With all those Sazeracs and Absinthe Frappés to savor, drinking cocktails into the wee hours is a given in New Orleans. But it turns out the Big Easy is also a great city for craft-beer aficionados. Abita, for one, is synonymous with the city. It’s located 30 miles north of the hubbub, just over the lake in Covington, and has an inviting taproom to visit, where you can plop down at the bar over its killer root beer sweetened with Louisiana cane sugar, or a pint of specialties like Purple Haze lager brewed with raspberries, the dark brown Turbodog ale, or Wrought Iron IPA. Better yet, try the flight of four-ounce tastes, part of the guided half-hour tours. If the weather isn’t too muggy, unwind in the courtyard or beer garden. Old Rail Brewing Company in Mandeville, with its 13 taps, is also worth the French Quarter detour. From the owners of boisterous local beer bar the Barley Oak, it puts its house-made brews such as the Gandy Dancer Saison at the forefront, along with the likes of brisket Sloppy Joes and Irish Nachos. Nearby is Chafunkta Brewing Company, the husband-and-wife run enterprise that cranks out the cleverly named, petite collection of Voo Ka Ray IPA, Old 504 Porter, Kingfish Ale, and Bayou Blaze Irish red waiting to be sampled in the taproom.
Photo Courtesy of Chafunkta Facebook
Photo Courtesy of Abita website and featured photo courtesy of Old Rail