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Friday, October 19, 2018

Feature Beer Friday: Crown Valley's Imperial Pumpkin Smash Stout

By Eric Ducote

Good morning everyone, it's finally starting to feel like Fall for more than a day at a time, and as everyone knows, Fall means pumpkin EVERYTHING.  Beer has never been an exception to this trend, as pumpkin beers have been popping up ever since craft beer started its renaissance.  Generally I'm not a huge fan of pumpkin beers, but most are lighter styles with bland pumpkin seasonings... not the case with this offering from Crown Valley.

Crown Valley Brewing & Distilling is located in rural southeast Missouri, in an area known primarily for wineries.  They produce a range of flagship beers and ciders, in addition to seasonal and high abv beers.  I very rarely see their flagship beers in our market, but occasionally spot the ciders and every year their Imperial Pumpkin Smash Stout hits shelves.  This beer is a high-abv imperial stout base, with 10.6% alcohol and 48 IBU.  It's loaded with rich dark malts and balanced out with some noble hops as well as Chinook which is known for a piney character.  

Crown Valley's Imperial Pumpkin Smash

The beer (a fresh 2018 version) pours a dark chocolate color, as an imperial stout should, with a lighter than expected head but great retention.  The nose is a combination of bitter roasted coffee notes, sweeter chocolate malt notes, and an undeniable pumpkin flavor blended with the spices always associated with pumpkin desserts.  The taste is a beautiful follow through on the nose, with complex malt flavors that work extremely well with the pumpkin and spice.  My favorite thing about this beer is that it still tastes like an imperial stout with pumpkin on top rather than it tasting like I'm drinking a glass of pumpkin pie.  

This remains one of my favorite pumpkin beers alongside the Saint Arnold Pumpkinator, and I'll almost certainly be buying some more before the season is over.  Cheers! 

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Wakey Whiskey: Jefferson's Presidential Select 21-Year Rye

By Eric Ducote

Good morning everyone and welcome back to Wakey Whiskey here at Bite And Booze.  Last week I broke out one of my "bigger" whiskeys in anticipation of a big matchup with Florida, and this week is an even bigger matchup with Georgia even if the loss last week takes off a smidge of luster.  The truth is, LSU's still almost as in control of their own destiny as possible, just without any more margin for error.  Now, I'm not booking my hotel rooms for the championship just yet, but it's still in play, right?  

This week I'm sticking with the Jefferson's line of whiskey, but instead of the 21-year bourbon like I finished off last week, this is the 21-year rye.  There's something fun about drinking a whiskey that's old enough to drink, and I've always been a big fan of rye whiskeys in general, as I find that they tend to be a little more complex than one with a primarily corn grain bill.  

Jefferson's Presidential Select 21-Year Rye

The pour is a dark brown with hints of red, a similar color (as expected) to the 21-year bourbon.  The nose has strong notes of caramel and licorice, with a bit of cinnamon spice.  It's sweet, with a bit of a burn for the 90.4 proof whiskey but the licorice is a bit surprising to me.  The taste is strong with oak, cinnamon, caramel, with the licorice fading and a hint of vanilla coming out.  There's a bit of a burn on the back end, but as a whole it's a very smooth drink of rye, that I like a little more than last week's bourbon.  

Unfortunately this one, like last week's bourbon, is going to be almost impossible to find out in the wild, but the good news is that I still have some left, so if anyone wants to bring a few bottles over to share, I'll be happy to share some of this with you!

Cheers!  And GEAUX TIGERS! 

Friday, October 12, 2018

Feature Beer Friday: St. Bernardus's Abt 12 Quad

By Eric Ducote

Good morning and welcome back to Feature Beer Friday!  I've been featuring a lot of local beers recently, which I'm not ashamed of at all because there are plenty worth featuring, but today I'm headed across the pond to Belgium.  Belgium has always been one of the world leaders when it comes to beer due to their distinctive Belgian-styled ales.  The small country is littered with small breweries (often associated with monasteries) putting out excellent beers.  Belgian ales were really one of my first introductions to the world past macro lagers, as even before the craft scene blew up in Louisiana these options were readily available. One excellent example of a non-Trappist Belgian brewery is St. Bernardus, known for a wide range of styles and their distinctive Witbier.  Today's offering though, is their Abt 12, one of their three "core" beers and the strongest of the bunch. 

St. Bernardus Abt 12

This beer is a 10% abv Belgian-style Quad, which is sometimes referred to as a Belgian Dark Strong Ale.  Typically Belgian ales start at their enkel or "single" which is the lightest offering and usually drank by the monks themselves. After that is a dubbel which is a little stronger and darker, the tripel which is stronger still although typically lighter in color and more floral, and the quadrupel which is dark like the dubbel and even stronger.  The Abt 12 is one of the most popular and well regarded versions of the quadrupel style.  

The beer pours a brown color reminiscent of a coca cola with a very bubbly off-white head. The aroma is fruity, dominated mostly by sweeter plum flavors but also some grape and a little bit of floral hoppiness.   It's extremely pleasing and inviting, and I can't wait to get in a sip.  The mouthfeel is a little thinner than I remember from my early days of beer appreciation, but the flavors are still full and complex, with some rock candy sweetness, fruity esters from the yeast, and a floral bitter balance from the hops.  This was a fresh bottle of Abt 12, but I'd imagine the sweet and fruity flavors would be enhanced with age while the hoppy notes fade.  This beer has earned a reputation as one of the best in the world, and it does not disappoint.

St. Bernardus Abt 12 should be pretty easy to find around Baton Rouge, either in a corked & caged 750 ml bottle, a 4-pack of 11.2 oz. bottles, or in a gift set along with the dubbel, tripel and a glass like you see pictured above.  I know it's "on trend" to fill the beer fridge with all hazy IPA these days, but here's an outstanding chance of pace.  Cheers! 


Saturday, October 6, 2018

Wakey Whiskey: Jefferson's Presidential Select 21-Year Bourbon

By Eric Ducote

Good morning everyone, and happy GAMEDAY to you all!  This afternoon the Fighting Tigers of LSU are taking on the hated Florida Gators, so I figured that called for stepping up my whiskey game a bit.  I've had this bottle of Jefferson's Presidential Select 21-year for quite some time, as it officially released on April 1, 2013.  Unfortunately I'm getting down to the very end, so I had to make sure I gave it the full wakey whiskey honors before my bottle is dry.  

Jefferson's Presidential Select (named after Thomas Jefferson) is produced by Jefferson's Bourbon, which is owned by Castle Brands along with a few names you might recognize in the Irish Whiskey world like Knappogue Castle and Clontarf.  The first two editions of Presidential Select were the 17-year and the 18-year, but they were made from a wheated whiskey that was distilled at Stitzel-Weller of Pappy Van Winkle fame.  The Presidential Select 17-Year actually won the whiskeys of the world tournament that Jay and I hosted (along with James Lawson and Jeremy Spikes) back when we were producing the Raise A Glass radio show, and the 18-Year offering has been featured on Bite and Booze before in a Whiskey Wednesday post.  This 21-Year offering was not distilled by Stitzel-Weller though, and it has no wheat in the grain bill, so the flavor profile is definitely expected to be different.  

Jefferson's Presidential Select 21-Year Bourbon

The pour is dark as a 21-Year bourbon should be, the barrels selected for this batch ranged from 21 to 24 years old, and that's a lot of time for that liquor to soak in and out of the wood and absorb that char and the flavors.  The nose is strong with oak notes, again to be expected from a 21-Year bourbon, but there are also notes of leather and a hint of citrus.  Mostly though, the oak and associated char flavors stand out.  The taste is smooth, the oakiness is still bold, and vanilla comes through as well, the citrus is still there in a very small amount creating a well rounded profile.  

The finish is smooth as well, with minimal alcohol burn and a still dominant flavor of oak.  There's a subtle cinnamon spice throughout, perhaps some rye went into the grain bill in place of the wheat?  i don't think this is quite as impressive as the 17 and 18-Year batches, but it's still a magnificent bourbon.  

With that said, Cheers!  And Geaux Tigers! 

Friday, October 5, 2018

Feature Beer Friday: Parish's Pure Tropics IPA

By Eric Ducote

Good morning everyone and welcome to another Feature Beer Friday here at Bite and Booze.  This week I'm going to take a look at one of the recent hoppy releases from Parish Brewing out of Broussard, Louisiana.  Those that read this space regularly, and most of you in the South Louisiana area are certainly already familiar with Parish, so I'll dive right into the beer review!  

Parish Brewing's Pure Tropics IPA

This particular beer is the Pure Tropics IPA.  It's a 7% abv brewed with an IPA base recipe then conditioned on mango, pineapple, and pink guava puree.  Sounds amazing to me!  

The pour is effervescent, with a golden orange color that absolutely fits in with the NEIPA style and the tropical notes to the beer.  The aroma is a beautiful blend of hoppy flavors and tropical fruit, with the mango coming through strongest in my opinion, although I'm not all that familiar with the pink guava fruit.  Pineapple is a flavor that tends to dominate any drink, which is why it was always a key ingredient to the jungle juice back in my college days, but it's well blended here and doesn't take over the beer entirely.  Each sip is fantastic, with the hoppy citrus notes married with the fruit flavors in a harmonious relationship.  

Parish has another great offering with this round of Pure Tropics, and I'm pretty sure there is still plenty to be found out and about in town, so if you see a 4-pack, buy with confidence.  

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Wakey Whiskey: Willett Pot Still Reserve Bourbon

By Eric Ducote

Good morning everyone, and welcome to another #Gameday edition of #WakeyWhiskey as LSU takes on (Go To Hell) Ole Miss late tonight and maybe into tomorrow morning.  A few days ago I was looking through my liquor collection and looking through some previous wakey whiskey posts and realized that I've never featured this Willett Pot Still Reserve Bourbon.  I've had this bottle for years, I believe it was actually a Christmas present from Jay, but due to its large size and unusual shape it always ended up on the "top shelf" of the liquor cabinet and rarely found its way down.  Rather than keep that trend continuing I decided to pull the bottle down and make it this week's featured whiskey.

Willet Pot Still Reserve is produced by the Willett Distillery, which is also known as the Kentucky Bourbon Distillers.  It's still an independent distillery in Bardstown, Kentucky, and in addition to the Willett brand they produce Noah's Mill, Rowan's Creek, Pure Kentucky, and more labels.  The bottle that I have is actually a 1.75l bottle styled after a pot still, and is a single barrel version of the Pot Still Reserve.  Around 2015 Willett switched from a single barrel labeling to a small batch labeling, but like I said, this is one of the older bottles in my collection, obviously pre-dating that switch.  It even says on the neck label that this is bottle no. 91 of 117 from single barrel no. 870.  (I think it's 870... the last number is cut off, but it's something round so either 870 or maybe 876... doesn't really matter...)  

Willett Pot Still Reserve Bourbon

Upon pouring and taking the picture, I noticed that the bourbon left in the bottle has a reddish tint to it while the bourbon in my glass is more of a traditional brown.  That's just the light playing tricks though, I can promise it's all the same and I wasn't pouring koolaid back into the bottle.  This is bottled at 94 proof (47% abv) and the aroma is a very pleasant combination of oak, vanilla, and a hint of citrus.  The taste is a smooth note of vanilla, with some charred oak coming through as well as a bit of sweeter caramel, all balanced well by the alcohol.  I think this 94 proof bourbon is right in the sweet spot between the standard 80 proof bourbons and the high proof barrel-strength offerings.  It makes for an interesting complex bourbon without being so strong that it takes away from the flavors.

I know you won't likely be able to find this single barrel version, but if you see some Willett Pot Still Reserve out in the wild, I would definitely recommend giving it a try.  Cheers, and Geaux Tigers! 

Friday, September 28, 2018

Feature Beer Friday: Tin Roof's Voodoo Pale Ale

By Eric Ducote

Tin Roof's Voodoo Pale Ale
Good morning everyone!  It's Friday, so let's talk a little beer.  Originally I wasn't planning on going back to back with the Tin Roof beers, but that was before the news broke last Saturday that Tin Roof Brewing captured the first ever gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival for the state of Louisiana with their Voodoo Pale Ale!  They won in the Juicy or Hazy Pale Ale category, which featured a whopping 132 entrants.  

Voodoo has been around in some form since Tin Roof's beginning, originally labeled as the Voodoo Bengal Pale Ale it was one of the original flagship brews next to the Perfect Tin Amber.  The original recipe was more of a balanced pale ale, with caramel and crystal malts providing a base and plenty of bittering hops throughout.  A few years ago the recipe was changed up completely and the "Bengal" was dropped from the name, giving us the Voodoo Pale Ale and the current look of the cans and tap handles.  Chuck P even wrote a blog post about it! Since then the recipe has undergone a few more tweaks until you have the current iteration of the Voodoo Pale Ale, which can now add GABF Gold Medal winner to its resume.  

The current recipe is even simpler than the interim version, with pale malt serving as the lone base malt and then malted oats, flaked oats, and wheat malt added as specialty grains to give some body and contribute to the haziness.  The hops were reduced to a simple combination of Citra and Simcoe, giving a combination of citrus and tropical fruit flavors from the Citra (duh!) and pine flavors from the Simcoe.  It's a sessionable 5% abv and a palate-pleasing 20 IBU with the vast majority of the hops going in as later additions and dry-hopping.  

I'm sure most of you out there reading this have tried Voodoo and plenty of you likely keep some around in your beer fridge on a regular basis, but if you haven't had one recently, don't hesitate to grab a 6-pack and give it another try.  Winning any sort of medal is a huge deal at GABF, but winning a gold in such a highly contested category should absolutely be celebrated.  

So congrats to Tin Roof, and Cheers! 

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Wakey Whiskey: Rogue Spirits Oregon Rye Malt Whiskey

By Eric Ducote

Good morning everyone, and HAPPY GAMEDAY!  LSU takes on Louisiana Tech tonight, and gameday means it's time for another #wakeywhiskey and this morning I'm going to finish off a bottle of Rogue Spirits Oregon Rye Malt Whiskey.  I've featured Rogue Spirits before with their Dead Guy whiskey, so I won't go too far into the details of the distillery, but I will happily talk about this particular bottle.  It's crafted primarily from rye malt grown in Rogue's own farms, plus two other specialty barley malts that Rogue refers to as their Rogue Farms Dare™ & Risk™ Malt.  

Very similar to the Longrow scotch I reviewed last week, Rogue controls every step in the process, from the growing of the malts to the bottling of the spirits.  Their barrel aging facility is right on the saltwater in Newport, Oregon, and the Oregon Rye Malt is "ocean aged" for a minimum of three years. It's bottled at 80 proof for 40% alcohol and is available year round in 750ml bottles. 

Rogue Spirits Oregon Rye Malt Whiskey

The pour is a light amber color, translucent as any spirit should be.  The aroma isn't heavy on the cinnamon notes like some rye whiskeys but instead is very clean with a hint of peach and almonds. The taste is clean and smooth, with the cinnamon spice coming through a little stronger than on the aroma and a grainy bready flavor from the malted barley.  This is an easy drinking very pleasant whiskey that would be a great introduction to rye whiskey for someone looking to try some new spirits.  

That's all for now, happy gameday and #GeauxTigers!       

Friday, September 21, 2018

Feature Beer Friday: Tin Roof's Côte Ouest IPA

By Eric Ducote

Good morning everyone, on this beautiful first day of Fall!  Oh wait, it's still a billion degrees outside, but at least it's football season, right?  And at least cold cooler weather is on the way!  So I've been told, next weekend should finally start to feel a little like Fall, but this weekend is going to feel a little like the surface of the Sun.  

For today's Feature Beer I went back to local brewery Tin Roof for their latest specialty release, the Côte Ouest IPA, brewed in collaboration with Blake Winchell and Bill Childress of Brasseurs A La Maison.  As the name suggests, this is a traditional American IPA in the West coast style as opposed to the trendy New England style that's all the rage right now.  That means more malt balance, more bittering hops, and usually less back end dry hopping.  It also traditionally means a departure from the hazy "juicy" feel of the NE style, although this particular example retained some haziness.  

The Côte Ouest is draft only, but the batch resulted in about 10 barrels of finished product, so expect to see it on tap at the Tin Roof taproom for several more weeks as well.  Since cans weren't available, I grabbed a crowler on my last visit to try later.  First thing though, check out that fancy tap handle!  Apparently Blake didn't even know he was going to be features so prominently until he showed up to the release party, so I guess the joke is on him.  

Tin Roof's Cote Ouest IPA

On to the beer!  First the stats... 7.5% abv which is right at the cut off between IPA and DIPA, and approximately 70 IBU.  The pour is a dark orange-ish color with a bubbly white head and a decent amount of haze.  The hop aroma is still strong but more floral and traditionally bitter rather than citrus.  The taste is strongly bitter, and despite the darker color, there isn't a huge malt presence, rather the Cascade, Centennial, Chinook, and Amarillo hops come through with a combination of floral and piney bitterness with still a hint of citrus but not an overpowering presence.  All four of those hop varieties are produced in the Pacific NW and are prominent in the American IPA's surge in popularity, so it's great to see them used so generously in this beer.  

This won't be on tap for too long, so if you like hoppy bitterness and are looking for a change of pace and a bit of a throwback, head over to Tin Roof and give this a taste.  Cheers! 

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Wakey Whisky: Longrow Peated Campbeltown Single Malt Scotch

By Eric Ducote

Good morning everyone, and welcome to our first SEC gameday of 2018!  The LSU Tigers face a tough road test today against the War Eagles/Plainsmen/Tigers of Auburn.  I've pretty much always hated Auburn, although they've never been at the top of my SEC hate list, they've always been in contention, in my case back to the cigar smoking on the field days of 1999.  Dick move, Auburn.  Dick. Move.

Now, I have no Alabama whiskey in the collection, so I'm going to have to get a little exotic and break out a new bottle of scotch for this round of #wakeywhisky.  As I'm sure any regular reader knows by now, scotch drops the 'e' from whiskey in their spelling, so this is a bottle of whisky rather than whiskey.  This particular bottle is the Longrow Peated Campbeltown Single Malt, which is a double distilled and highly peated single malt variety. 

Campbeltown is one of the traditional five regions of scotch production, along with Highlands, Lowlands, Speyside, and Islay.  Campbeltown is the smallest of the regions with only 3 active distilleries, including the J. & A. Mitchell & Company which independently operates the Springbank distillery which produces the Longrow scotch that I'm drinking today.  This is the only distillery in Scotland that carries out the full process of malting, mashing, fermenting, distilling, aging, and bottling all under one roof.  Very few distilleries malt their own barley, and quite often they outsource the mashing process to brewing facilities.  

Longrow Peated Campbeltown Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Okay, so, on to the whisky, this one pours a very light color, which indicates to me that it's not a crazy long aging, or it's possibly a very light char on the barrels that they use. The smell is without a doubt peat heavy but it's not so powerful that it's all I can smell.  There are notes of honey, honeysuckle, smoke, and vanilla, all melded together into a delicious sip of whisky.  The smoke builds as I continue to sip with a bit of a bitter astringent note adding another layer of complexity.  The finish is smoky, peaty, with a definite hint of oak. 

This is really one of the more complex scotches that I can remember trying.  So many have a complexity to them, but they are usually still dominated by a distinct note, whereas this whisky really doesn't have a dominant note and instead is a mashup of flavors that compliment each other extremely well.  I wasn't sure what to expect from this new bottle to my collection, but I'm immediately a huge fan.

Here's hoping the LSU Tigers play as well as this scotch tastes, if so we might be seeing a big upset this afternoon.  Cheers, happy gameday, and GEAUX TIGERS! 

Friday, September 14, 2018

Feature Beer Friday: Tin Roof / Gnarly Barley's Liger Juicy Pale Ale

By Eric Ducote

Good morning everyone!  It's another Friday and that means another featured beer here on Bite And Booze.  I'm going with a local collaboration today, the Liger Juicy Pale Ale which was brewed by Tin Roof and Gnarly Barley to celebrate last week's LSU vs. SELU football matchup.  Tin Roof brews the Bayou Bengal, a licensed LSU beer, and Gnarly Barley out of Hammond brews the Lion Up, a licensed SELU beer, so it only made sense for the two to combine forces for a Rivalry Edition beer.  

I'm a huge fan of local breweries collaborating together on beers like this, as well as local breweries collaborating with regional and national breweries.  It's a great way to get new ideas, new beers, and new exposure for these craft breweries that support a lot of local jobs.  This beer sold out quickly in cans at the brewery last weekend, but as of Wednesday night there was still plenty on tap, and they were selling crowlers of it to go.  So, as I'm an LSU fan, I grabbed a Tin Roof glass and gave the beer a try...

Tin Roof / Gnarly Barley's Liger Juicy Pale Ale

The first thing that hit me is the hop aroma as soon as I popped the can, citrus flavors dominate due to the galaxy, citra, and mosaic hops used.  The color is a pale yellow, not quite orange juice color, but hazy and vibrant.  The aroma out of the glass is more of the same, strong citrus hop flavors which invite me in for a sip.  On the tongue the hops continue their dominance, with a medium body and a minimal malt presence.  This is basically a toned down pale ale version of a "juicy" NEIPA and they nail it.  At 5.5% but bursting with hop flavor, this would be a great game day beer or perfect for breaking out after mowing the lawn, which is exactly what I in the picture above!

Here's hoping this makes it into the regular rotation for either Tin Roof or Gnarly Barley, I know I'd drink plenty more if it was readily available.  In the meantime, hit up the Tin Roof taproom and grab a crowler or two for the weekend.  Cheers! 

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Wakey Whiskey: Ole Smoky Tennessee Straight Bourbon Whiskey

By Eric Ducote

Good morning Tiger fans and welcome to an undefeated week 2 and a huge jump in the polls following an ass whipping of Miami.  I'll admit, I didn't see that coming, I expected a good game and wouldn't have been shocked with a win or a loss, but going out to a 30-point lead on a top 10 team was unforeseen.  So I guess the question really is, was Miami overrated, was LSU underrated, or was it some combination of both?  I'm not a genius prognosticator, but with Southeastern Louisiana University (SELU) coming into Tiger Stadium this week, I feel like 2-0 is a strong possibility.  On a side note, Baton Rouge's Tin Roof Brewing and Hammond's Gnarly Barley Brewing put out a collaboration brew to commemorate the meeting of the two teams.  Tin Roof brews an official LSU licensed beer, and Gnarly Barley brews one licensed by SELU, so the collaboration makes perfect sense.  Look for that one out now and coming soon as a Feature Beer Friday?

Back to the wakey whiskey (#wakeywhiskey) though... last weekend I was in Knoxville for the game, and of course I hit up a local liquor store to buy a few local bottles.  I had already picked up a few directly from Postmodern Spirits in Knoxville proper, but I saw this bottle from Gatlinburg that caught my eye.  It's the Ole Smoky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, the term "straight" means that in addition to all the qualifications for a bourbon, this one has been aged for at least two years. Ole Smoky primarily makes mooonshine, although more of the flavored variety as opposed to the illegal variety, but they also produce some flavored whiskeys and a few unflavored bourbons.   

Ole Smoky Tennessee Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Now, the whiskey itself, because that's the important part, right?  The color is a little darker than caramel with a bit of an orange hint to it.  The smell is fairly muted, with hints of vanilla and oak but nothing too overpowering. The taste is a little on the harsh side at first, but once it settles down the typical bourbon flavors come out like corn sweetness, a bit of a mineral quality, a little vanilla, and the oak char comes out even stronger.  After a few sips neat to work out the palate, I added an ice sphere to see what opens up, and found first that the oak flavors on the aroma come through stronger than before.  On the tongue the initial harsh notes are reduced and then the whiskey flavors emerge with vanilla on the strong side.  I feel like this one benefits from the ice to open up the flavors.  

Not a bad pour, not the best I've ever had, but I'm all about trying new whiskeys and this one definitely has a place on my shelf.  Now, time for LSU to get to work and make it a 2-0 start.  Geaux Tigers!  

Friday, September 7, 2018

Feature Beer Friday: Pretentious Brewing IPA Flight

By Eric Ducote

Good morning everyone!  I recently returned to Baton Rouge from a long weekend trip to Knoxville, TN with Mandi and Brooks, and definitely took the opportunity to check out a handful of breweries, brewpubs, beer bars, and even a distillery that will be featured on an upcoming Wakey Whiskey post.   Knoxville, for being about the same size metro area as Baton Rouge, is killing us in the craft beer department, and we only made it to about half of the breweries in the area.  One of the best that we did get to try, my favorite was Pretentious Beer Company in the Old City neighborhood just to the North of downtown.  

Upon arrival I was impressed to see an array of beers on tap including multiple NEIPAs, so a flight was in order.  After careful consideration I opted for the #trendyAF, Waka Flocca Flame, Floc The Line, and the #supertrendyAF.  

A flight of NEIPAs at Pretentious Beer Co. 

All four of my selections are variants of NEIPA, with the "Floc" names being a play on the term flocculation, which is the suspension of the yeast in the beer that contributes to the haziness of the unfiltered NEIPA style.  Even though I wrotet hem down in one order, the bartender recommended a drinking order for me which happened to be the exact reverse of my selections, so I took her suggestion and started drinking right to left.  

Up first, the #trendyAF, which is a milkshake NEIPA (typically indicating the inclusion of lactose) with mosaic hops and pomegranate.  A deliciously hoppy and smooth beer, and the flight was off to a great start.  Up next was the Waka Flocca Flame, 7.1% and triple dry hopped with mosaic, giving a dank slightly onion-y bitterness.  Third on the lineup was the Floc The Line, 6.4% and triple dry hopped with galaxy, mosaic, and citra cryo hops, giving it a much more balanced and complex hop character than the Waka Flocca Flame.  Last up is the #supertrendyAF, which obviously is a variant of their #trendyAF milkshake NEIPA.  This variant features blood orange and vanilla, and is described as "taking creamsicle to the next level."  I found it a little on the sweet side, but also bitter and delicious, and it really reminded me (in a humbling way) of the Peach Hoppler Milkshake IPA that my team put together for the canceled Iron Brewer event.  We used peaches, cinnamon, and vanilla, and the sweet flavors worked extremely well with the hops, just like they do in this #supertrendyAF from Pretentious Beer Co.  

In the end I left extremely impressed, and I didn't even get past the NEIPA list before it was time to make our way to the next stop.  Next time you get the chance to swing through Knoxville, make this a stop on your tour, you won't be disappointed!  

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Wakey Whiskey: Roaming Man Tennessee Straight Rye Whiskey

By Eric Ducote

Good morning all and HAPPY M'F'IN' GAMEDAY to you all!  We wait all off-season for this day with a bit of hope that this season is going to be the one.  This season LSU is going to beat Alabama, win the SEC, go to the playoffs, and win the WHOLE DAMN THING.  We also all know that this isn't likely, but hey, for now, I'm saying there's a chance.  LSU is starting off the season with the University of Miami, which is a tough test right out the gate, both for the Tigers and for my wakey whiskey selection.  I try to tie what I'm drinking in to who the team is playing, or where they are, or just something that makes a connection.  

Well, I don't have any Miami whiskey.  I don't even have any whiskey from the state of Florida.  Do they even make whiskey in Florida?  What's "Florida Man" up to these days anyway?  In the absence of a Miami connection, I had to go with the backup plan, base my selection off of where I am at the time.  Well it turns out for this Labor Day weekend I'm on vacation in Knoxville, Tennessee, and in the Bite and Booze collection just happened to be a bottle of Roaming Man Tennessee Straight Rye Whiskey from the Sugarlands Distilling Company in nearby Gatlinburg.  

Roaming Man Tennessee Straight Rye Whiskey

This is a blend of three barrels from the same batch that were all barreled at 118.42 proof back on May 29th, 2015, then aged for two years and five months prior to bottling at barrel strength.  The final proof on this whiskey is a robust 120.98 for 60.49% alcohol by volume.  As mentioned before, this is a straight rye whiskey, with a grain bill of 51% rye, 45% corn, and 4% malted barley.  All of that information is right on the bottle (plus more) which is phenomenal for a whiskey geek like me.  

Now, the whiskey, this was aged in 25 gallon barrels so even though it's only around 2.5 years aged that increased surface area per volume will augment the aging process.  This sped up process leaves a rich copper colored whiskey with hints of red and orange.  The nose is potent with alcohol but also some cinnamon and vanilla notes.  The taste is strong with a pronounced alcohol burn (to be expected!) then the oak and vanilla comes through from the barrel char as well as more cinnamon notes which is very typical for rye-heavy whiskeys.  This is definitely a sipper that will probably benefit from an ice cube of a splash of water (maybe next pour) but it's a good sip just served neat and room temperature.

I'm glad to have tried this one, now I need to look for some other Sugarlands products while I'm up in Knoxville.  Cheers! and GEAUX TIGERS! 

Friday, August 31, 2018

Feature Beer Friday: Innis & Gunn's Bourbon Barrel Porter

By Eric Ducote

Good morning everyone on this Labor Day weekend!  I'm still at work for today, then headed out on vacation, but don't worry, there's a Wakey Whiskey coming for you all on Sunday.  Just because it's football season though and the whiskey is flowing doesn't mean the Feature Beer Friday posts have to stop.  I can multi-task pretty well it turns out. Today's #FeatureBeerFriday is coming to us from Innis & Gunn out of Scotland, and I believe it's my first international beer to be featured. Innis & Gunn features a wide lineup of craft-focused beers as well as three brewpubs throughout Scotland.  

This particular beer from Innis & Gunn is their Bourbon Barrel Porter.  It comes in 4-packs of 12 ounce bottles, which I found recently at my local Rouse's store but should be in other stores around town with a good craft and international selection.  It's 7.4% with an undisclosed IBU, but I wouldn't expect too much hop pressence from a porter to begin with and even less after some barrel aging.  

Innis & Gunn's Bourbon Barrel Porter with a cameo from The Adorable Bentley.

The beer pours exactly how I would expect, a deep brown color with a finger or so of off-white head.  The aroma is sweet, with notes of toffee and chocolate, and just a hint of bourbon and the familiar vanilla notes.  The taste is incredibly smooth, layers of flavor including toffee, vanilla, dark chocolate, and bourbon, but none particularly stand out and dominate, giving it the complexity they claim, but maybe without a crazy amount of richness.  It's actually not a bad thing at all as too heavy in one facet or another could throw this well balanced beer completely out of whack.  

I know the USA tends to be thought of (with good reason) as the world leader when it comes to craft beer, but this offering out of Scotland shows that we aren't the only country putting out a quality product.  Cheers, enjoy your holiday weekend, and Geaux Tigers! 

Friday, August 24, 2018

Feature Beer Friday: Tin Roof's Dry-Hopped Saison

By Eric Ducote

Good morning once again, and welcome back to Feature Beer Friday here at Bite And Booze.  It's almost football season, which means a lot more #wakeywhiskey, but in the meantime there's always time for a beer or three.  It's been a few minutes (or months) since I featured Tin Roof Brewing, but they have some pretty good stuff on tap and available in cans right now, so I thought it was the perfect time to feature one of their newest brews, the Dry-Hopped Saison. This beer is currently available in 12 oz. cans from the taproom.

Tin Roof's Dry-Hopped Saison

This brew is Tin Roof's take on a traditional saison, then dry-hopped with Simcoe hops.  The color is a slightly hazy pale yellow with the fizzy extra bubbly head that is typical of a saison.  The initial aroma is powerful with piney resinous hops that hit me as soon as I crack the can open and get stronger as I pour.  The taste is unmistakably hoppy, but that farmhouse funk is strong as well, with a hint of a sour note and plenty of yeasty esters that distinguish the saison style.  It's only 5.5% abv which makes this a really easy drinker that's perfect for the hot rainy days we've been experiencing.  

This certainly isn't the flashiest beer around, but it's another excellent release from the rejuvenated Tin Roof Brewing Company. 

Friday, August 17, 2018

Feature Beer Friday: Eel River's Triple Exultation Barleywine

By Eric Ducote

Good morning again readers!  I hope everyone has been having a fantastic summer now that the "vacation" aspect is coming to a close.  The weather aspect... we'll still have a few months I'm sure.  I hinted at this week's Feature Beer already, and sure enough, here's the Triple Exultation Barleywine Style Ale from Eel River Brewing. This beer is the 2018 edition that I also found for a cheap $5.99 for a bomber at Rouse's, and it comes in at 9.7% and 80 IBU.  I talked a bit about Eel River in last week's post, so I'll jump straight into the review.

Eel River's Triple Exultation Barleywine style Ale

My first thought was that this is a bit on the dark side for a barleywine, I'm more used to seeing a copper to deep red color and this beer is more on the brown end of the spectrum. Upon first sip, there's not much flavor, and this comes across more like a big amber ale than a barleywine to me, but as it warmed up the beer opened up a great deal.  The barleywine characteristics started to come out like toffee and caramel notes from the strong malt backbone.  The hop presence was strong and bitter but not overpowering.  

After pulling this beer up on Eel River's page I see that it has previously been marketed as an Old Ale, so that makes more sense why I would initially feel it was on the bland side for a barleywine.  By the time I was done with the bomber I was really enjoying the Triple Exultation, especially for the price, so I'd recommend finding one, but be sure to let it warm up a few degrees before diving in. 

Cheers everyone!       

Friday, August 10, 2018

Feature Beer Friday: Eel River's Raven's Eye Imperial Stout

By Eric Ducote

Good morning everyone on another beautiful Friday!  Today's feature beer is coming from Eel River Brewing out of Humboldt County, California.  Eel River operates two facilities out there, a brewing and packaging facility as well as a brewpub and tasting room.  Eel River Brewing has been around for a good while, over 20 years, and has been distributed locally in limited quantities for many years as well.  I've never seen any of their flagships pop up, but I do often see the Raven's Eye Imperial Stout on shelves and used to drink plenty of it, always finding it to be one of the best offerings of the style regularly available.  I saw bombers of the 2018 Raven's Eye and the 2018 Triple Exultation Barleywine at Rouse's for $5.99 each, I didn't hesitate to grab one of each.  You can probably guess now what next week's feature beer is going to be... 

The Raven's Eye Imperial Stout is listed at 9.5% abv and 28.5 IBU, described by Eel River as, "Bold and creamy, with hints of dark chocolate and espresso, this roasty brew is balanced by aromas reminiscent of molasses and plums. Warm, festive and strong, Raven's Eye is also quite smooth."

Eel River's Raven's Eye Imperial Stout

The pour is exactly what an Imperial Stout should look like, a viscous dark brown with a frothy off-white head.  The aroma is boozy with chocolate flavors and hints of plum.  The taste is similar, roasty with more chocolate notes and definitely dark fruit flavors.  (I actually wrote those tasting notes in my phone before I looked at Eel River's own description!)  This is a full-bodied full-flavored fantastic Imperial stout at a great price.

If you see this one around town, don't hesitate, and if you see it at as good of a price as I found, you might want to buy one or two to age as well, as I could see this getting even better over time.  Cheers! 

Monday, August 6, 2018

Jay D's Bites: Roasted Carrot Hummus

by Liz Courville

This recipe for Roasted Carrot Hummus, inspired by Gov’t Taco’s “Magna Carrot” taco, is a fun and simple twist on something that’s delicious, nutritious and impressive. If you’re looking to spice up your hummus life (and you should be) – this recipe will be a hit! 

This hummus is savory, but slightly sweet at the same time thanks to the natural sweetness that the roasting brings out in the carrot. The Jay D’s Coffee/Chile Rub compliments the slightly sweet carrots, while adding a unique, spicy twist that in turn adds to the depth of flavor. Try it out and let us know what you think!

Roasted Carrot Hummus

vegan, gf

1 15 oz can of chickpeas, rinsed well
1 cup carrots, thinly chopped
½ cup tahini
½ cup lemon juice
2 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs tumeric powder
1 Tbs Jay D’s Coffee/Chile Rub
2 tsp garlic powder
Sea salt

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat chopped carrots in olive oil, sea salt and pepper then lay on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast the carrots for 15-20 minutes or until they're soft.
In a food processor, pulse and blend all ingredients until smooth. Enjoy!

Friday, August 3, 2018

Feature Beer Friday: Great Raft's Rhinestone Life Wheat NEIPA

By Eric Ducote

Hello again, another week, another Feature Beer Friday here at Bite And Booze.  Chuck keeps putting the bite in the blog, and I'll keep supplying the booze!  This week we're making our first FBF trip up to Shreveport, with an offering from Great Raft Brewing.  Great Raft Brewing was among the "second wave" of sorts of Louisiana craft beer, following Abita but now having been established for a number of years.  In addition to their flagship brews, Great Raft puts out some excellent sours, a number of collaborations, and some phenomenal hoppy offerings.  

Today's review is of their latest hoppy offering, the Rhinestone Life New England Style Wheat IPA.  By now I'm sure you're all aware that "New England Style" refers to the hazy trend that's dominating the IPA world and is often abbreviated as a NEIPA.  A lot of NEIPAs rely on flaked oats to create some additional body and haze, but the Rhinestone Life from Great Raft takes that up a notch by using wheat in addition to the oats and a base pilsen malt.  It's then hopped with a blend of Simcoe, Mosaic, and Citra.  

Great Raft's Rhinestone Life New England Style Wheat IPA

The first thing I noticed from this brew is a hazy orange-red color, definitely a deeper color palate than most beers of the style, which I can only assume comes primarily from the wheat in the grain bill.  The head is bubbly and white as you can see, and left some excellent lacing as I worked through the pint can.  The aroma is hoppy as expected, with the citra hops providing the bulk of the aroma that I pick up.  On the taste there is definitely some wheat malt providing a backbone of sweetness, but it's nicely complimented by the strong hop presence.  The mouthfeel is silky smooth thanks to the oats and the wheat and it really allows those hop flavors to meld together and stick around through each sip. 

Another well done beer from Great Raft, and I'm sure you'll see more of them on Feature Beer Friday in the future.  Cheers!  

Friday, July 27, 2018

Feature Beer Friday: Parish's Rêve Coffee Stout

By Eric Ducote

Yeah, we're back to Parish Brewing out of Broussard, LA, but that's because they keep putting out good local(ish) beer that's worthy of a mention here on Feature Beer Friday!  When you put out good beer that I can find easily enough in the Baton Rouge market (I picked up the Rêve Coffee Stout at Robert Fresh Market) then you're more likely to find a home in this corner of cyberspace. 

I think by now, you all know all about Parish Brewing, so I'll jump right into the beer itself, which Parish describes as, "This silky smooth coffee stout is created with a carefully selected blend of specialty grade estate beans from Columbia and Java. Our friends and coffee gods at Rêve have finished them to a city/full city roast to highlight the true character of the beans and their origin prior to addition to our export strength milk stout. Enjoy any time of day, this beer will drink like a delicious cold-brewed coffee.

Parish Brewing's Rêve Coffee Stout
The dark color is exactly what I'd expect from a coffee stout, and I'll certainly say that they NAILED the silky smooth part, as this beer drinks with one of the smoothest mouthfeels I can remember.  The coffee is definitely strong on the aroma, as well as hints of dark chocolate from the roasted malts.  The taste is more coffee, hints of vanilla, and even more slightly bitter roasted flavor, like a combination of roasted malts and bitter dark chocolate.  The milk sweetness gets lost in the other flavors but no doubt contributes mightily to the smooth mouthfeel which creates a beer that disappears from my glass far easier than the 7.2% abv should.  Before I could even finish my thoughts I was done with 12 ounces and left with a pleasant coffee & chocolate aftertaste, which just made me want to grab the next bottle! 

You might not think to reach for a dark beer in the middle of Summer, but don't pass up some of this Rêve Coffee Stout if you see it around town.  Cheers!  

Friday, July 20, 2018

Feature Beer Friday: Left Hand's Juicy Goodness

By Eric Ducote

Hello all, and welcome to another edition of Feature Beer Friday!  It's still really hot, so I'm coming to you all today with an easy drinking beer from Left Hand Brewing out of Longmont, Colorado.  Left Hand is probably best known for their Milk Stout and Nitro Milk Stout, which are both excellent, but that's not all they produce.  For this feature, I found a 6-pack of their Juicy Goodness, a dry hopped golden ale.  

First off, I'm glad they didn't call this a double dry-hopped beer, because you can't double dry-hop something unless there was a baseline of dry hopping to begin with!  A golden ale is a typically British style, characterized by a light body, low alcohol content, and a good bit of hoppy notes.  The closest style would be an American Pale Ale, which makes sense for a dry-hopped "juicy" beer.  This offering from Left Hand comes in at 5.5% abv and 29 IBU, and this particular can has a "best by" date of 9/15/18. 

Left Hand Juicy Goodness Dry-Hopped Golden Ale

I didn't find the appearance to be exceptionally hazy, but it's definitely golden in color, with grapefruit and passionfruit aromas from the Azacca, Ekuanot, and Comet hops used in the brewing process.  The taste initially has a bit of a biscuity malt taste before giving way to those tropical fruit flavors from the hops.  The biscuit notes make sense for a traditionally British golden ale style.  I don't know if they used British malts, but it tastes like it to me, and if not, maybe it's all in my head?  

In the end, I think this is another excellent summer offering for when the heat index is up over 100F and a cold beverage is in order.  Cheers!  

Friday, July 13, 2018

Feature Beer Friday: Sierra Nevada's Hazy Little Thing IPA

by Eric Ducote

Good morning everyone, and welcome to another Feature Beer Friday!  I hope you all enjoyed the NOLA Magical Brewery Beer Bus Tour recap last week, and I hope to include more event recaps in the future, but this week it's back to a beer review.  We're smack dab in the middle of Summer now, so while browsing the beer selection at my local store of choice recently I saw some of the Sierra Nevada Hazy Little Thing IPA... alright, sounds like a good refreshing but not over the top brew.  After checking the date (this 6-pack was brewed on 5/31/18) I added it to my cart, and now it's a feature beer here on the internet.

A little about Sierra Nevada... they are one of the grandfathers of the modern craft beer movement, starting from homebrewer Ken Grossman's homebrew store and opening in 1980 as a craft brewery.  Their standard Sierra Nevada Pale Ale was one of the three flagships and is often credited as the beer that really launched America's craft beer revolution.  The other two flagships, the Sierra Nevada Stout and Porter are still in production today as well, with largely unchanged recipes, but one thing that has led Sierra Nevada to thrive is their commitment to adapt to trends and styles, which is why you'll see them jumping on board the "haze craze" and putting out a beer like "Hazy Little Thing" when other established breweries might scoff at the idea of a hazy IPA. 

Sierra Nevada's Hazy Little IPA
Sierra Nevada's Hazy Little IPA

So, on to the beer... this is a new release from Sierra Nevada, they describe it as an "unfiltered, unprocessed IPA, straight from the tanks and into the can."  It's 6.7% abv, with 40 IBU, bittered with Magnum hops and finished with Citra, Comet, Simcoe, El Dorado, and Mosaic.  I'm not too familiar with Comet, but I am a huge fan of the other four, and would expect this to give a very complex hop character instead of a one-note citrus bomb. 

The pour is expectedly hazy... a little darker than some I've tried recently with more of an orange and gold color and a very bubbly head.  The aroma is a combination of grapefruit and dank notes, with the dank coming through a little stronger.  The taste is a lot of the same, with a combination of citrus, herbal, dank, and piney characters that create a fascinating departure from the hazy IPAs I've been drinking recently.  There's also a little more of a bitter finish, which I really enjoy and I find can be missing sometimes from the new-school NEIPAs.  

In all, excellent effort from Sierra Nevada on this one to blend some of the characteristics that we're used to seeing in a hazy IPA with some of the characteristics that we're used to seeing in a West Coast IPA.  It makes for an outstanding refreshing Summer beer option, or really any time of year.  Cheers! 

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Burgers With Chuck: Building Dreams at Burgersmith

by Chuck P

My love for crazy burger combinations isn’t a secret. Even though nothing beats a good ol’ fashioned classic burger, sometimes throwing on insane ingredients to create the ultimate Frankenstein of burger creations is just a fun and delicious thing to do.

On a recent trip to the OG Burgersmith in Lafayette, Jay and I were tasked with the challenge of each creating our own special burger for a social media video they were doing on Facebook. Jay and I are not known for turning down a food challenge, so we gladly accepted. But we’re not here to discuss Jay’s burger baby. I’m here to bring a completely absurd spectacle of gluttony, deliciousness and eventually, complete misery to life! *Thunder claps*

Ladies and gents, I give you the Chuck P Ballpark Burger:

Look at that beast of a sandwich. It’s beautiful and terrifying all at the same time. What would lead someone to even begin to imagine such a culinary artery clogger? Basically, I’m a glutton for punishment. I wonder what the kitchen staffs’ faces look like when my order comes in...

My burger is pretty easy to figure out. It’s everything you’d find at a baseball game piled on to one big monster of a burger. I started with the classic Smith patty and a slice of American cheese. From there, I added their signature hot dog cut right down the middle and placed on top. To top it off, I smothered it all with chili cheese fries and stuck it all in the middle of two pretzel buns. If only I could have added nachos somewhere on there...

Logistically, trying to eat this thing as a burger is a sloppy nightmare. It quickly turned into a fork and knife meal. As tasty as everything was, this eventually turned into one of my not so classic Chuck P creations. Even I have to admit defeat sometimes.

If you’re feeling adventurous then head over to Burgersmith and order this beast for yourself. Just remember to have a knife and fork at the ready...and napkins, lots of napkins.

Check out the mastermind behind the burgers in the podcast recorded at Burgersmith in Lafayette:

Friday, July 6, 2018

Feature Beer Friday: New Orleans Beer Tour Edition - Wayward Owl, Port Orleans, NOLA, Urban South

By Eric Ducote

Greeting beer lovers!  This past weekend I had the opportunity to join Jay Ducote, Matt Moscona, and Lee Feinswog on a Magical Brewery Beer Bus Tour of four New Orleans breweries.  The itinerary was set out as leaving from Tin Roof in Baton Rouge, then hitting up Wayward Owl, Port Orleans, NOLA Brewing, and Urban South prior to making out way back to Baton Rouge.  I have been to NOLA and Urban South a few times before, but I had never been to Wayward Owl or to Port Orleans, so when Jay gave me the invite I was happy to accept.  

The bus loaded up at Tin Roof, who was gracious enough to give us some low fills for the road, and the group (43 strong) made our way to I-10 East a few minutes ahead of schedule.  The tour package included two beers at each stop for everyone, but we were of course free to purchase additional beers and food along the way.  

Tin Roof for the ride.

Third Row representing!

Traffic was light for a late Saturday morning and we ended up rolling up to Wayward Owl a few minutes ahead of our anticipated arrival.  They were kind enough to open up early just for our tour and the drinking commenced!  Wayward Owl is a new stop for me, and my first impression was that they did a really excellent job with the space, an old theater that is now serving as both brewery and taproom.  I tried several beers here, including the You Drive Me Hazy DIPA, the Dance Between The Darkness Imperial Stout, and the Hopsurdity DIPA.  Probably not the best idea to start the tour with three beers over 7% abv, but these were the ones I really wanted to try!  

Wayward Owl's beer menu for the day.

Wayward Owl's space was originally the Gem Theater.

After a few rounds at Wayward Owl and a tour courtesy of Brewmaster Justin, it was off to Port Orleans, a relatively new brewery on Tchoupitoulas between Milan and Marengo.  This brewery is gorgeous, with a clean stylish taproom build out, an ample front porch with outdoor seating, and a large patio to one side with picnic tables and yard games.  It was too hot for anyone to really enjoy the outdoor spaces, but I know once Fall rolls around and the weather cools down, this place will be jumping indoors and out.  Being a bit of a hop lover I went for the Partly Cloudy With A Chance For Hops first, then moved on to a Blowout DDH IPA.  Of these two I preferred the Blowout, but the real hit was the third beer I tried, pour of their Barrel-Aged Offshore Chocolate Imperial Stout.  That one hit all the right notes with the richness of the stout, chocolate notes, and a boozy oaky vanilla flavor from the barrel aging.  

Port Orleans Brewing Company and Stokehold Restaurant.

Port Orleans' taproom.

The Port Orleans side patio, too hot for a crowd today.

Port Orleans is also home to the Stokehold restaurant, and some food was much needed.  After a quick browse I decided to get some mozzarella stuffed garlic bread to split with Jay, and it was amazing.  It was an excellent combination of buttery dough, garlic, mozzarella cheese, and a marinara for dipping.  This is without a doubt one of the best taproom food items I've ever tried, and I would probably order it again the next time I'm here.  

Mozzarella stuffed garlic bread from Stokehold and the Blowout DDH IPA.

After Port Orleans it was time for a quick jaunt just under a mile down Tchoupitoulas to NOLA Brewing, the elder statesman of the craft brewing renaissance in New Orleans.  I was especially excited to get to NOLA as I had heard great things about the No Strings Attached NEIPA that released last weekend.  It did not disappoint at all, hazy, juicy, hoppy and checking off every mark for a great NEIPA.  I also tried a Twins Basil, Twins! (that's an Austin Powers reference in case you missed it) which is a mixed fermentation sour with citrus and basil.  Although I did enjoy it, it was a little on the tart side for my tastes. 

NOLA Brewing Company

Like Port Orleans, NOLA also has a restaurant on premise, in this case McClure's BBQ, so Jay ordered up a BBQ sampler to split and we enjoyed some excellent ribs, brisket, chopped chicken, and pulled pork with some sides of macaroni and cheese and seasoned waffle fries.  Everything was delicious, but I think the baked mac & cheese stole the show a bit from the meats.  

The BBQ plate from McClure's and most of a No Strings Attached NEIPA.

After that bite and a crowler snag, it was time to continue another short distance down Tchoupitoulas to Urban South Brewery, a brewery making waves for itself with flavorful gose style ales and phenomenal NEIPA releases to go with their flagships.  Just like NOLA, Urban South released a hyped NEIPA the week before, so I was excited to get in and try some of the Soulstice, a collaboration with Parleaux Beer Lab.  Just like the No Strings Attached, this did not disappoint.  I finished off the evening with a Suitcase Full Of Sparks and then decided it was time to switch to water for the ride home, but not before snagging another crowler for later!

Urban South Brewery

Urban South's taproom was jumping this Saturday afternoon.

After a ride home full of Matt Moscona give-aways, it was back to Tin Roof and then back home, heavy a few crowlers and a souvenir glass.  

A couple of beers for later.

Souvenir glassware, never a bad thing! 

This was a really great time, I enjoyed hanging out with Jay, Matt, and Lee, and of course it was fantastic to see some new breweries and try some new beers all while having transportation taken care of.  There are plans for a repeat event in early 2019, so be on the lookout, and grab your spot before they are gone!