On July 2, the long-awaited permanent public opening of NOLA Brewing's new and improved taproom was celebrated with a hot dog eating contest, continuing the brewery's tradition of creating irreverent fun on the slightest of pretenses. It was a weirdly perfect way to kick off the actual taproom opening, as it lagged the breathless buildup that accompanied the ceremonial opening held in mid-June. The taproom staff definitely appreciated the laughs of such a silly event. "It was kind of gross, but fun," taproom manager Nikki Turry said with a laugh.
The holiday weekend appropriately kicked off, the taproom saw steady crowds throughout the next several days, especially for watching the USA-Japan World Cup final soccer game on Sunday evening.
"The crowds were intense," Neil McClure, purveyor of McClure's BBQ smoked meats and sides onsite at the taproom. "People stayed longer, because there was food to eat, and because it was a really nice space to be in."
Downstairs has 20+ taps while the upstairs slings cans (no draft) for $4-5 apiece. Even in the heat, people were taking advantage of the upstairs outdoor deck, overlooking the industrial shenanigans of the busy Mississippi River. Sour beer fans had plenty to choose from, including the newest NOLA Funk Series, Sauvage, which is the brewery's Rebirth Pale Ale with added brettanomyces to give it its trademark funk. Sauvage was available both on draft and in 750-ml bottles. Also on draft was a blend of the Sauvage with Piety, another one of NOLA's Funk Series beers, which was aged on cherries. Also on the menu was Desire, a tart raspberry sour.
Taproom hours are 11am-11pm every day. Parking lot at Eighth and St. Thomas.