New Orleans Breweries – Part 1
There is no shortage of wonderful breweries in New Orleans, Louisiana (NOLA). Now, that’s not to say that there isn’t a shortage of breweries though! You can hit not only the best breweries in NOLA, but all of the breweries in a long weekend if you plan accordingly.
It’s Melissa’s birthday weekend, so we decided to go all out in the food and beer department. NOLA, or The Big Easy, can be a nonstop gluttony fest for the waistline if that’s what you’re interested in. However, we do recommend breaking up the bingeing with sights and sounds of NOLA culture.
Just a few minutes south (by car) of the French Quarter is a wonderful street full of beer and spirits. Tchoupitoulas Street (pronounced chaa-puh-too-luhs) was our first major pocket of alcohol starting as soon as we landed – no seriously, we couldn’t check into the hotel yet so we’re dragging suitcases.
New Orleans Lager & Ale Brewing
New Orleans Lager & Ale Brewing (NOLA Brewing) was our first stop on our long weekend away! This microbrewery is also a brewpub with a rather exhaustive list of delicious pizzas. Naturally we missed breakfast, so we grabbed a few slices to complement our round of 8 delicious pours.
Our favorite brews from NOLA were hands down the Peach Funk and the Blueberry & Lemon Berliner Weisse. Peach Funk is a farmhouse Saison brewed in collaboration with Terrapin Beer Co. and then barrel aged for a year. The Blueberry & Lemon Berliner is a murky looking fruited sour with a robust presence of blueberry notes, with a slight burst of lemon citrus.
Port Orleans Brewing Co.
After finishing off our pizza and flight of 8 from NOLA we headed down the street to Port Orleans Brewing Co. The well-manicured, high end feeling brewpub has a great porch space and a massive beer garden on the side. Our flight of 5 here were all great, but there were two beers that really stood out.
The Cream Thiccle – Creamsicle Sour is, as you would expect, an ice cream sour. Out of the tap it drinks like a thick milkshake and it’s loaded up with orange and vanilla flavor. In stark contrast was our pour of the 11% Cognac-aged Barley Wine. It’s not often we get a cognac aged anything, but this slightly sweet and boozy brew is full of toffee and fruits notes. Melissa preferred her Thicc sour, but I highly recommend the Cognac Barley Wine if you can get your hands on it.
It’s almost 1pm and our friends are officially on the way to Tchoupitoulas street. That’s right, we have friends! Surprising, I know. Kait is one of the original, official, Beerventure 3rd wheels. We’ve dragged her up and down the East Coast, and once to Canada on our beery escapades. Kait is no longer a 3rd wheel and is bringing her Fiancé, Stephan on the beerventure.
Now that Kait and Stephan have joined the fray, we decided to crank things up to 11 by visiting NOLA Distillery for an assortment of whiskeys, rums, gins, vodkas, and moonshines. The distillery itself has reasonably priced cocktails, and even flights of shot’s if you’re interested. After a flight of their more exotic and recommend spirits, we sipped on a few frozen daiquiris blended to perfection.
Miel Brewery & Tap Room
Still making our way down Tchoupitoulas street, our next stop is another clean and high-end feeling taproom. Miel Brewery & Taproom had wonderful offering of brews to pair with a few rounds of Mario Cart on a projector. Being a party of 4, we made our way to said Mario Cart where I proceeded to get demolished by red shells.
Beer wise, Miel had three delicious brews worthy of mention. My personal favorite was the Fresh Growth, a spruce tip IPA hopped with Mckinzie, Nugget and Cascade hops. The beer was dank and resiny, a welcome relief from the hazy juice bombs of today. Melissa’s top two choices were the Rubus Cubed and Flor De Jamaica.
Rubus Cubed is a super fruited gose with blueberry, lemon and muddled up with marshmallow. The super smooth, super sweet and tart beer was a bit too much for me. The Flor De Jamaica, a kettle sour, was an unusual mix of Hibiscus, sea salt and cinnamon. The unusual combination is certainly something worth tasting if it’s on tap.
Urban South Brewery
One of the best known, and premier breweries of NOLA is Urban South. We were only able to sample 8 brews here, doing a massive disservice to this beer behemoth. Urban South made its home in a massive warehouse complete with color-popped picnic tables, a small arcade, beer garden and a quaint little mobile bar.
The beers at Urban South range from traditional European to self-described “brashness of new American styles.” All the brews we had here ranked from above average to phenomenal. Keeping it down to our two favorites would be the Lime Cucumber Gose and Cinnamon Toast Crunch Stout.
I generally rate their beers based on their “truth in advertising.” The Lime Cucumber Gose hit the nail on the head with the name. The unfiltered kettle sour wheat beer with salt has a burst of lime citrus and cucumber, frankly a perfect blend. The Cinnamon Toast Crunch Stout is also a perfect brew. The 8% milk stout tasted like a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch; just without the “crunch.”
And we’re still traveling down Tchoupitoulas street; yes I told you this is a great street. After the morning and afternoon of beer we decided to switch it up again with some sake. We’re pretty sure that Wetlands Sake is our first visit to a… sake’ery?
Wetlands makes a wide range of really unusual sakes like watermelon basil, sangria, spicy paloma, mango chile and espresso! We were big fans of the Watermelon Basil and Mango Chile. If Wetlands Sake isn’t on your radar, it really should be.
As usual, we’re super late to the blog so stay tuned for parts 2, 3, 4 and 5 of our trip to NOLA!