You can't go Saturday night? Well have no fear, there is also the WYES Private Beer Sampling being held at Mardi Gras World (same location for both nights) on Friday, June 21st. Yes, that's also exactly one year before I'm getting married, so I'll be looking to celebrate. I went into detail a few weeks ago about some of the good beers to expect that Friday night, so today it's going to be about what I'm looking forward to the most on Saturday night.
Here's the link for the full brochure for both nights... as you can see there are a LOT of top notch commercial beers available. The good stuff like Anchor, Atlanta Brewing, Boston Beer, Brooklyn Brewery, Chimay, Duvel, Full Sail, Goose Island, Green Flash, Harpoon, Mendocino, Moylan's, New Belgium, North Coast, Ommegang, Rogue, Schmaltz, Sierra Nevada, Southern Tier, Stone, and Unibroue. That's already quite a lineup and I'm just getting warmed up.
There will also be the full lineup of local & regional breweries like Abita, Bayou Teche, Chafunkta, Covington, Crooked Letter, Lazy Magnolia, NOLA, Parish, Saint Arnold, Spoetzl, and Tin Roof. Of those, only Crooked Letter out of Mississippi isn't available locally. You can bet I'm going to try their stuff. And don't be surprised if a few of these guys have something at the festival that you can't normally get.
After this is where it starts to get REALLY interesting... because this is a not-for-profit organization and event, they can allow the "breweries in planning" to attend and serve their beer. They'll be listed as the "Independents" in the brochure due to not having a distributor yet, but don't miss these breweries. This will be the start of stuff that you probably haven't tried before. 40 Arpent out of Arabi will be there, as well as Bombastic Beers in Abita Spring, a project started by Ron of Main Grain Homebrew Supplies. Cajun Fire out of New Orleans is going to be there for at least the second year in a row, as will BR Beer Scene favorite Gnarly Barley Brewing from Hammond and Mudbug Brewery from Thibodaux. From out of state there will be the Pensacola Bay Brewery (listed as an independent since they don't have a LA distributor) and the Middle Bay Brewery from Mobile, AL. And lastly, Louisiana newcomer Tu Lu Lu Brewery from Cut Off, the only one that I've never tried before. I'll definitely be sure to check them out.
Finally, in my opinion the best part of a festival like this is the homebrewers. There will be 14 different homebrew groups represented, from Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. And yeah I'm biased because I'm a member of the Brasseurs A La Maison and my fiance' and I brewed a beer for the festival, but the homebrews are what you need to try. Mostly because they tend to come 5-gallons at a time and when they are gone, they are gone. Maybe never to be brewed again. Find them, try them, talk to the people that brewed the beer... and most of all, enjoy!
With that... I can't wait. Hope to see plenty of readers down in New Orleans this weekend!