Happy Brew Year

Happy 2013!!!

As some of you know, last summer we moved from New Orleans to New England. So here we are.  Surprisingly, there are quite a few breweries in these here parts. Tons from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine.


I still have yet to taste what many claim as one of the best beers in the world (no, NOT Westvleteren…though that is also one of the best in the world!): The Alchemist’s Heady Topper

 It is from Vermont, so I will get it one day…..

For now, I’m sampling what I’ve got access to locally. The other day, while a friend was visiting, we visited Worcester, MA.  So of course I researched beer stores and found Mass Liquors. Here’s what I picked up:

P1070530blog P1070527blog P1070528blog


Had any of these? They are ALL new to me, except the first one on the top left, which I was lucky enough to be given by Polly Watts of The Avenue Pub in New Orleans (Thank you, Polly!!).

Guess what my friend from Long Island brought me?



That winter ale is pretty high alcohol, but quite tasty! Thanks, Bill!

On another note…..our basement is finished and I still have to do my “beer” decor. Here are a bunch of coasters I’ve collected. Maybe I’ll put them in a book. What about bottle caps? I was thinking of a piece of sheet metal with magnets attached to the backs of the caps. Also once scanned in a ton of beer labels. Thoughts?


P1070513blog P1070506blog P1070507blog P1070508blog P1070511blog



All the best in 2013, folks….





Swedish Beer

Yesterday, the Avenue Pub had a big Swedish Beer Event. We were able to attend for a bit, but I was only able to taste five out of the nineteen Swedish beers they had on tap.  We arrived around 1 pm and found a table free inside. We didn’t buy a ticket for the special 3 pm tappings, as we weren’t staying that long. As time passed, it got busier and busier inside. Looks like it was a big success!

They numbered the beers so we could order more easily (yes, there were numbers on all the taps!)…..I wasn’t even going to try to pronounce any of the names 🙂

Here’s what I tried (all were 6 oz pours):

Oppigårds Amarillo Spring IPA (5.9%): very grapefruity like cascade hops, very good

Närke Slättöl (4.7%): described as an “American Pale Ale”, a nice bitterness that hits the back of your tongue (mild), very good, looks somewhat unfiltered..??

Närke Tanngnjost och Tanngrisner (7.1%): Holy smokes! uses smoked barley and rye, smells a bit “boozy” yet smoky, you definitely get the sense of burning logs/fire, probably good on a snowy day, peaty, definitely a sipper.

Nils Oscar Hop Yard IPA (7.3%): quite hoppy, not so grapefruity as the first one, very good

Nynashamn Tjockhult Tjinnok (Stockholm Chinook 5.1%): very different from the others, aroma of a strong cheese but not in the taste at all, clean and crisp, good if you don’t mind the smell.

You can find a full list of all the Swedish beers they had here.

I might go back soon and try a couple others before they run out. Don’t forget, you can even get $2 off THESE pints during crafty hour 4-6 pm. Usually, it’s only for the American craft beers, but I think they want to get through these so they can tap some new beers. So if you’re in NOLA, now’s your chance!

That’s me, wearing my Northampton Brewing shirt! There were even a few folks from Northampton at the event…they recognized my shirt 🙂





LOTS of tastes

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been to the Avenue Pub several times. Here’s what we drank:

4 oz tastes of Bayou Teche Biere Joi (not bad, had a very mild coffee flavor), and Noel de Geants (unfiltered Belgian, 8.5%, tasted like medicine…could NOT drink it)

NOLA Irish Channel Stout (love it, 6.8%, great stout):

Petrus Aged Pale (7.3%, always a good sour):

Also just had a little sample of Haand Nissefar Father Christmas. 7% alc, strong coffee flavor, can taste the high alc, not bad, but I don’t think I could drink even a whole 4 oz  at once. Seemed strong, good for sipping over a long period of time.

On another visit–

Brugse Zot Unfiltered (LOVE this one, had it in Belgium, this time it wasn’t very unfiltered..??):

Thanks to a suggestion from someone sitting at the bar, I tried the Saison de Dottignies (very good actually!):

And last, but not least…a SOUR!! I love sours, if you haven’t yet noticed. I tried a new one, Banhof Brettanmyces Lambicus  (Berliner Weisse, very sour, delicious):

…and yet another visit to the pub–

A Rogue Good Chit Pilsner in the back (very good!) and a Brugse Zot Unfiltered Blond in the front:

Monk’s Cafe Flemish Sour (surprisingly, I wasn’t really into this one…not sure why, maybe it was more bitter than most sours I drink?):

Then I had 4 oz tastes of Bayou Teche Biere Noire (I really like this one!) and Racer 5 IPA (pretty good IPA, doesn’t blow me away, but pretty good).

And that’s it!!

Unfortunately, we missed some of the St. Arnolds Christmas brews that were upstairs….they’ll probably be gone by the time we get back to the pub 😦 There’s always next year, I suppose.

Thanks, Polly and the rest of the Pub staff!!



Westvleteren and other tastings

My birthday was exactly one month ago. I decided to open my special bottle of Westvleteren 12 that I brought back from Belgium. You can read about my Belgian Beer trip here.

This beer is exquisite. I know I’ve read all about how it’s the “greatest beer in the world” and all. But seriously, I savored every sip. So rich and flavorful! Really something else. I had the opportunity to drink a bottle of the Westvleteren 8 on my trip and that too, was wonderful. It’s definitely not an everyday beer, or even a once a month beer. I’d love to have one every year on my birthday 🙂 You can actually order them online from Beer Planet. But shipping is so expensive. Maybe one day if I have some partners to go in on the deal with me and am able to have it delivered somewhere outside of my home……where there’s someone always there to sign for it…….ok, who wants in? Any Belgian beer lovers out there?

How can you resist??

As for the other few beers I just tried, have you heard of Squatter’s Beers? They’re located in Utah. Yeah, I know……”Utah has beer???” That was my first response.  (They probably have good coffee there by now too!) I saw some bottles of their IPA in Whole Foods and so I picked one up.

I loved it. Really delicious and more malty than your standard IPA. Most of the IPA’s I drink are pretty darn hoppy. So here’s the thing….we later went to our local pub and guess what? They had the Squatter’s IPA on tap! So we got one (it’s the one in the background below). Totally different than the bottle. But still really good….much, much hoppier. I just smelled it and could tell from that grapefruit aroma. Polly (the Pub owner), explained that many IPA’s can lose their hoppiness in transport, due to lack of refrigeration. So I’m guessing maybe that’s what happened.

(the front beer is the Bruges Zot unfiltered…one of my favorites from Belgium)

If you check out the Squatters website you will see that most of their beers are only 4% alc. Why? I just found out that you cannot serve any beer on tap that is over 4% alcohol in the state of Utah. So even the folks over at Squatters were jealous that I was having their own beer  (one of the few over 4%) on tap, when they could not! I’ve not seen any other of their beers in the store, but would love to try them.

Some upcoming events in the NOLA area:

Cantillon Mamouche tasting event:

October 26th at 7:30 pm, Avenue Pub, (Cantillon Mamouche, Anchorage White Out Wit, & Drie Fonteinen Kriek & Gueze) $20 plus tax

Drink with the Monks:

November 2nd, Avenue Pub, Beers from La Trappe, Rochefort, Orval, Chimay, and Westmalle, 5 glasses for $18

Van Steenberg at the Pub:

November 12th, 2-6 pm, Avenue Pub, Jeff Versales (grandson of the founder) tapping Piraat, Gulden Drack, Augustin, & others.

Lots of cool stuff going on….big Belgian Fest! And don’t forget to go pick up some Squatters Beer.

Any favorite Belgians??

Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook.



Zwanze Week!

This is an exciting week for craft beer drinkers. Tomorrow is Zwanze Day 2011. You can find out more about it here. Events have been happening all week at The Avenue Pub here in New Orleans. On Wednesday evening, I attended a Sours tasting. Though there were many sour beers to be had, here are the five that I chose:

Grande Dames (Trois Dames, Switzerland): 7.2% alc, ultra sour with a hint of bitterness on the end at the back of the tongue. Very good! (the sourest of all that I tasted).

BeerBera (LoverBeer, Italy): A beautiful reddish color with a slightly medicinal smell and taste, but it grew on me as I sipped it.

Abbey de Saint Bon Chien(Switzerland) 2006: 10% alc, not as sour as the others but very nice, slightly oaky taste (perhaps from the oak barrels they were aged in).

Drie Fonteinen Oude Geuze (Belgium): very sour at first taste, but not quite as much later, a little hint of grapefruit on the end. Good!

Hannsens Oude Gueze (Belgium): 5% alc, sour, was going up my nose a bit, something very strange about this one…it made my throat hurt, as if I were eating something overly sweet. Hard to finish. Wouldn’t get this one again.

My two favorites were the Trois Dames and the Drie Fontainen!

We had a great time at the pub and chatted with Polly (the owner) for a long time. Boy, does she know her beer. I’m jealous.


And here’s a look at the newly renovated upstairs section of the pub:

Good job…looks awesome!

Tonight, there’s also a special tapping at the pub:

Cantillon St. Lamvinus tapping (one glass of St. Lamnvinus plus a two-pour ticket at 6 oz each for $18), September 16th 5-6 pm.

Tomorrow is the BIG day! Zwanze Day 2011!! I’m not sure I’ll be able to make it, though I want to:

Zwanze Day-tapping at 2 pm, get there early for a ticket (limited number), on balcony, Ticket for 2-6 oz pours for $12.

For more complete info on these events, click here.

Don’t forget to check out my Facebook page for more!!

Upcoming Beer Events

First, let me thank my friend, Yuki, for bringing me some Great Lakes beer from her recent trip to Ohio! I was actually a bit skeptical about their Dortmunder Gold. But you know what? It’s good!!

(photo from the Great Lakes Brewing website)

I think I was expecting some sort of plain pilsner. Wasn’t at all like that. A little sweet, a little malty. Nice!

This week is a big beer week. Tomorrow, August 4th, is International IPA Day, followed by International Beer Day on August 5th. How will you be celebrating?

There are a few events coming up here, locally:

Today, August 3rd @ The Avenue PubBelgian Beer Tapping 6-9 pm. You get to taste 5 different ones for $12. They’ve got some really exceptional ones to try. I actually had some of them when we were in Belgium this summer!

August 4th @ Stein’s Market & Deli 4-6 pm-FREE Saison tasting event. Some of the beers on the list:

Saison Dupont, Dupont Foret (Organic), St Feuillien Saison, Ovila Saison. You get the idea. They’ve got a ton on the list….please RSVP on their Facebook page, so they know how many to expect.

September 17th @ The Avenue Pub 3-6 pm – Cantillon Zwanze Day 2011.  You can read more about the general even from Cantillon’s website here.  This is a one-time event with a special beer and only 10 places are getting it (in the U.S.) This pub is one of them! I’m hoping to be there (I’ve already placed my order for the t-shirt!!)

And for more info on worldwide beer events, check out Roadtrips for Beer.

If you’re planning on doing a beer trip to Belgium, you may want this book. Leave a comment if you’re interested in winning it and feel free to spread the word!




Pub Tasting And A New Stash

Today I’m testing out a new blogging platform from my iPad: Blogsy. Let’s see how it turns out.

Yesterday I went to The Avenue Pub and got to taste some new beers:

These first two are the Chouffe Belgians. The one in the back was the Houblon and it was really refreshing and crisp. Excellent! The darker one in the front was the McChouffe. Vey smooth….rather unusual flavor for a Belgian.

The second two above were the Stone Old Guardian in the back and the Ichtegems Grand Cru in the front. The Stone was quite hoppy for a barley wine and knocked me off my feet at 12% alcohol! The Grand Cru was an amazing Flemish Sour. I had to get a second helping….LOVED it!

And today my friend, Adelle, brought me an awesome stash of beer from her recent trip to Alabama….yes, they have excellent distribution there. Who’d have thought?

The stash included:

Yazoo Pale Ale
Avery IPA
Avery Ellie’s Brown Ale
Holy Mackerel Panic Attack Belgian Style
Bar Harbor Thunder Hole Ale
Gouden Carolus Classic, Belgian
Sweetwater 420 Extra Pale Ale
Bison Brewing Organic IPA
Terrapin Hopsecutioner
Bell’s Pale Ale
Eel River Organic Extra Pale Ale

I’ve not had several of these….looking forward to posting about them. Have you had any of these beers? Thoughts?

Don’t forget to let me know if you’d be interested in this book!


Beers for Japan

We recently attended the Drink for Japan event at the Avenue Pub. It was crowded and hot….but these were the perfect brews for the occasion!

Our first set was a glass of Sapporo and a Hitachino Classic IPA (front):


For our second set, S (my husband) had the Hitachino and I had NOLA Flambeau Red (front):


The Sapporo wasn’t really my thing, but S enjoys those kinds of beers. He’s a pilsner and lager kind of guy. We both LOVED the Hitachino! What a great beer for a hot afternoon. So crisp and really delicious. I hope the Kiuchi brewery will be back up on their feet again soon. As for the NOLA Flambeau….well, I love it. It’s one of my favorites brewed by NOLA so far.

And I thought I’d include yesterday afternoon’s Abita Amber by the open windows in the French Quarter…..on another hot afternoon. It quenched my thirst 🙂


I hope to be back at the Avenue Pub soon for another tasting.  Check out my newest beer book! Would YOU be interested in this book?



Drink for Japan

Today, the Avenue Pub in New Orleans is hosting a charity event, partnering with the NOLA Japan fund: Drink For Japan

3-6 pm at The Avenue Pub, 1732 St. Charles Ave, New Orleans

The pub will donate 100% of the gross raised during this time period back to the NOLA Japan quake fund. Entrance fee is $20 and you get 2 free drinks and some food from Santa Fe & Taqueria Corona. All drinks sold during this time will also be donated.

This is a great cause and I guarantee that there will be amazing beer there!!

Hope to see you all there today. If you can’t make it, you can still donate here.


Blog Top Sites


stats for wordpress