New Orleans celebrates American Craft Beer Week

Don Ames
May 15, 2017 - 5:33 am

This is a great week to be a beer drinker in New Orleans. 

American Craft Beer Week celebrations kick off beginning today.
And, there's plenty to celebrate. There are more local suds being sold in the area than ever before.

In the last year, five breweries have opened in New Orleans. There are three companies now offering brewery tours in the city. 

Patrick Healy, with New Orleans' Original Brewery Tour, offers tours seven days a week. He says New Orleans' beer scene has changed a lot in one year, and is making quite a splash.

"It's exploding! We can barely keep up with it," says Healy. "We're seeing breweries opening left and right. It's just been one brewery after the other. There's a lot of great beer."  

In 2012, New Orleans had one production brewery and two brewpubs, and there were eight breweries in the state. Louisiana now has 34 breweries, including brewpubs. 

He says the city has come along way since the days of Dixie and Jax.

"These are craft breweries with awesome tap rooms. You can taste anything from a classic amber brown ale to a barrel-aged whiskey sour. There's just really interesting stuff going on all over the city. We're making some great beer here."  

"It's our job to make people who come to visit the city of New Orleans aware of the fact that there is a brewing scene here. Because, it came out of nowhere, even for those of us who live here," Healy says. 

And, he says the local product is finding favor with those who savor suds. A number the city's existing breweries are expanding.

"These breweries are super busy. I mean, some of these folks are selling every drop of beer they can make. They're working 16 hour days just trying to keep up with the demand for their beers."

And, all this week local brewers and barrooms are hosting special tastings...many unveiling their newest brews.      

*NOLA Brewing Company NOLA Brewing Company releases its new IPA, Syncopation, at a series of events. 

The official release is Monday, May 15 at The Avenue Pub. Syncopation is highlighted at Bayou Beer Garden on Tuesday, May 16; at Cooter Brown's Tavern Wednesday, May 17; at The Barley Oak in Mandeville, Thursday, May 18; and at Mid City Yacht Club Friday, May 19.

*Brieux Carre Brewing Company releases three new IPAs on Monday, May 15: HopsSpine Throwback West Coast IPA, StarHazer double dry-hopped IPA with Apollo, Galaxy and Challenger hops, and 8x Dry-Hopped Falcon Warrior IIPA.

*Gnarly Barley Brewing Company releases its new flagship beer, Jucifer IPA, in Hammond, New Orleans, Jefferson, Mandeville, Covington and Baton Rouge on Monday, May 15.

*Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant releases a new hazy double IPA featuring Citra and Mosaic Cryo hop dust from YCH Hops on Monday, May 15. A barrel-aged stout, aged one year in a Buffalo Trace bourbon barrel, will be released Wednesday, May 17.

*Wayward Owl Brewing Company taps a one time-only batch of My Funky Family in its tasting room on Tuesday, May 16. 

*Urban South Brewery rereleases Modillion double dry-hopped IPA this week and will also distribute it to the Northshore and Baton Rouge.

*Tin Roof Brewing Company has reformulated its Voodoo pale ale, and it will be available throughout the area on May 15. 

*On Big Beer Release Day, Friday, May 19, Brieux Carre Brewing issues two beers...Pomeranian Fight Club and Bagpipes at Midnight Scottish Wee Heavy, a big brother to the brewery's Scotch Ale, Bagpipes at Noon.

*Great Raft's new Southern Drawl pilsner will be previewed, along with a Belgian-style pale ale created with Washington, D.C., brewery DC Brau, at The Avenue Pub Friday, May 18.

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