When I get the opportunity to visit other cities around the country and world, I always try to do a little “research” on what the locals consider “great beer” so I can compare it to Vermont beer. On this occasion I travelled to New Orleans, Louisiana where I popped in to the NOLA Brewing Company (btw: very cool web site) and the Port Orleans Brewing Company. Both of these breweries are located down on Tchoupitoulas Street by the Mississippi River in the Irish Channel district.
Stopping first at NOLA, I ignored the fragrant wafts coming from the on site McClure’s BBQ and got right down to the tastings. Here is a rundown of my four samples:
Drop Tha Beet: an American blonde ale (5% ABV), colored with beet juice. Not bad, but you need to close your eyes while drinking to appreciate.
Als Farmhouse IPA: a Belgian-styled IPA at 5.4% ABV. Also, ok.
Hop Harvest: an amber-colored IPA (6.5% ABV) with a nice blend of fruitiness and hoppiness. This was my favorite and came closest to the typical Vermont-brewed IPA.
Melon Collie: This is a “sour” (5% ABV) with melon, ginger, and lime flavors. Unfortunately, the lime overpowers the other essences of this concoction.
This is only four of the many beers on offer at NOLA (check out the pallets of empty cans waiting to be filled), and I wish I had had the time and thirst to try more.
Port Orleans is a newer operation …. all spanking clean and everything. This brewery offers the Riverfront Lager (5% ABV) with a nice dry finish,the Storyville IPA (6% ABV) with a light citrus and hops taste, and the Slack Water Brown Ale (5.3% ABV) … brown and chocolate tasting. The Storyville gets my vote here.
The Cicerone says: head up to the 2nd floor patio at NOLA Brewing Company … from this vantage point you can see over the levee and watch the ships moving up and down the Mississippi while you sip your beer.