Mandeville’s Chafunkta Brewing will officially release their two hand crafted ales on the Northshore tomorrow. The first of two release parties will be held beginning at 7:00 Thursday evening at The Barley Oak, the beautiful craft beer bar in old Mandeville that overlooks Lake Ponchartrain. A similar release party will be held Friday night at the Mellow Mushroom in Covington.
Chafunkta will have there two flagship beers available, and both are fantastic. Voo Ka Ray IPA, which weighs in at 7.5%, is a wonderfully aromatic and flavorful ale that avoids the extra back end bitterness of many IPAs by way of lots of late hopping. This allows the nice malt backbone to balance the hops on the front, and creates a really drinkable IPA.
At 6.0%, Old 504 is a coffee-infused robust vanilla porter that is just fantastic. The balance between the coffee and vanilla is absolutely perfect and, in my opinion, is one of the absolute best beers brewed in Louisiana. This one was a hit at last weekend’s Zapp’s Beer Fest, and I’m excited to have it again.
I really applaud Chafunkta’s choices for their first two releases. These are big flavorful beers that I think people will really enjoy. You can really tell owner Josh Erickson is a beer lover by these two choices, and I’m glad he went this direction. I can’t tell you how many people told me after trying Old 504 at Zapp’s that they don’t really like dark beer, but that coffee vanilla porter was awesome and may change their minds about other dark beers. That’s what I really love to hear. It’s all about changing people’s perception of what beer really is, and Chafunkta is leading the charge in Louisiana!
I’m headed to the release party tomorrow night at The Barley Oak along with fellow beer blogger Eric Ducote of BR Beer Scene. We should also see our friends from Gnarly Barley Brewing out there supporting Chafunkta as well, which is just so cool to me.
Look for Chafunkta’s brews on draft only on the Northshore for now. Hopefully they’ll be able to up their production eventually and distribute to other markets in south Louisiana.