This past Saturday, NOLA Brewing hosted a huge bottle share that was organized by fellow beer blogger, The Beer Buddha. I made the drive down from Baton Rouge with a couple buddies, for what turned into an epic event. We each packed several hard to find beers to share with the rest of the group. Upon our arrival at around 5:30, we found a dozen or so people already there, including Kirk Coco, president of NOLA Brewing and Anne-Catherine Dilewyns, head brewer at Brouweij Dilewyns in Belgium, as well as Nora McGunnigle, author of Nora’s Beer Blog and Gambit Magazine contributor.
I had previously gotten word that Kirk was looking for a Russian River Pliny the Elder, and since I had one in my beer fridge, I was happy to oblige. He promptly cracked it open, poured a couple tastes of it then shared with others in the group.
As more and more people arrived, the idea was to just bring out different bottles of beer and let everyone pour what they wanted to try. The sheer number of unbelievable beers was staggering. There were so many wonderful bottles of beer, most of which are hard to find, especially here in Louisiana. I got to try small tastes of a lot of great beer, and I had to pass on so many other epic brews, either because I had already tried them or that I just didn’t need to drink too much.
There were too many great beers to name, but there were a few standouts on the night. The two best beers in my opinion were the Cigar City Apple Brandy Barrel Aged Hunahpu Imperial Stout and the G00se Island 2009 Bourbon County Brand Stout. But there were a ton of other wonderful beers from The Bruery, Jester King, Ironfire, New Glarus and others. Some other highlights for me were The Lost Abbey Deliverance, Funkwerks Tropic King, Avery Twenty, Knee Deep Batch 138 IPA, DuClaw Retribution, Schlafly Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout (2010), and The Bruery Smoking Wood Rye Whiskey Barrel Aged.
I also got to try a sample from a NOLA test batch called Smokin’ Flanders, which presumably will be from their forthcoming barrel project line. They also had their Irish Channel Stout aged in rum barrels on tap in the tasting room.
I also met Scott Wood from The Courtyard Brewery and got a sample of his #allthehops, an American Strong Ale, which was delicious. He also had some really nice things to say about my homebrewed black IPA, The Devil’s Black, which I brought a growler of to share. I was really happy that so many other people had great things to say about it, and it confirms my thoughts that I made a pretty damn good beer.
Oh, and thanks to Nora for sharing a bottle of her Cinco de Mild beer, brewed on 5/5, with me. I can’t wait to crack it open and give it a try.
Big thanks to NOLA for hosting, The Beer Buddha for organizing, and to all the beer geeks who brought some amazing beers to share with their brethren. I really look forward to the next one of these. Enjoy a few of the pics I took from the bottle share below.