Louisiana got skunked yesterday at the 2015 Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Colorado.
The awards ceremony was held at roughly the same time that New Orleans City Park was hosting NOLA On Tap, a beer festival of somewhat less import than GABF.
No matter, I didn’t have the time or inclination to go chasing beer all the way to Colorado.
But I did want to take the measure of Louisiana’s nascent craft beer scene and what better way to do it than attend a Pro/Am.
That’s what NOLA On Tap is: a Pro/Am; there are professional breweries-some of which are long-standing concerns-as well as plenty young men with beards who have a brew kettle set up in their backyard, sideyard or kitchen.
How was the beer?
Some was great. I tried a handful of brews from the booth labelled “Half Hearted Brewer” and they were all pro quality. I was coaxed into trying some other booth’s brews that were marginal at best.
And I’m still not sure why I felt the need to scale the fence to get into the damn festival.
It was free after all.
Louisiana’s craft beer scene is showing signs of life. We’re currently ranked 49th in the US for breweries per capita.
Second Line Brewing just opened in Mid-City New Orleans but early reports are grim.
I spoke to several brewers at NOLA On Tap and they were amazed that this new business was selling beers that would’ve been better suited as test batches.
Here’s hoping they get it right, down the line.
Give us 15 years and we’ll be where cities like Austin were around the beginning of the aughts.