Monday, June 18, 2012

WYES International Beer Tasting Recap

Alright, time to get into the nuts and bolts of the 29th Annual WYES International Beer Tasting!  Unlike the Private Beer Sampling the night before, I had a little commitment to this one as I was on site with the Brasseurs A La Maison and even serving up one of my own beers, another batch of Praline Dubbel.  We arrived a little after noon and got the canoe set up before heading to Avenue Pub for lunch and some pre-drinks.  Polly was even nice enough to loan us a few tap handles to fill out the entire canoe!  Thanks again!


Then it was back to the New Orleans Lakefront Area for the beer tasting!  We got back a little early and with the fancy wristbands for media/vendors I got a chance to try some of the local beers before the crowds hit up.  In addition to several "breweries in planning" around Louisiana there were homebrew clubs from all over the gulf south.  Awesome!  Once the crowds came in it was harder to check out all the brews, but here were some of the highlights!

Highlights:
Gnarly Barley Brewing: All four of their beers were quite tasty, so now I'm really looking forward to an expected Fall 2012 commercial release!
Chafunkta Brewing: Good beers, just like at the Zapp's Beerfest, and now that they are brewing on Parish Brewing's old system it's just a matter of time before this nanobrewery hits some taps around the Northshore.
Pensacola Bay Brewery: Hey, I was just there!  In fact, the same bartender from my trip to the brewery was serving up two of the ones that I liked the most, the IPA and Porter.  
40 Arpent Lafitte's Blacksmith Stout: Another brewery in planning, this one from Chalmette, had a mighty fine stout for everyone to try.
Parish Canebrake: When I see some, I drink some.  Every time.
Brasseurs A La Maison: Self-serving?  Yes, absolutely, but every time I try my fellow club members' beers I'm impressed and realize how much better of a homebrewer I can be myself.
Bicycle Brew Club: The newest homebrew club in Baton Rouge, they didn't have a lot of beer but they had some good ones and I was able to try most of them.
Hoppy Homebrewers of South Mississippi: They had some tasty beers and a really cool custom PVC rig to pour them all.  Picture below somewhere!
L.A. Lagers Homebrew Club: This club from Mobile, AL had a few really good beers, including a Bitches' Brew brewed by all the women of the club.

Disappointments: (Few and far between...)
40 Arpent Creole Red Beans & Rice Ale: This one missed the mark for me, but I'm not much of a red beans & rice fan to begin with.
Bud Light Lime A Rita: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, I'd drink a gallon of the Red Beans & Rice Ale before I'd touch this one.
Miller 64: Shit, now that jingle is stuck in my head.
Regrets:
I didn't have much intention of tasting any of the non-local commercial brews, but that doesn't mean there weren't some good ones.  I'd have given the Magic Hat Elder Betty a try if I had seen it around.
Too many homebrews, not enough time.  I didn't get back to the Crescent City Homebrewers for a second straight night, and also missed out on the Escambia Bay Homebrewers
Brewstock was back with some different beers than the previous night, and I missed out on them all. 
I also missed out on a second round with the Mystic Krewe of Brew, dammit!

All in all it was a great time... there is so much beer to go around that anyone could find themselves immersed for three hours and never trying the same beer twice.  I'm already looking forward to brewing a few beers for next year and trying as many as I can!  And of course, here are some more pictures from the day: