At the third annual Boudin, Bourbon & Beer Festival
I may have missed all the Buffalo Trace bourbon cocktails (they ran out quickly) and a lot of the boudin (the Foundry was so jam-packed I couldn’t get to the stations near the stage), but I did enjoy the beer part of the equation very much.
Abita’s been sponsoring this fundraiser for the Emeril Lagasse Foundation since the beginning, and this year it provided a cask garden that served five specially prepared beers: Imperial Stout, which will be on cask around the state over the next few months; the first of their “Bourbon Street” bourbon barrel aged series of cask ales, the Imperial Stout aged in Pappy Van Winkle barrels; a bourbon barrel aged version of their new Select beer, Macchiato Espresso Milk Stout; a spiced version of their Christmas Ale; and an Amarillo-hopped Restoration Pale Ale.
While enjoying the cask ale selection, I was able to chat with local beer folks like Ron Swoboda, the Director of Craft Beer Education at Crescent Crown Distribution; 40 Arpent’s founder, Michael Naquin and his wife Emily; and the senior Abita team of President David Blossman, National Sales Manager Leo Basile III, and Brewmaster Mark Wilson.
Blossman and Basile were excited about the upcoming “Bourbon Street” bourbon barrel aged line of beers as well as their new Harvest series beer, Grapefruit IPA. Blossman and Basile also discussed the tweaking of their soon to be released Seersucker Pilsner; it’s long been their goal to have an easy-drinking yet flavorful pilsner in their lineup.
I was also able to visit some of my favorite beer-loving chefs: Alon Shaya from Domenica; Nathanial Zimet from Boucherie; Phillip Lopez from Root; Kristen Essig from Ste. Marie; and Tariq Hanna from Sucre. There should be beer events to report from some of these chefs in 2014 — stay tuned!