Abita Brewing Company - Abita Springs, New Orleans

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  • not enough seafood and stale bread
    not enough seafood and stale bread
    by richiecdisc
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    Abita Brewing: only for die hards

    by richiecdisc Written May 4, 2009

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Abita Brewing wasn't really on my short list of places to go to when in New Orleans. I like some of their beers well enough and had a great time visiting the brewery 14 years ago but with only a couple says in town I didn't want to weigh my wife's first visit down with too much “beer time.” It is also a ways out of town in Abita Springs. But when we arrived in town to the unexpected French Quarter Festival crowds we figured it was a good day to explore some of the outer parts of the city. What we didn't know is it was also the Strawberry Festival and we found ourselves ensnared in some heavy duty traffic just when we least expected it. It seemed pointless to try and venture back into the Quarter and find parking again but it was a bit early to go back to our room too. So, we looked at a map and it seemed the easiest way back to our room in Slidell, LA was to head over the huge bridge spanning the Lake Pontchartrain, thus bypassing downtown New Orleans. As chance would have it this brought us right to Abita Springs. You might have thought I had this planned and believe me my wife more than casually thought it too. A friend had told me the brewery had been renovated but I was very pleasantly surprised to find a little beer garden outside though by now the sun was setting and it would be too cool to sit out there. Inside was less exciting but there were ten taps and I even saw a hand pump signaling cask beer, something I would never have dreamed of from the fairly mainstream brewery.

    Favorite Dish: My friend told me that the food was pretty good too so we figured since we were here we'd have something to eat with our beer tasting session. We both opted for Po Boys with Doreen having the fried oyster version and me opting for the combination of fried oysters, shrimp and catfish. Both looked big but it was too much bread and not enough seafood, and to top things off the bread was stale! The cask beer turned out to be a German style dunkleweizen, an odd but interesting choice to be served in such fashion. It was unfiltered ruddy brown with a huge rocky head and dried fruit nose. It had a nice banana clove palate as befits the style. It was not quite as effervescent as you would want for a German style wheat beer but that is generally the case with beers served on cask. Overall, it was very interesting and the best beer of the lot. The Four Grain was a sweet bready brew which was cloying while the Restoration Ale had a few more hops though not nearly enough to rescue it from a similar fate. The Alt was amber with low carbonation and a fruity palate. It again lacked a good hop presence needed to dry it out as you would expect with this style of beer. The Jackamo IPA was amber with a slight hop nose. Turbo Dog is normally one of my favorite German style dunkles beers from the states but this tap version was a lot sweeter and cloying than what I've had in bottles. Citrus and malt in the palate but balanced well with hops to dry it out without being overly bitter. Not bad. Andy Gator is their barley wine and how they could brew a beer of this strength with such little flavor is beyond me. Sweet and malty with barely any hops is a bad recipe for a barley wine. I remember enjoying this as a top off of Turbo Dog mixed with Purple Haze on my first trip to the brewery 14 years ago but it was free and my palate wasn't as developed. Time and money do make a difference and I'd say an Abita visit is for die hards only.

    not enough seafood and stale bread
    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Beer Tasting
    • Food and Dining

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