Saturday, January 22, 2011

Beer Belly In Progress

Unlike many Tulane students who enjoy games of Beer Pong, Flip Cup, and Kings, beer was always a beverage that I did not quite understand. That is until I started living with Mackenzie, a beer connoisseur, who really should start her own microbrewery/ become a beer sommelier one day.

Over the past eight months my palate has slowly matured into enjoying this interesting acquired taste. I started off slow, and out of necessity; drinking cheap beers like Schlits, Natty Light, and Miller High Life "The Champagne of Beer." None of them are very tasty, but they won't set you back financially, and they can be refreshing after a long night of dancing.

Once I started enjoying these shitty beers fancy beer became so much more enjoyable!

Lucky for me, New Orleans is home to three wonderful local breweries: Abita, NOLA, and Heiner Brau (also known as Covington Brewery).

I've only tasted one Heiner Brau/Covington beer, Covington Strawberry and it is actually one of my favorites. It is definitely the best fruit infused beer I have ever had, but it's not very good if the tap is old.

However, I am very well versed in Abita beers. Abita Amber is the most popular beer sold in New Orleans, with twice as many taps as Bud Light has in the city. I enjoy it, it's not too hoppy for me and it goes well with lots of different cuisines, but I like Purple Haze better, which is their raspberry wheat beer and the second best selling Abita. Number one on my Abita ranking is Turbodog, a rich dark brown ale that has hints of toffee and chocolate. Although Abita Strawberry is a very close runner up... and it just came out in stores last week, so exciting! The other Abita varieties are mostly too hoppy for me. IPAs are still growing on me, but hopefully I will acquire a taste for that soon!

With this new love of beer I was overjoyed to hear that NOLA Brewing Co has a free tour every friday at 2 where you can drink as much as you want of their five lovely brews. So naturally, our fun friday this week involved sipping (and gulping) Nola Blonde, Brown Ale, Hopitoulas, and Irish Channel Stout, and the 7th Street Wheat. Aside from the Hopitoulas (their IPA if you couldn't tell by the name), I really enjoyed all of them. Unfortunately, NOLA only comes on tap so those of you who live far away will not be able to find it at your local rare beer shop, but they have plans to start bottling it soon!

With all these lovely local varieties to try I'm afraid I may begin to develop quite a bit of a beer belly if I'm not careful! I need to start developing a morning after abs routine, or at least stop eating such greasy hangover food. But in the end, no matter how much I like beer, nothing will trump my love of fried chicken and bacon. I have my priorities.

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