I have a love affair with New Orleans. I’ve been going to NOLA for around five years – and now I try to get back yearly, when possible. Many people know about the Bourbon Street party culture side of the Crescent City, but there is so much more to this town!
Sure, Abita has been around since 1986, and by 2008-NOLA brewing (New Orleans Lagers & Ales) was founded…but that was pretty much it for many years. When I brought my husband and friends to town in March 2015, had just opened up (“Nola’s first nanobrewery”) on a 3 barrel brewing system. Then updates to the city’s zoning ordinance in 2015 made it easier for breweries to open in non-industrial areas….and in May 2018 Beer Advocate named and to its .
Parleaux opened up in the not so often visited by tourists neighborhood of Bywater. Their “beer lab” concept means that beers are often not brewed twice, and obviously not seen outside the taproom as such. The main area of the brewery is the outdoor space with a shipping container, large homemade swing, citrus trees, a small garden, even some hops!
About two miles away in the Marigny neighborhood, Brieux Carre has a similar, taproom-only operation, again mainly due to size. The narrow wooden bar ends in tanks– the 400sq ft brewing area – with a 7 barrel brewing system squeezed in it. They made 65 beers in 2017, 20 different styles. On my visit I was smitten with the Imperial French Saison with Lavendar. Slightly floral, malty, and balanced- I sent two friends to try it within days.
At the end of a muggy summer night I headed to the Mid-City neighborhood to visit . Despite the temperatures, they had on an Imperial Stout and a Brown Ale that were my clear favorites.
I also trekked across the S Broad Ave overpass with barely a walkway to get to – located in the old Gem theater, an old one-screen African American theater on the National Register of Historic places located in the Central City neighborhood. They renovated the theater and put a 15 barrel brewing system in, opening in Dec 2016. I enjoyed a delicious Clean Slate IPA with glitter while chatting with Brewer & Founder, Justin Boswell.
Virginia is the Products, Programming, and Educational Director for Craft Beer Cellar. In addition to being a Certified Cicerone, she is an Introductory Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers. Her home base is Chicago, but she’s often found in the Boston area, or wherever her passion for good food & drink takes her.
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