By Ben Apperson
Beer has been enjoyed for at least the past ten millennia, if not longer. Our state and city’s affinity for the frosty brew represents a temporal continuity of inebriation connecting us to the ancient Egyptians, Babylonians, and even some early urban centers in South America. As soon as humans began farming, we were also fermenting some of the surplus grains, thereby transforming these mundane foodstuffs into a concoction that could connect us a little closer to the spirit world. The altered state, the swimmy buzz relayed by beer has been part of our collective existence since before the development of the world’s earliest cities. Get in touch with your inner ancient by enjoying a beer this week.
Louisiana Craft Brewer’s Week is upon us. This week – September 22-28 – is the second annual craft beer celebration founded by the Louisiana Craft Brewer’s Guild. The festivities will occur all over the state, including bar specials, limited edition batches, and special tastings.
Beer in Baton Rouge
Tin Roof is the Capital City’s only brewery and will provide special events at several local businesses as well as host tours of its brewery. DIG spoke to William McGee of Tin Roof Brewery about the festivities.
“We are thrilled about Craft Brewers Week,” he said. “This is an exciting time of year with school starting back and football season in full swing.”
McGee said Tin Roof has two special beers for the season, Pucker Up Cherry Sour and Amber Mounds of Joy, as well as new brewery renovations to make the touring process nearly as cool as the beer itself.
“The sour is brewed with cherry and the amber is brewed with coconut,” he said. “Our brewery just completed construction on our new taproom. It’s going to be air conditioned, which is a major improvement that anyone who has been on the tours in the past will recognize. We welcome the city to stop by and see what we are up to.” Tin Roof Brewery tours will run from 4 to 9 pm on Friday. There will be food trucks parked around the front of the 1624 Wyoming Street brewery off of Nicholson during this event.
Tin Roof is the only place to celebrate. Some other events: on Wednesday, the 24th the Londoner Grill will feature Abita’s Pumpkin & Peach SOS; Thursday, September 25th, Pelican House is featuring Mounds of Joy. Get out to one of these events and show some love for your city’s beer makers; and all week there will be various events in New Orleans, Covington, and across the state.
Heart of the Brewing Industry
Last week DIG met up with Jay Ducote of BiteAndBooze.com to swill some Louisiana brews and discuss the state of our state’s craft brewing culture. At the Bite and Booze headquarters I asked Ducote to describe the heritage of brewing in Louisiana.
“Before prohibition, our state was the brewing center of the South,” he said. “The heart of the brewing industry in the south was New Orleans. Beer makers Falstaff, Jax, and Dixie were all located in NOLA and were major players in the regional and national beer markets.”
Asked about the state’s current craft configuration, Ducote said it all began with Abita.
“Abita opened the door for the new brewers by setting an example of success and notoriety for the state’s beer making ability,” he said.
Brews in Browsers
Drinking has gone digital.
Today, Louisiana beer drinkers can experience their favorite brews from the comfort of their browser of choice.
Ducote Tommy Talley of tommysTV has created a series of videos highlighting the brewery trail.
Check out the videos on YouTube by searching “Louisiana Brewery Trail.”
If you are interested in taking tours of Louisiana breweries, the state’s Department of Culture Recreation and Tourism has made a brewery trail. It can be found at Breweries.LouisianaTravel.org
Information about Louisiana Craft Brewers Week 2014 can be found at LaBeer.org