After a long, hot summer, the calendar has finally flipped to autumn. What does that mean in south Louisiana? Heat, humidity, mosquitoes and flip-flops. OK, it’s basically summer but with football and pumpkin spice lattes.
The fall, though, does bring beer festivals to Louisiana. And boy, there are a bunch of them. So get your pretzel necklaces ready, and read through our preview below. Who knows, maybe the weather will cool off, too.
Urban South Fall Fest, Sept. 29
Urban South Brewery, located in New Orleans at 1645 Tchoupitoulas St., will host its own fall fest with numerous small batch beer releases. There will also be live music and food. Starts at 11 a.m. More information at facebook.com/urbansouthbeer.
Brew at the Zoo, Oct. 5
The Baton Rouge Zoo (3601 Thomas Road) will host the fifth annual Brew at the Zoo, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., on Oct. 5. This event has sold out each year so far, so make sure to grab tickets early. Local, regional and national breweries, as well as several of the area homebrew clubs, will have beers to sample. VIP tickets are also available, which allows entrance to the zoo an hour early and access to exclusive food and drink areas. General admission is $50; VIP tickets are $100; and designated drivers get in for $20. More information at brzoobrew.org.
Funktoberfest, Oct. 6
This Alexandria festival of music and beer benefits the Tipitina’s Foundation and features a homebrew competition to go along with the variety of beers to sample. Luthi, The Vegabonds, Flow Tribe and more will perform. The fourth annual Funktoberfest starts at 3 p.m. on Oct. 6 at 1200 Texas Ave., Alexandria. General admission is $38 advance, $48 at the door; VIP tickets are $100; $15 for designated drivers. Find out more at funktoberfestcenla.com.
Roberts Cove Germanfest, Oct. 6-7
While not a true beer festival, Roberts Cove Germanfest might one of the closest things to an Oktoberfest celebration we can get in south Louisiana. The festival celebrates the 13 German families who settled in the community in the late 1800s. Located northwest of Rayne, the festival features authentic German food, beer and music. This family friendly festival is low-key and one I enjoy attending each year. Daily admission is $8 for those 13 years old and up. Learn more at robertscovegermanfest.com.
Northshore On Tap, Oct. 13
Benefiting the Hospice Foundation of the South, Northshore On Tap will be held at the Slidell Municipal Auditorium from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Oct. 13. More than 100 craft beers and homebrews will be available for sample. Tickets are $25 per person. Find out more at hospicefoundationofthesouth.org/events.
Cap City Beer Fest, Oct. 21
Downtown Baton Rouge will host the fourth annual Cap City Beer Festival, noon to 4 p.m., on Oct. 21. This dog- (and family-) friendly event supports the Companion Animal Alliance, Baton Rouge’s animal shelter. Hundreds of craft beers, as well as offerings from area homebrew associations, will be available to sample. General admission is $40 advance, $50 at the door; VIP admission is $60 advance, $70 at the door. More information at capcitybeerfest.org.
Boudin, Bourbon & Beer, Nov. 9
Hosted by the Emeril Lagasse Foundation, Boudin, Bourbon & Beer will be held in Champions Square in New Orleans, featuring more than 70 of the nation’s most acclaimed chefs. If you are beer-ed out from all the other festivals, you can sip on bourbon or wine, or check out the premium cigar bar. The event starts at 6 p.m. Tickets are $135. Find out more information at boudinbourbonandbeer.com.
Louisiana Craft Brewers Guild releases Double IPA
While Louisiana Craft Beer Week may be coming to a close, that doesn’t mean the support for Louisiana breweries has to end anytime soon. The first collaboration beer from the Louisiana Craft Brewers Guild hit the shelves earlier this week, and it’s still available.
Back on Sept. 7, a number of representatives from Louisiana breweries traveled to Abita Springs to help brew a collaboration beer in support of the guild, an organization that helps to further the craft brewing industry within the state. This inaugural collaboration beer is a double IPA, and $7 from every case sold is donated back to the guild.
A number of companies came together to donate the ingredients for this collaboration beer, including Cargill and Briess, which donated the malt, wheat and oat; SS Steiner and Yakima Chief donated the Calypso, Lemondrop and Denali hops; and White Labs donated the yeast.
On to the beer: this double IPA weighs in at 8 percent alcohol by volume, and is sure to please hopheads. The beer pours a pale orange, and it is as hazy as promised. The aroma is full of citrus notes, while the flavor features a heavy dose of bitter grapefruit and some tropical and lemony notes in the background. This is a big beer, no doubt, but it’s not boozy. It is well-balanced and should please old-school IPA fans as well as casual beer drinkers.
Look for the Louisiana Craft Brewers Guild Double IPA for a limited time at your favorite specialty grocers and bottle shops across the state. More information at labeer.org.
Tin Roof wins gold
And in case you missed it, Baton Rouge’s Tin Roof Brewing won a gold medal last Saturday at the Great American Beer Festival, a first for the state of Louisiana. The brewery’s Voodoo Pale Ale beat out 131 other entries in the Juicy or Hazy Pale Ale category at the country’s largest beer festival.