Mellow Mushroom in Covington recently hosted its fifth annual Mellow Brew Fest. Under the shade of oaks and pines, beer fans and music lovers alike enjoyed beer samples and a variety of foods to please every discerning palate. Colorful tents were set up along the perimeter of the venue, and VIPs enjoyed a plush seating area with ceiling fans and prime views of the stage.

A portion of the proceeds from the event benefited local charities and WWOZ 90.7 in New Orleans. Patrons danced the night away to tunes by Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Guitar Slim, preceded by the Red Wolf Brass Band.

The beer garden featured a sampling of 35 beers from brewers from across Louisiana and throughout Mississippi, Texas and Tennessee, including the Mystic Krewe of Brew, Crescent City Home Brewers, Talisheek Brewery and Long Bridge Brewery.

“Today’s event was a pizza lover’s feast and a beer enthusiast’s sampling sensation. The music for this celebration is outstanding, and the large crowds prove that the north shore is capable of hosting a great craft beer event,” said Billy Maisano, operations manager of Mellow Mushroom.

The festival was created in 2009 in memory of north shore home brewer Larry Hartzog, one of the founding members of the Mystic Krewe of Brew home brew club.

Slidell Ladies for Liberty

Red, white and blue and all things patriotic were on hand recently for two events with the Slidell Ladies for Liberty. The group is dedicated to supporting local soldiers who are deployed in the Middle East.

SLFL meets monthly to pack and ship “we care” packages to adopted soldiers, at times up to 100 boxes each month. The group sends boxes with hygiene items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, body wash, deodorant, lotions, insole supports for their boots, fly swatters, various snacks and drink mixes for hydration, as well as socks, pillows, sheets, paperback books, DVDs and magazines. In addition to the care packages, the group also partners with Southside Café in Slidell to host “Welcome Home” events for troops who are finishing up their tours of duty. From time to time, the ladies will gather with the families of the troops and welcome home the military honorees. Recently, the ladies welcomed home local heroes Spc. Michael Jones, Spc. Briceson Conner, Sgt. Guy Carlberg and Spc. Joel Price.

To help pay for shipping the packages, the group just completed a fundraiser at Texas Roadhouse in Slidell. Members of the group served as waitresses for the event, offering up barbecued pulled pork, fries and dessert.

“St. Tammany Remembers,” another local military recognition program, also was on hand at both events to help support and continue the mission of the Ladies for Liberty.

For more information on Slidell Ladies for Liberty, please visit them on Facebook or at The group welcomes donations for the care packages and assistance with shipping costs.

Missie Arata Noel is the society and features writer for the St. Tammany Advocate. She can be contacted by email at