Big Easy Beers

Chris Beer Travel, Homebrewing

Last Friday was the Winter Brew Fest here in Denver but we didn’t attend.  We didn’t even consider buying tickets!  Now if you don’t think this sounds like us, you’d be right.  However, we just returned from one of the few cities in the U.S. that embraces drinking even more than Denver — New Orleans.  We took a trip to the Crescent City with 8 of our friends for a long-weekend getaway.  The trip was  in memory of a friend we lost last year whom we loved dearly, and who loved this great city.   Though the trip was bittersweet, we had a fantastic time with friends… and our liver needed some recovery time.

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Clearly, New Orleans is best known for their cocktails, and we had many of them.  Hand Grenade? You betcha!  Horny Gator and Tropical Itch?  Done and Done.  Hurricane? DUH!  Of course we had a lot of cocktails.  This is a town that loves throwing some grain alcohol in what tastes like High-C Fruit Punch, pouring it in a giant goofy cup, and sending you on your merry way.  We were more than happy to oblige.   After all, when in Rome…

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Though the cocktail reigns supreme in New Orleans, beer is still plentiful.  Literally.  Most bars offer 3-for-1 specials on your major brands, and we put a few of those away.  But luckily, we also found some better beers in Nola.  As luck would have it, our first beer in Nola was at a brewpub not far from our hotel — The Crescent City Brewhouse. Crescent City claimed to be “Home of the Red Stallion Beer,” so of course that’s what I had to have.  A Vienna Lager, this beer was light amber in color, with a malty doughy flavor and very little hops.  It was refreshing and delicious.  Jeff had the IPA which was light copper and had a great hop flavor, without being too bitter.  Yum.  Had this been any other city, we’d stay here for a few more brews.  Maybe  next time we’ll sample more.

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Our other great find in Nola was Turtle Bay.  We wandered int the location on Decatur after shopping at the French Market made us thirsty. What a happy accident!  Turtle Bay had several local and regional beers on tap and we were excited to try something new.   Jeff selected the Jockamo IPA from Abita Brewing.  It was hoppy and refreshing!  I decided to try the Southern Pecan from Lazy Magnolia Brewing Company, which was a sweet and nutty brown ale.    Once again, we ended up getting just one and taking our beers to go (gotta love the go-cup!) but we’ll visit Turtle Bay again next time we’re in town.

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Overall, we had a wonderful weekend in New Orleans.  There were plenty of drinks, lots of music, a Mardi Gras parade, amazing food, but overall it was the fabulous friends who made this weekend special.   Thanks, Becky & Scott (White Rascal) for inviting us to this special trip.   And be happy that no matter how sketchy things got at times, nobody in our group did anything to cause a warning such as this:

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To see more pictures of our Nola trip (as well as other adventures) visit our Flickr page HERE.