Nora McGunnigle

Good Beer Comes to The Big Easy

The tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina has inspired a spate of stories about New Orleans’ revival. One story, by Nora McGunnigle, describes how her hometown has finally developed a taste for craft beer.

There are multiple theories as to why craft beer got off to such a slow start, including stringent zoning restrictions, inconsistent state regulations, and, especially, the perception that beer was just a thirst-quencher. What reversed that trend was food, which Louisiana is famous for. People have discovered that good beer not only has flavor, but also pairs well with the local cuisine.

In the ten years since the storm, breweries have opened across southern Louisiana. NOLA Brewing was the first production brewery to open in New Orleans proper after the storm. The second, Courtyard Brewing, opened last year. Meanwhile, the city’s beer bars have discovered that there’s a demand for good beer, and its restaurants have started to offer beer-friendly menus.

The Friday Mash (NASCAR Edition)

Sixty-six years ago today, the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing was formed in Daytona Beach, Florida. Today, NASCAR is second only to the National Football League in television ratings and has more Fortune 500 corporate sponsors than any other sport.

And now….The Mash!

We begin in western North Carolina, where the new Sierra Nevada brewery has started brewing IPA. It will start shipping to distributors this spring, and open to the public in August.

It looks like a stout, but Morning Beer by a Sacramento roaster is actually a nitrogenated coffee. It’s alcohol-free, so you can enjoy it on your way to work.

Think you’re the ultimate beer geek? If so, send a video to the Firestone Walker Brewing Company. The lucky winner will get four VIP tickets to the sold-out Invitational Beer Festival.

The All-American Food Truck & Craft Beer Rally took place in Huntsville, Alabama, on Wednesday. Food trucks are showing up at more and more festivals on our calendar.

Your purchase of Flying Dog Ales’ Pearl Necklace Oyster Stout helps fund the brewery’s effort to plant oysters in Chesapeake Bay. Flying Dog expects to plant two million this year.

It’s almost Mardi Gras season in New Orleans. If you’re going, local writer Nora McGunnigle tells where you can find good beer in the Crescent City.

Finally, we recently told you about beer concentrate. Now the folks at Gizmodo.com have tried it straight, and say it “bombards your taste buds with a rotting symphony of flavors not meant for consumption.”

The Friday Mash (Smokey the Bear Edition)

On this day in 1944, Smokey the Bear made his debut. He has appeared on radio programs, in comic strips, and in cartoons. The federal government, which owns the rights to Smokey, has collected millions in royalties and used them to educate people about forest fire prevention.

And now…The Mash!

We begin in Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, where booze is a no-no and the young and fashionable are gravitating to alcohol-free beer.

If you missed the Beer Bloggers Conference, New Orleans writer Nora McGunnigle has a full report. She was impressed by the welcome given by local brewers Sam Adams and Harpoon.

The Princeton Review has released its list of top party schools, and the University of Iowa is ranked first, followed by UC Santa Barbara, Illinois, West Virginia, and Syracuse.

The summer has been cold and wet in much of the country, but weather doesn’t fully explain light beer’s drop in popularity. A growing number of drinkers are getting tired of its taste.

Fort Collins, Colorado’s “other” major craft brewery is the Odell Brewing Company. Although it’s the nation’s 33rd-largest, and about to get much bigger, it remains a low-key operation.

The U.S. Postal Service hopes to get badly-needed revenue by shipping beer and other alcoholic beverages. First, Congress has to repeal a 1909 law making it illegal to send booze by mail.

Finally, Martyn Cornell, The Zythophile, serves up five facts about India pale ale you might not have known. Fact number one: a century and a half ago, people drank their IPA ice-cold.

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