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Past and present of local brewing comes to life in New Orleans Beer

Enjoying New Orleans Beer the way it should be read
Enjoying New Orleans Beer the way it should be read
Mark Burlet

There is history in this town... and it's not just restaurants and cocktails.

That's what you learn by reading the recently released "New Orleans Beer - A Hoppy History of Big Easy Brewing" by Jeremy Labadie and Argyle Wolf-Knapp. The authors - Jeremy, a celebrated local beer blogger known as "The Beer Buddha" and Argyle, an astute historian and tour guide - have distinctively different styles, but blend well to present the full (and often quickly changing) landscape of the brewing history of this city, once the beer capital of the South.

The timeline, much like the character of this city, is laid out by neighborhood, following each slice of town as major events such as the Civil War, Prohibition, and Katrina (as well as simple economics) reshape the brewing scene on a regular basis. There are many strands to follow, as brewers move and rebuild and rename throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, but the culmination of this continuous expansion and retraction has led us through the dark ages to the current period of amazing growth. This is all covered inside the 100 pages or so of the book... and it is this part that is most exciting to me:

The history of New Orleans brewing is far from over.

So pick up a copy, perhaps down at the Garden District Book Shop at Prytania and Washington, and celebrate the past, present, and (most importantly) future of this incredible beverage in the Crescent City. If you think all beer in New Orleans started with Abita (or even Dixie), you may learn a thing or two.

Drink (and read) well, my friends!

Mark Burlet
Drunken Intellectual