Thursday, March 29, 2012

Zapp's Beer Fest 2012 - The Tap Canoe

Zapp's has come and gone, and what a fantastic time it was!  I tried the beers from up and coming breweries Chafunkta and Gnarly Barley and was very impressed.  Tin Roof had a couple of test batches out and I enjoyed the red ale but was unable to try their coffee porter.  NOLA was there and I never even made it to their tent.  Man, it was a busy day but helping pour beers for the Brasseurs A La Maison made it fly by.  Here are a few pictures for everyone, and be sure to come out next year, you will not regret it!  For even more pictures, just go back and click on the Brasseurs A La Maison website.

The tap canoe that we put together was probably the biggest hit of the festival, but even with all the taps numbered, the homebrew sign, and the two big signs listing all the beers, the tap handles still confused some (probably drunk) festival goers.  At least once I was asked to pour someone a Dos Equis, and I had to explain that it wasn't Dos Equis beer, just a tap handle!  And I definitely recall pouring someone a "Blue Moon" that shocked them when it didn't taste at all like the Blue Moon they were used to.  Oops!  That said, the set up could not have gone better, and the weather was outstanding.  I'm already looking forward to next year, we might even need a bigger boat.  

Friday, March 23, 2012

Westvleteren XII Release - Now Expected To Be June

Thanks again to David for bringing this to my attention... it appears that the April release is now looking more like a June release for the Westvleteren XII gift packs.  Here's the full article from BeerPulse, but that's one of the two main points.  The second is that the suggested retail price is going to be $85.  That's a little cheaper than the expected $100 price tag I was betting on, but of course local retailers can always decide to charge what they want. 

The Sint Sixtus Abbey is also stipulating that the packs not be broken down, so anyone looking to score a single or two is going to be out of luck.  Each pack contains six 11.2 oz. bottles and two glasses, but there's no rule against going in with a friend and each taking three bottles and a glass, right?  I'm sure I'm going to grab at least one of these, and if supply in Louisiana allows, maybe even a second.  There are only expected to be around 15,000 packs in the USA total, so I'm sure Louisiana will get a small piece and then Baton Rouge an even smaller piece. 

That said, I can't wait.  I've been able to try this beer once and it would be fantastic to have a few more for the beer fridge!  And really $85 for six of the beers and the two glasses isn't a complete rip off, it certainly beats the black market.


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Abita Strawberry 2012

Alright, it's that time of year again, Abita Strawberry is out and on the shelves across Louisiana and beyond.  It's actually been out for a while but I just haven't felt the need to go get any.  I guess after a few years of hype and anticipation it just doesn't have the same appeal as it once did.  Or maybe it's my taste buds that just don't crave for it as much as a few years ago?  At any rate I didn't dive right in and grab a case as soon as they hit the shelves, but sure enough it didn't take too long for a 6-pack to show up in the fridge courtesy of my roommate.  Was I going to have one and write about it?  Hell yeah I was.

First off, a new label!  Here's my 2011 review and the old label, and the new one over to the right there.  I feel like this 2012 version is pretty much identical to the 2011 version.  Light bodied, clear golden color, lots of carbonation, and not so sweet as to be obnoxious.  It's only 4.2% alcohol, so very much on the light side, in fact I'm pretty sure this is just the Abita Golden (also 4.2% alcohol) with the strawberry flavor.  

I gave it a B+ last year, and while it's still a good beer I can't say it's that good.  I guess my tastes have changed but this would be more like a B- beer to me now.
Give it a try for yourself though, if you haven't already.  You'll be able to find it just about anywhere that sells beer!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Two More Reasons To Come To Zapp's!

As if you needed any more reasons... I mean, I'll be there with Brasseurs A La Maison serving up some tasty homebrew.  We have over 30 beers planned and I have a feeling most will be of the highest quality.  All but mine, most likely.  Tin Roof Brewing will be there from just down the road, if you haven't tried their Blonde Ale yet (the never realized LSU beer) then you need to, it's a really good example of the style.  Plus all sorts of imports and other beer from the region will be present like Lazy Magnolia and Saint Arnold.

Here are two more reasons to show up and try some beer... Chafunkta Brewing (twitter) and Gnarly Barley Brewing (twitter - facebook) will both be there showing off some of their brews!  If you haven't heard of these guys, don't feel too bad.  Chafunkta Brewing was formerly known as Pelican Brewing but changed their name to avoid any confusion with the Pelican Pub & Brewery in Oregon.  Even though the possibility of both brands colliding anywhere outside of maybe GABF was slim anytime soon, it's probably not a bad move.  
Gnarly Barley Brewing is located in Ponchatoula and their site talks about their Korova Coffee Porter and Lazy IPA so I'd bet we'll see those two beers at Zapp's. 

So, can't complain about any of this... more new beers to try in two weeks!  Here's hoping the weather is nice and the beer never runs out.  Buy your tickets ahead of time if possible, they might run out.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Lagunitas Expanding Nationwide - Including Louisiana!

Thanks to David for bringing this to my attention... it appears that Lagunitas is ready to go nationwide, almost.  This is great news for Louisiana because as they plan on expanding to 49 out of the 50 states, we are not the one being left out.  The article says Tennessee due to their abv caps, but I think they must mean Mississippi since Tennessee doesn't have a hard abv cap and Mississippi still does.

Either way, sucks for them because Lagunitas is a great brewery putting out some of the most affordable craft beer around.  I've tried many of their offerings in Texas over the past year and they will be a fine addition to the Louisiana lineup.  

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Congrats to Cochon! - 20 Best Restaurants In America

I know it's not really beer news, but I happened to come across this and notice that Cochon in New Orleans was named one of the 20 best restaurants in America!  It was actually part of the best 101, but why not focus on being in the top 20?  The sad part is that I've only been to two of these 101 restaurants, and neither of them are among the 4 in New Orleans.  Yeah, I feel pretty bad that I've never been to Galatoire's, August, Commander's Palace, or the aforementioned Cochon.  
I have, however, been to Cochon Butcher, the accompanying sandwich shop and butcher that makes for an absolutely awesome pre-Avenue Pub meal.  I know Avenue Pub has some pretty good food of their own, but don't hesitate to take the short walk to the warehouse district and try Cochon Butcher, or if you're really up for it, Cochon.  

Well done guys, way to represent New Orleans and Louisiana!