The balcony at the beer-centric Avenue Pub, overlooking the St. Charles Avenue streetcar line, is now open on Friday and Saturday nights.
Not content to serve just your average Budweiser, the Avenue Pub (1732 St. Charles Ave., 586-9243; www.theavenuepub.com) offers its customers 25 craft beers, 80 percent of which are brewed in America. The typical New Orleans beer guzzler can appreciate local brands such as Abita or NOLA Brew, and more adventurous samplers can try ales like jazz composer Thelonious Monk's namesake, the Brother Thelonious, a Belgian-style California beer.
The draft system the Avenue Pub uses to draw these beers is what sets it apart, says owner Polly Adler. The carbon dioxide- and nitrogen-mixed system, built into the bar about six months ago, is a "short-run" system intended to preserve freshness. That means the kegs are located right behind the wall from which they are served, which creates a fresher taste, Adler says. "You go to other bars, and their kegs are located in a cooler that's usually behind the building." she explains.
The Avenue Pub also offers a sampling system so first-timers can taste any beer before buying, because for some, the whole pint is a commitment.
"Some people will come in and the only thing they've ever had is their boyfriend's Bud," Adler says. "If that's all you've been exposed to, then you're going to think all beer is terrible. But what I'm trying to do is serve what people like."
The Avenue Pub is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.