While the Ontario craft beer scene has just started to really pick up, the US craft scene has been alive and kicking for a good while. We can’t resist checking out the local beer wherever we happen to travel, so we decided this month we’d do an “All-American April” to feature some of the US places we’ve been.
New Orleans is known for cocktails, bourbon, food, music, revelry. . . but craft beer? Not particularly. That said, NOLA and surrounding areas have some amazing breweries. When Jessica went with her friends for Jazz Fest 2016, they were able to pop by a couple neat places on their limited schedule. From Jessica:
Even without Josh, I can’t stop myself from searching out the craft beer wherever I end up. There’s so much to see in New Orleans that I couldn’t also visit all the breweries, so along with my travel-partners, we focused somewhat on Uptown (though you can bet we were in the French Quarter as well!).
Hop on the green St Charles streetcar line from Canal Street (yes, it will be filled with tourists, but the photo opportunities will be worth it), and head over to the Garden District and Lower Garden District for these craft beer stops.
Down a quiet industrial street in the Lower Garden District, is the lovely little Courtyard Brewing. It’s full of colour, quirk, and (to my Canadian eyes) a very tropical flair – it must be the palm trees. Generally, it’s the sort of brewery you want to hang out in. And it seemed like many people were doing exactly that.
The beer itself is a mix of local craft and their own creative styles. Last April, the list reflected the sours and juicy beers that are only really picking up here in Ontario now, as the US tends to be ahead of the craft beer trends.
The food is supplied by food trucks that rotate based on the day of the week. All in all, a place all of us wished we lived closer to so we could hang out more often.
If you’re browsing antique shops and other independent stores down Magazine Street in the Garden District, a great place to pop in for a little refresher is The Bulldog Uptown.
A proper old-fashioned English style pub with a long beer list focused on semi-local craft, and a beautiful tree and hanging lamp-lined patio, it was another perfect place to hang out.
The patio also had a pretty unique fountain, with all the old tap heads as spouts.
The Bulldog is not a far walk from NOLA Brewing, on the banks of the Mississippi. You won’t see the River because of the walls, but you can’t miss the big red brewery.
Unfortunately for us, the day we happened to walk on down they were having a ticketed Jazz & Crawfish event. That would have been amazing if we weren’t already occupied in seeing the city all day. Luckily we’d been able to try some of their beer at The Bulldog.
What Did We Miss?
I didn’t see enough of the New Orleans craft beer scene. If I had more time, I would have checked out:
- Crescent City Brewhouse, German-style brewery in the French Quarter
- Abita Brewhouse, a Louisiana staple (actually across Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans, in Abita)
- Avenue Pub, beer bar on St Charles Ave.
- Cooter Brown’s, beer bar right at the end of the St Charles streetcar line
So these are all on the list for the next time!
Visit Date: April 2016