In the French Quarter/CBD area, two brewpubs offer locals and tourists food and beer served on the premises. One is New Orleans' first and oldest brewpub, Crescent City Brewhouse (527 Decatur St., 504-522-0571; www.crescentcitybrewhouse.com). Gordon Biersch (200 Poydras St., 504-552-2739; www.gordonbiersch.com) is part of a national chain of brewpubs, but the beer it serves is brewed at its location in Fulton Alley.
Gordon Biersch has undergone a change in brewers recently, bringing in Daniel Reynolds to replace Tom Conklin. Reynolds is a transplant from California and has worked for several breweries including Breakwater Brewing Company, Oggi's Pizza and Brewing Company and Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery. Biersch kicked off its monthly Brewer's Dinner series in April and hosts the next one May 27. It starts at 7 p.m., and costs $35 for four courses of food with beer pairings.
On June 4, Gordon Biersch will launch its summer seasonal, SommerBrau, by throwing a tapping party with a crawfish boil to celebrate the release of the Kolsch-style beer.
Crescent City Brewhouse has been experimenting with different styles of beers in addition to producing the German styles for which it is known. Assistant brewer Ryan Woodfill says Crescent City's current seasonal French Quarter Pale Ale is an American-style pale ale with a clean and crisp hop profile.
"We brew many one-off batches throughout the year that include a wide variety of styles," Woodfill says. "One of my favorite things about brewing is recipe formulation, so it's important for me to be able to be creative with our seasonal and specialty beers. I'm lucky to be working with a brewmaster [Wolfram Koeh-ler] who is supportive of this."
Alongside the French Quarter Pale Ale, Crescent City Brewhouse's version of a seasonal Kolsch will be on tap throughout June.