New Orleans' first high end beer event, Nuit Belge, went down at Generations Hall on Friday night and was very, very well received. The beers were wonderful, the food was fantastic, and the pairings were, for the most part, very well done.
Brewers and brewery owners from Jester King, Blackberry Farms, Yazoo, and Upland were in attendance as well as pretty much everyone in the local beer scene, including Dan Stein, Polly Watts, and Scott Wood. The culinary talent on hand was also impressive - Michael Gulotta serving up his broccoli, Justin Devillier brandishing a tamale, Nathanial Zimet pointing his meat extruding cannon at his assistants and passers-by, and Isaac and Amanda Toups quietly sipping on rose wine, to name but a few
Although everything was excellent, the general consensus was that Purloo's lemon bar paired with Anchorage Brewing's Mosaic Saison was one of the best pairings of the evening, Milkfish's rice-quail egg-fried pig face "Sisig" dish was a crowd favorite, everyone had dessert first by rushing to the Cantillon-Shaya table for Lou Pepe Kriek paired with chocolate-cherry galaktoboureko, Murder Point oysters were so good they brought a tear to the eye, and the Fantome Pissenlit saison brewed with dandelion flowers was the under the radar favorite.
At the end of the night, Generations Hall emptied of satisfied beer drinkers, rubbing bellies and climbing into their Ubers to go home (or to Barrel Proof, which is where the afterparty was.)
About 400 people in total were in attendance, and the VIP pre-party, featuring food and beer from event sponsor Blackberry Farms in an intimate setting limited to 75 people, sold out in advance.
An unqualified win for the New Orleans beer and food scene. According to event organizer and Rhizome Production's Matt Leff, Nuit Belge will return in 2017, but decisions are still being made to the exact date.