Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Looking Back At WYES - Friday Private Beer Sampling

Alright, I've had a few days to recover from a weekend of drinking in New Orleans at the two-day WYES Beer Tastings.  In case you didn't make it... here's what you missed at the Friday night Private Beer Tasting!

First off, the location this year for both events was at Mardi Gras World, in adjoining spaces.  This is phenomenal for people like me from out of town because I can get a hotel (went with the Hilton Convention Center location) and easily walk to both nights, plus be in range of everywhere else we want to go.  Last year the Friday night event was at the fairgrounds and the Saturday night event was at the UNO arena.  This location plus having the events at the same location is far superior.

That said, how about the venue itself?  For Friday night we were in a faux-plantation room complete with trees and illuminated night sky.  The beer tables were spread all along the perimeter and honestly the only complaint I could have about the space is that it was really dark.  Too dark to take good pictures of the scene as a whole, but I took some of the highlights!

A few weeks back I wrote about all the beer I wanted to try at the Friday night event and honestly, I didn't even get to them all.  There was just too much good stuff. 

My regrets were not getting to Abita at all... you all know I'm not the biggest Abita fan in the world, but they had the Strawator and a specialty cask on hand and I missed them both.  I also missed out on a couple of new offerings from Sam Adams.  I also missed most of what Cajun Fire had to offer... by the time I made their table it was just the Root Beer Ale left.  Damn. 

The Highlights!
Parish Single-Hop IPA series: Andrew had Pacifica, Calypso, and Chinook single-hop IPAs, and all were delicious while also education regarding the hop profiles.
Great Raft Ermahgerd Hops: Awesome double IPA from this Shreveport brewery in planning.
Gnarly Barley Porter Rican: Delicious as expected.
Mudbug Cajun Stout: Really a well done beer.
Tin Roof Rougarou Black Ale: I hope we see this more often from the local guys.
Covington Anonymous IPA: I hope we see this more often from the North Shore! 
The Homebrews: Brasseurs A La Maison, Brewstock, Mystic Krewe of Brew, and George's Beers all had some great stuff.  I didn't try every one, but I cam close.

The Misses.

Chafunkta Brewing FontaineBlue Berry Wheat IPA: I love these guys, but this just didn't do it for me.
Mudbug King Cake Lager: The beer itself was tasty, but I spent the next several still tasting the cinnamon sugar from the glass.  I think it would be a great addition to a regular pint but didn't work well in a festival setting.
Old Rail Cow Catcher Milk Chocolate Stout: I wasn't too impressed with this one... fortunately their Seven Sisters IPA was quite nice.
Main Grain / Bombastic Brewers Crawfish Beer: I don't think I'm alone in this one.  Yikes. I applaud the creativity, but sometimes it's a swing and a miss.  Fortunately Ron's other beer was a Rum Barrel Russian Imperial Cream Stout, and it was a home run.

Alright, as hard as it is to pick a winner, I came away more impressed with Crooked Letter Brewing out of Mississippi than anyone else.  Maybe it's because they were new to me, or maybe it's because they brought a couple of awesome beers.  Their Mystery Romp Coffee Chocolate Porter was phenomenal and probably my favorite beer of the night.  Their other offering, the Mariposa Pale Ale brewed with mango, jalapeno, and cilantro was also delicious.  Mystery Romp is the only one I went back to for seconds, so congrats to Crooked Letter for impressing me the most of anyone Friday night!

And now for some pictures...

Brasseurs A La Maison

Crooked Letter Brewing... in case you can't read the shirt!

Great Raft Brewing

George's Homebrewing
Brewstock Homebrews

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