Brewsday Tuesday: Nick Anzalone brews up change at Gordon Biersch


Nicholas Anzalone's created a hazy, hop-forward IPA with Citra hops at Gordon Biersch. - COURTESY GORDON BIERSCH NEW ORLEANS
  • Courtesy Gordon Biersch New Orleans
  • Nicholas Anzalone's created a hazy, hop-forward IPA with Citra hops at Gordon Biersch.

Gordon Biersch
 (200 Poydras St, 504-552-2739) head brewer Nicholas “Nick” Anzalone is determined to put his stamp on the Warehouse District brewpub’s program. Anzalone has been with the brewpub for two years and became the head brewer in November 2016.

Anzalone was a social worker and home-brewer who turned to brewing as a second career.

Anzalone has featured IPAs and other hoppy beers on multiple taps at the brewpub alongside its traditional German styles. He also has embraced the benefits of working for a large company as well as the autonomy Gordon Biersch provides.

“I take full advantage of Gordon Biersch's corporate buying power, which gives me access to harder-to-get hops because of our big hop contracts,” Anzalone says. “But I treat the Gordon Biersch New Orleans brewery as a separate little entity. I do all the recipe formulation, and all beer-related decisions come from me.”

Anzalone is creating collaboration beers with local partners, including Jeremy Sauer, a former brewer at Dixie and now part owner of the Mid City Yacht Club (440 S. St. Patrick St., 504-483-2517). Together, the pair brewed a Belgian wit called Mid City Wit that is currently available on tap at Gordon Biersch, alongside a hazy, single-hopped Citra IPA and a piney, roasty black IPA.

Revelator Coffee Company (637 Tchoupitoulas St., 205-224-5900) collaborated with Anzalone on a coffee lager. Revelator blends, roasts and grinds the beans to pair with Gordon Biersch’s dark lager.

Local connections and collaborations are important to Anzalone.

“I'm from New Orleans," he says. "I grew up in Mid City, so I'm trying to change the beer culture here and embrace a newer, more local approach to the things I do. “I'm still doing all of the traditional German lagers the slow, right way. But I'm also brewing newer styles, like my hazy IPAs, to go alongside the traditional stuff. I love that duality.”

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