It wasn’t even really that long ago, when there weren’t enough beer-focused businesses to even fill a top 10 list without stretching the definition quite a bit. But since Eater’s last beer map, the beer scene here has been going strong with the newest brewery, Miel, opening on October 13, 2018. New Orleans has so many more local beers to choose from, and more places to enjoy them.Read More
The Beer Geek’s Guide to New Orleans
Check out the best places to get your beer on in the Crescent City
504 Craft Beer Reserve
Helping to hold down the new Tulane corridor, 504 Craft Beer Reserve is where to go to purchase bottles and cans of beer available from local, national, and international breweries — every beer in the store is available to mix and match. This is a labor of love by Patrick Brown and Jason Paulin who sought to bring New Orleans a completely beer-focused retail experience. It’s great for visitors to get a variety of Louisiana beer to take home as well as locals looking to try some new styles and brands. It also has 14 beers on tap and the proper licensing to serve them for on-premise consumption as well as growler fills.
There’s not much to say about the Avenue Pub that hasn’t already been said in scores of local and national publications. The Pub’s beer selection, excellent staff, and unique events have vaulted it to the top of many “best of” lists, and rightfully so. Owner Polly Watts has influenced on the growth of New Orleans’ beer scene in big ways — and her relationships with Belgian and Scandinavian brewers have brought beers to the city that no one else has.
This nanobrewery has its brewhouse and fermentation tanks crammed in a space the size of a large bathroom but it’s pumping out beer after beer at stunning speed. From hop bombs to imperial saisons to porters to German styles, Robert Bostick and and his team at Brieux Carré have been keeping foot traffic in the Upper Quarter and Frenchmen Street happy. Get a beer to go and wander around, or find a place in the small bar or outside beer garden to enjoy.
Courtyard’s doubled its interior space, gussied up the courtyard, and put a damn wine on tap, but don’t worry. It’s still the same laid back dog-friendly joint with plenty of hoppy (and non-hoppy) beers brewed in house as well as guest taps from other breweries. Scott Wood’s brewery has gotten slightly bigger and exponentially better over the past 4 years, and that trend will almost certainly continue.
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Craft Beer Cellar
The Boudreaux brothers — David, Pat, and Matthew — opened this outpost of a national franchise on a bustling block of Magazine Street in April. Although there is an emphasis on tasting and selling local beers (and distillery products), other craft brands are available, and Craft Beer Cellar has tastings a couple times a week to acquaint customers with national breweries they might not know as well like Uinta, Dogfish Head, or Left Hand. With Mama Boudreaux behind the register, it’s a family affair — and what goes better with family events than drinking beer, am I right?
Freret Beer Room
Freret Beer Room, the first and only beer-focused restaurant in New Orleans, is killing it on both fronts. The sixteen taps are well chosen to complement the menu’s small and large plates and daily specials. Chef Charles Vincent’s steamed mussels come with a smoked oyster and tomato aioli, and the tomato-braised meatballs are served over polenta. While it’s hard to go wrong with anything on the food or beer menu (ask your server for pairing tips) pay special attention to dessert, with thoughtful and satisfying creations from pastry chef Natalia Hess. Keep an eye on their social media for news about reservation-only brewery pairing dinners on Tuesday nights.
Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant
What is a chain brewpub next to a casino doing on this list? Brewer Nick Anzalone has been expanding the restaurant’s beer selection with his creative recipes including hazy New England IPAs, Brut IPAs, saisons, and a non GBB-standard Bohemian Keller Pils lager. Anzalone has upped the beer cred at GBB-NO and it’s a great place to stop by downtown. Check Gordon Biersch out. Seriously though.
Miel Brewery and Tap Room
The word “miel” means “honey” in both French and Spanish. Head brewer and co-owner Alex Peyroux’s comes from a long time Cajun-French family, and his fiancee and Miel co-owner Janice Montoya descends from Spanish colonies, so the name is both a nod to that cultural blending — as well as the fact that Alex’s beekeeping parents keep them loaded up with Louisiana honey. New Orleans’ 10th brewery will use honey as a fermentation sugar as well as the featured ingredient for several beers in the future.
NOLA Brewing Tap Room
In this brave new age of ultra fresh New England Style IPAs, NOLA Brewing has stepped up with the release of one after another using different hop profiles. The taproom has the freshest of its flagships on draft, as wekk as a variety of sour beer that reflects the creativity of mad fermentation scientist Derek Lintern. Try the Crab Boil Blonde or any of the New Orleans Street Series beers. Also mosey up to the McClure’s BBQ window to order the fried chicken sampler, ribs or burgers, or whatever looks good — which is pretty much everything.
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Parleaux Beer Lab
The Bywater finally has a brewery of its own. Eric and Leah Jensen have created a community haven on the corner of Lesseps and Royal Streets, with a giant beer garden and a cool, funky vibe. Try hop-forward beers like Green With Envy NEIPA, lagers like the Czuck Pilsner, or something similar to a farmhouse style like the Berry Poppins black and raspberry gose. Parleaux also serves non-alcoholic drinks and hosts food trucks and pop-ups like La Monita and Tacocat.
Port Orleans Brewing Co.
One of Port Orleans’ investors/owners is former New Orleans Saint Zach Strief, and the Saints love is everlasting — witness beers like Sean Payton blonde ale and the recently released Gl37son IPA (a portion of the profits go to the care (and adventures) or people with ALS, like Steve Gleason.) But it’s not a sports brewery. It’s a brewery that takes pride in a beer well made, and the importance of enjoying those beers with friends and over food.
Royal Brewery New Orleans
Raymond and Mandy Pumilia have been doing some heavy lifting bringing the first (but rumor has it, not the last!) brewery to New Orleans East. Royal Brewery stays open during the weekend and brings a lot to the table to entice you out that way. First of all, their live music offerings are the best any brewery in this city has. Second, delicious beer! In addition to their three flagship beers - Culicidae Ale, Termite Lager, and Chevelle Diablo Porter - they offer taproom only specials like Thor’s Hammered Belgian Ale or Black Panther Black IPA. So make the trek - it’s an adventure of awesome.
Second Line Brewing
Second Line’s been growing quietly since opening in 2015, adding more fermentation capacity and diversifying its styles. The imperial rye IPA called Allryte, Allryte, Allryte, released several times a year, is a critical success. The beer garden is a great place for locals to mix it up with beer, food trucks, and movies every Wednesday. Check out beer and pizza night during Monday Night Football games to get a free slice of pizza with the purchase of a beer. With food trucks, live music nights, game nights, farm produce pickup, it’s a real neighborhood center.
Urban South Brewery
For Urban South’s third summer open, the owners decided to provide blessed, beautiful air conditioning. Hooray! The beer on tap is consistently excellent and the brewery also sells exclusive four and six-packs of its special releases. If it doesn’t have your fave in cans, have the staff seal any draft beer into a 32-ounce growler, which will keep the beer fresh until you pop the tab. Seasonal faves on at the moment include their annual Oktoberfest and Lime-Cucumber Gose. They’ve usually got food trucks or popups set up on Tchoupitoulas — keep an eye on Hatch & Harvest’s green chile-tinged dishes and Gulf Coast Crawfish Company’s seafood boils.
In the restored GEM Theater, Justin Boswell has realized his dream to make beer in New Orleans and serve the community, undertaking a significant historic restoration with partner Kristin Boswel. Now Wayward Owl serves its flagship beers (Family Tree Kristallweizen, Clean Slate IPA, Tawny Twit English Pale Ale, Scops Scotch Ale, and The Grind Brown Ale) alongside specialties including double dry hopped Birdbath American Pale Ale and Wer ist Das (Who Dat) Fest Beer. Check out weekly pop-ups and food trucks hawking everything from udon to tamales to curry.