3rd Annual Iron Brewer supporting the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank is Saturday February 28th

25 Feb

Brasseurs a la Maison, the largest homebrew club in Baton Rouge, is hosting their 3rd annual Iron Brewer event Saturday at Tin Roof Brewing. The event is a fundraiser for the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank, and promises to be bigger and better than ever. The inaugural event in 2013 took place on a Friday night, and the 10 teams that participated poured all their beer in less than an hour and a half, while collecting over 1,300 pounds of food for the food bank.

In 2014, the event moved to a Saturday afternoon, more teams were involved, and each team doubled the amount of beer they brewed from the previous year. The result was a more laid back afternoon of tasting beers, and nearly 2,200 pounds of food was collected for the food bank.

Naturally, year 3 brings more teams, more beer, and hopefully, more food for the food bank. The 2015 event will see teams from all corners of the state (two teams are coming all the way from Shreveport!), and there will be over 300 gallons of homebrew served.

But what is Iron Brewer, you may ask? Well, each team was assigned a specific Louisiana grown ingredient, and told to brew a beer that prominently features that ingredient. Some of the ingredients used were coffee, molasses, peaches, satsumas, sweet potatoes, rice, pecans, strawberries, local honey, and even oysters! My team was assigned pecans, and we decided to brew a pecan strong ale called The Wrath of Pecan. The beer is dark brown to ruby in color, very malty, and the pecans come through in both the aroma and flavor. Did I mention it’s 9% ABV? Our team went even further by aging 5 gallons of our beer on bourbon soaked pecans, which gives it a liquid praline character.

The event is free to the public, and runs from 1 until 4pm Saturday afternoon at Tin Roof Brewing. We ask that all attendees bring a non-perishable food item donation, which will allow them to vote on their favorite beer (which will no doubt be The Wrath of Pecan) for club bragging rights. But ultimately, this event is about collecting food and raising money for the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank, and what better way to do it than by spending a beautiful Saturday afternoon outdoors tasting some of the fantastic creations by the homebrewers in our state?

Iron Brewer 2015

Check out some pics from last year’s event!

IB1 2/15/14 Beer Festival 2/15/14 Beer Festival 2/15/14 Beer Festival 2/15/14 Beer Festival 2/15/14 Beer Festival 2/15/14 Beer Festival2/15/14 Beer Festival

Tin Roof Smiling Ivan Russian Imperial Stout releases officially today

25 Feb

Tin Roof Brewing is releasing their new Russian imperial stout, Smiling Ivan, today at The Bulldog in Baton Rouge. Smiling Ivan is a big stout, and is only the second beer Tin Roof has released in bottles, following the fall release of Rougarou imperial black ale. Smiling Ivan is available in waxed 22-ounce bottles with draft availability limited.

This bold stout pours jet black with a beautiful tan head. Notes of chocolate, caramel and coffee dominate the aroma, while the chocolate is particularly apparent on the palate. There’s also some dark fruit, with restrained roast and hops, making this an incredibly smooth stout on the finish, especially given the 10% ABV. The waxed bombers ensure that you’ll be able to age this beer for years to come, so grab a bottle to enjoy now and one to save for a special occasion.

If you can’t make the Bulldog tonight, the Tin Roof tap room will have Smiling Ivan on tap, and bottles should be hitting shelves in the coming days.

Personally, I think this is the best beer Tin Roof has produced to date, and having discussed it with a few others who have had the opportunity to taste Smiling Ivan, I’m not alone in that assessment.

Smiling Ivan

Left Hand Brewing to enter Louisiana later this year

19 Feb

I’m always excited when new breweries enter the state, and it seems that Left Hand Brewing Company will be one of the next big craft breweries to bring their beer to Louisiana. On Tuesday, buried in the comment section of this Facebook post, is a not-so-subtle reply from Left Hand that they will be coming to Louisiana later this year. I’ve heard some rumblings over the past few weeks, but this seems to be proof positive that they are committed. Obviously details, such as when and what distributors, are few at this point. But I’ll be happy as a clam when I can buy bottles of Left Hand Milk Stout Nitro from this Longmont, Colorado brewery over here. Hopefully they’ll bring their neighboring brewery (Oskar Blues) with them.

Left Hand Brewing

NOLA Brewing & Stone Brewing collaborate on Bringer of Destruction

10 Feb

Three years ago (dang, has it really been that long?) Stone Brewing came to New Orleans to collaborate on a Mardi Gras beer with NOLA Brewing. Pour Me Somethin’ Mistah was a hoppy imperial porter brewed with Steen’s molasses and satsuma peel. Stone and NOLA are now collaborating on a new beer, and it will make its debut at noon this Saturday at Avenue Pub.

Bringer of Destruction is an imperial West Coast style IPA that weighs in at 8.4% ABV, and features over two and a half pounds of hops per barrel. The hops featured in this beer are Belma, Vic Secret, Galaxy, Ella and Equinox, and according to NOLA, is the most hops they’ve ever put in one of their beers. This, of course, is sweet music to my ears. I fall squarely in the more-hops-is-better camp, so I can’t wait to give this one a try.

This one will see some limited distribution in the rest of the state, and as soon as I find out where, I’ll be sure to update here.

Bringer of Destruction

The Chimes mourns the passing of Tim Hood

9 Feb

The Chimes family of restaurants today mourns the passing of its owner, Mr. Tim Hood, after a long battle with cancer. On a personal level, The Chimes will always hold a special place in my heart. The LSU location is where my love affair with beer began in the mid to late 1990s, where I was able to meet friends and drink many different types of beer while eating some great food. My wife and I both went Around the World and have our names on the wall. Today, The Chimes has expanded to three locations (another in Baton Rouge and one in Covington), yet still remains the same: a family friendly and unpretentious atmosphere where you can grab a few beers, eat some great food, and relax. The beer selection has matured over time, and it’s still by far my favorite place to go drink a beer.

If you’re nearby one of The Chimes locations today, stop in. If not, pour some beer out in memory of a great man. Rest in peace, Mr. Tim.

The-Chimes

Craft beer events in Baton Rouge Thursday night

29 Jan

The stars are aligning for a full night of craft beer events here in the Capital City tonight. What’s going on, you ask? See below for the full schedule.

The Draft House downtown will tap one of two kegs the state got of Yalobusha Single Barrel Testify milk stout. Typically, barrel aged beers are blended from all the barrels, then kegged. However, this version was kegged from the barrel, so it will definitely be unique. The keg will be tapped at 4PM. Draft House will also have Yalobusha River Ale and Miss-iss-IPA on tap as well. If you miss out, Avenue Pub in New Orleans will tap the other keg on Saturday at 3PM.

Yalobusha Testify

At 5PM, Corporate Brew & Draft will tap a keg of Finch’s Stache in the Wood, their version of Secret Stache with vanilla beans aged in whiskey barrels, as well as the new Sobek & Set black IPA.

Finally at 6PM, Pelican House will tap a cask conditioned vanilla Naughty Quaker oatmeal stout from Abita.

Also, the taproom at Tin Roof will have their limited edition LHBC Milk Stout, Blonde Sugar Sex Magic, and Strawberry King Cake Killer on tap tonight.

LHBC Milk Stout

If you’re looking to try a new beer in Baton Rouge tonight, you have no shortage of options.

Abita Macchiato Stout Review

22 Jan

Last week I learned that Abita was bringing back their Select Series Macchiato Espresso Milk Stout in 22-ounce bottles. Yesterday, I came home to some beer mail from Abita with a bomber of this beer included. I had shared a bottle with my wife (shameless I Eat BR plug) last weekend, so I figured this would be a good time for a review.

Abita Macchiato pours a deep black color with a hint of brown when you hold it up to the light. There isn’t a lot of head, but I suspect that can be attributed to the espresso beans. The aroma is pure espresso. If you love the smell of coffee, you’ll love the smell of this beer. The taste of it follows suit. Lots of coffee, but with all the good characteristics and none of the bad. What does that mean? Well, it’s rich and full flavored with a touch of roast, but without the bitterness and astringency associated with a hot cup of joe.

The mouthfeel is on the thinner side, but not too thin. It drinks very easy and weighs in at only 6% ABV, which is enormously drinkable for a coffee stout. It’s sweet, but not too sweet and finishes easy.

This may be the best bottled Abita beer, period. It is great to see them expanding their horizons and brewing beers that are both accessible, as well as loved by beer geeks.

I’d easily give this beer 4.5 caps out of 5. Go find some bombers of this beer. I believe it retails for less than $5 per bomber, making it a great value in the world of 22-ounce bottles.

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