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Best Beer in NO?

hany Dec 31, 2012 05:53 PM

I'll be in NO for 4 days next week. I know there are a few craft brewers in the region. I love IPAs, ESBs, best bitters, and ales in general. What should I be sure to try? Also, I know that Abita beers will be widely available but is there somewhere (in the French Quarter) that's especially good for local beer?

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  1. r
    rouxdauphine RE: hany Dec 31, 2012 08:24 PM

    If you like IPAs, the Abita Jockamo is one of my faves. Crescent City Brewhouse on Decatur Street makes some credible beers on site. If you're in town on a Friday, go up to the NOLA Brewery on Tchoupitoulas Street for their "tour." They only do it Fridays at 2pm. Arrive early, stand in line inside the the taps where they serve the special beers, get one, go the back of the line as you drink it, get the front, try another, you get the idea. The acoustics are horrible, so just about the only thing you'll hear is the word "beer," but since that's what you're there fore, I suspect you'll have a good time.

    1. noradeirdre RE: hany Dec 31, 2012 10:15 PM

      Go to the Avenue Pub on St. Charles in the lower garden district. Best beer bar in the city, one of the best in the world.

      Local beers- nola brewing has a wide variety. Right now they have the Mecha Hopzilla, a double Ipa out in addition to their regular Hopitoulas Ipa. Their current seasonal is the Irish channel stout, which is excellent.

      I don't love Abita, but their Restoration Pale or Jackimo Ipa is ok. Bayou teche pale ale or bier noir are also good. Tin Roof is another localish brewery.

      As far as places in the quarter to find a decent beer selection, a lot of places will have nola blonde or brown (or others) on tap or in cans.

      Restaurants with decent beer lists in the FQ and CBD: John Besh restaurants, Root, Capdeville, St. Lawrence, SoBou, Sylvain.

      Dba on Frenchmen is good for beer and I think Maison on Frenchmen and Three Muses are also good in that area.

      The Nola brewery tour has been somewhat upgraded with the addition of their tap / tasting room and other renovations (connected to expansion and post - Isaac reconstruction.

      Crescent City Brewhouse is currently the only local brewpub in New Orleans, and Nola Brewing is the only commercial brewery in New Orleans. There's a Gordon Biersch by the casino, but that's a chain.

      4 Replies
      1. re: noradeirdre
        kevin RE: noradeirdre Jan 1, 2013 11:10 PM

        Isn't there a beer bar on Bourbon street with a pretty good variety, maybe about fifteen to twenty on tap ?

        I can't remember the name though.

        1. re: kevin
          noradeirdre RE: kevin Jan 2, 2013 06:38 AM

          Not to my knowledge, unless you're thinking of one of the Big Ass Beer places, which has about as much relation to an actual beer bar as one of its neighboring daquiri stands has to a craft cocktail bar.

          1. re: kevin
            kibbles RE: kevin Jan 3, 2013 12:06 PM

            actually there *is* a place on bourbon that has a ton of taps and bills itself as such. but they also have built-in beer bong gear, so ive never actually stopped in.

            1. re: kibbles
              kevin RE: kibbles Jan 3, 2013 12:07 PM

              That should be it,

              Is it the beer fest bar ?

        2. m
          montuori RE: hany Jan 1, 2013 07:09 AM

          In addition to what others have said (and I heartily second the Avenue Pub rec) -- the R Bar in the Marigny usually has a handful of local brews on tap (and Guinness) if you're in that neighborhood.

          1. edible complex RE: hany Jan 1, 2013 03:59 PM

            Cooter Brown's has an extensive list.

            1 Reply
            1. re: edible complex
              noradeirdre RE: edible complex Jan 1, 2013 08:56 PM

              If one is heading uptown, I think it's much better to stop at the Avenue - it's closer, and I think much better.

            2. h
              hany RE: hany Jan 6, 2013 07:58 PM

              Thanks to all of you. I went to Avenue Pub on Friday night and enjoyed myself very much. I had a Hopitoulas and a West Coast IPA(?). I must admit, when I first walked in I was dismayed: I had forgotten that you could still smoke in a bar in North America. But then I discovered the upstairs bar for non-smokers. Otherwise the smoke would have been a deal-breaker.

              I also went to Crystal City Brewery and had a decent IPA (which was, I think, a special and not part of their regular tap rotation.) It was good but not as good as Hopitoulas. I also tried the Abita IPA and their Golden Ale (they had it at a reception at my conference).

              BTW, I also went to the rum distillery, which was pretty cool and I really liked the ginger drink they make there. I think it could be a tad less sweet, but it isn't very sweet for that kind of drink.

              So thanks again for all your suggestions. I had a great time in NOLA.

              1 Reply
              1. re: hany
                noradeirdre RE: hany Jan 6, 2013 09:08 PM

                Yeah, it's a relief that the upstairs is nonsmoking. The Avenue is many bars in one- service industry/third shift haven, beer bar, Mardi Gras hotspot, and tourist place. Its 24 hour nature lends itself to multiple personalities! Glad you enjoyed it.

                Crystal City - do you mean Crescent City Brewhouse?

                I also love the Old New Orleans Rum tour. Fun!

              2. h
                hany RE: hany Jan 7, 2013 05:08 AM

                Yes, Crescent City. Wrote that late en route home. Thanks again.

                1 Reply
                1. re: hany
                  noradeirdre RE: hany Jan 7, 2013 08:32 PM

                  Come back soon!

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