American Craft Beer Week (ACBW) is going on now, y’all, and New Orleans’ seven breweries, two brewpubs, and many beer-focused bars are bringing their best beer and events. But beware of overdoing it. Here’s all the info you need to make the best of a very busy, very boozy week.
Build a Base
You’re going to want to make sure you get some food in you to sustain the many beers you will enjoy. Happily, there are several ACBW events that combine the two.
Crescent City Brewhouse will offer a Brewer’s Tasting Platter all week long during ACBW. The platter will include a sampling of boudin balls, hot wings, and shrimp beignets paired with a 12oz beer of Red Stallion for $13.95.
Tuesday, May 16, 6 p.m. - Bacon and Beer Night at the Bulldog Mid-City, with praline bacon, peppered bacon, and pancetta to pair up with beer.
Tuesday, May 16, 7 p.m. - Freret Beer Room beer dinner with Bayou Teche - five courses for $50, starting with Ragin' Cajun Kolsch with a smoked gulf fish dip and cracklins, then on to Biere Pale, with liver mousse crostini, Saison d'Ecrevisses with crawfish orecchiette, A Giant Hop For Mankind with chili glazed smoked brisket and spaetzle, and Acadie paired with a cheese for dessert.
Thursday, May 18, 6 p.m. - Beignets and Beer Pairing at Bulldog Mid City, serving classic, fruit, crawfish etouffee, and cinnamon beignets to pair with the Bulldog’s selection of beer.
Thursday, May 18, 6:30 p.m. - Brügger Beer Dinner at Brieux Carre with 25 seats for a five course beer dinner for $60, with courses including a spent grain and smoked tomato medley salad paired with Get Weird Wit It, a Belgian lemongrass wit, and an ice cream beer float with Pirate's Alley Caribbean Stout aged with toasted coconut.
Friday, May 19, 7 p.m. - Abita Mint Julep Ice Cream Social. Abita will be at Cooter Brown’s with its new Bourbon Street Series Mint Julep Pale Ale, served with homemade mint julep ice cream.
Sunday, May 21, 10:30 a.m. - Port Orleans Brunch at the Bulldog Mid City, serving Riverfront lager with BBQ shrimp and grits, Storyville IPA with Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit w/ hollandaise, and Slackwater brown ale with grits and brown ale braised pulled pork.
Do Your Research
For example, the Avenue Pub has themed beer nights all week, like a sour beer night, locals night, and, on Tuesday, May 16 at 5 p.m., a barrel aged beer and barleywine night. Check out: Founders KBS. Great Raft Old Mad Joy aged in Heaven Hill Barrels, Parish Grand Reserve 2014, Parish Grand Reserve 2016, Founders Doom bourbon barrel aged DIPA, Bells Traverse City Porter, NOLA Brewing’s Check Yo Self Before you Breck Yo Self imperial stout aged in Breckenridge Bourbon barrels, and Southern Prohibition Clandestine Cuvee French Saison with Brettanomyces.
On Saturday, May 20, the Avenue Pub will be holding its annual Grand Tasting Day with all American beers on tap, rare bottle pours, and special treats owner Polly Watts has been holding on to all year.
Cooter Browns has some excellent events scheduled such as the Abita Mint Julep Ice Cream Social mentioned above, a Bayou Teche Brewing and whiskey pairing night,
Ale’s got a couple local brewery tap takeovers (Urban South, Covington Brewhouse, and Port Orleans) as well as a mashup event between Founders Brewing and local caffeine destination Mammoth Coffee on Wednesday, May 18.
Go To the Source
Don’t forget the breweries as well. The city’s newest brewery, Port Orleans, will be releasing beers at bars all over town this week, but it’s worthwhile to check out the space itself.
Brieux Carre in the Marigny has special events every night this week, so choose wisely.
Wayward Owl in Broadmoor kicks the week off on Tuesday, May 16, with an event featuring several specialty beers, like My Funky Family, a brett brux-barrel fermented Kristallweizen with Louisiana strawberries; Croute de Pecan Proto, a prototype Belgian brown ale with coffee and toasted Louisiana pecans on nitro; and Megacops Batch 1, Jefferson Bourbon barrel aged scotch ale.
On Saturday, May 20 from 1-4 p.m. Courtyard Brewery will release its collaboration honey beer, made with honey provided by Let it Bee Apiary, who will be in attendance to sell honey and related products.