Delachaise is a very special find in New Orleans. Located on Saint Charles Ave. in Uptown New Orleans, this local wine bar features a great selection of wine, craft beer and small plates. It is nicely appointed with a long wood bar, booths and chairs on the inside and a patio along Delachaise St. and overlooking Saint Charles Ave. outside, where strung lights and brightly coloured chairs add to its charm. Grab a seat at the bar and talk to the Parisan bar tender before it gets too busy. In addition to its capacious wine selection they offer a carefully considered craft beer menu with 6 taps and 30 bottles. We enjoyed the Lindemans Lambic Frambroise and the New Belgium Fat Tire amber ale as a starter with the Coriander-crusted duck breast, pork and Mediterranean apricot terrine. The Ommegang Hennepin farmhouse saison paired like heaven with the Shrimp Clemenceau - Louisiana jumbo shrimp in golden Thai curry sauce with crimini mushrooms, peas and brabant potatoes. If you have the time take the street car there and hop off at Louisiana. This appears to be a popular spot for locals and before long it quickly fills up with residents and students from Loyola University looking for a more sophisticated evening out.
The Avenue Pub in New Orleans offers a great selection of beer when it’s not Mardi Gras. They pull the high abv stuff off the menu so the revellers don’t kill themselves. We tried to visit late afternoon on Wed. and were told to come back as they were madly cleaning up the mardi gras after-math. When we did get in, the menu consisted of the safer options and most of the beer was $3 a pint so they could put their usual offerings back on. When we returned on Thurs. things seemed back to normal and we enjoyed Thornbridge Hall Kipling and Evil Twin Yang. This is the place in New Orleans.
We are taking in the wonderful and wacky sites of New Orleans during Mardi Gras with beer in hand. As Canadians we feel it our duty to take full advantage of drinking in the streets because we could never do this at home. We started the day in the French Quarter and took in the people and the architecture. A pass down Bourbon Street didn’t disappoint with early signs of bad decision-making and balcony bead throwing. Just a few blocks away, the Lundi Gras Festival at Woldenberg Park offered a much tamer approach to celebration. Throughout, we had beer to guide our journey - Abita Amber, Crescent City Pilsner and for a palette cleanser, we tried the Hurricane. On our way back to the hotel we headed into Rouse’s Market where a decent selection of craft beer quickly filled up our beer fridge. We returned to the celebrations, after layering up for the cold front which has turned the city back into winter overnight, to enjoy the Porteus and Orpheus Parade. Three hours later, hypothermic and heavy from our beads, we are now cozy in our beds with our beer and are calling it a day.
Happy Lundi Gras from New Orleans. Today the party starts at 10 am. Last night we hit Frenchmen street running with some dancing to live music by the Palmetto Bug Stompers and the Wild Magnolias (featuring Big Chief Monk Boudreaux and Bo Dollis Jr.) at d.b.a., and more live music at the cozy Apple Barrel. We sampled NOLA Brewing’s offerings with the Grapefruit IPA, Blond Ale, Black Strap Chicory Milk Stout (collaboration with New Belglium) and some walking around the streets beer, Mecha Hopzilla IPA. This city knows how to throw a party.
Recently I tried two very good beers from Oregon which need to be reported on here before my next trip down to Portland, which is soon (it’s the administrator in me).
Insider IPA from Crux Fermentation Project in Bend is an interesting American IPA. The brewery has a particular focus on experimenting with non-tradtional brewing methods, brews small batches, and bottles and labels everything by hand. You know from looking at it that the beer is special. Insider IPA uses three kinds of malts (PNW pale, Munich, Pils) which gives it a copper and gold colour, spicy Sterling hops, and Ballentine yeast, which needs more research on my part, as it is definitely making something happen with this beer. I’ll pick up more to try from this experimental brewery.
North VII is an Imperial Belgian-inspired IPA from Fort George Brewery in Astoria. Part of The North Series, this 2013 edition of their winter seasonal is aged in Kentucky Bourbon American oak barrels. There is a Belgianesque aroma and spiciness mixing with bourbon and oak layers and a lingering “flowery lupulin magic” finish. A nice Saturday night beer.