, Chafunkta Brewing, will be available in New Orleans proper starting this week. As head brewer Josh Erikson says, “Old 504 [Vanilla Coffee Porter] will now be available IN the 504!” Chafunkta officially debuted last night at the Avenue Pub, the Bulldog Uptown, the Bulldog Mid-City, and Lager’s International Ale House. Later this week, it will be popping up at bars and restaurants all over town like Cochon, Squeal BBQ, and Evangeline. Besides Chafunkta’s Old 504, they offer a double IPA called Voo Ka Ray IPA. They are still a very small brewery with limited production, so if you see it, order it! It won’t last long, and you’ll have to wait for the next delivery.
Seasonal release update: keep your eyes out for NOLA Brewing’s Hurricane Saison and Tin Roof’s Watermelon Wheat. They were brewed with the summer heat in mind. Also newly released is Bayou Teche’s Cocadrie, which is a deceptively smooth yet 8 percent ABV Triple IPA. Abita has a couple of new Select beers in the offing this summer, the next one being a strawberry doppelbock called Strawator.