Brew Dogs: New Orleans

brew dogs new orleans swamp beer

Brew Dogs makes its inevitable trip to New Orleans, a town with a long but spotty history of craft beer brewing.

To honor the history of New Orleans and its spirit of rebuilding, James and Martin set out to revive a dead beer, which is called a “resurrection beer.” Their first stop is Nola Brewery (New Orleans Lagers and Ales). After tasting a sour beer, they focus on the Peterman as a potential candidate to rise from the dead—a sour, Belgian wheat beer.

Whose stupid idea was it to use swamp water for beer brewing? I mean, seriously? Why? That’s just disgusting. Gators poop in that water! Good luck with that, boys.

Mayhaw, what are mayhaws? Apparently they are things that old people like since two adorable folks serve James and Martin mayhaw jelly over pound cake. The old guy who looks suspiciously like George Dubya takes James and Martin out to the orchard to pick some unripened mayhaw fruit. It looks like a large berry crossed with a nut and from the faces they are making, does not taste much better.

Next stop is a voodoo princess, or priestess. I’m not sure which, but she’s dressed all in white so I’m thinking there’s a marriage in her future. Well, at least it’s still before Labor Day. Anyway, the boys need her help if they’re going to raise a beer from the dead. Jars are opened, spells are spoken, and for some reason James wants to put a creepy ball of dust and twine called the Rose Of Jericho in the beer. I’m sure that won’t taste at all disgusting.

Listicle time! The top five craft beer bars in New Orleans are:

5. Cooter Brown’s Tavern & Oyster Bar

4. Pearl Wine Co.

3. The Bulldog (yes, there is a bulldog in the bar)

2. D.B.A.

1. The Avenue Pub (40 beers on tap, which I’m pretty sure is a lot)

Sainte Marie is the location for a food and beer pairing, because where there’s beer, there’s food. Or at least that ought to be the law. But first, bribes are offered. I mean, it is New Orleans. There’s beef tartar with a mole sauce that is paired with a malty beer, and shrimp and grits paired with an IPA. Finally, a beef broth with soft boiled egg, ramen noodle, beef, and shrimp. It is paired nicely with a beer that uses all French ingredients, which just sounds weird.

It’s off to the swamp to resurrect a beer. Oh thank goodness, they are going to purify the swamp water. Using one of those swamp river boats that looks like it has a giant fan on the back which the Googles tells me is an airboat. So. Swamp water goes in, something not quite resembling fresh water comes out. While the mash is resting, James and Martin are taken on a tour of the swamps. Aaaaand their boat gets stuck. Oh hi, alligator! Please don’t eat the hosts. Martin hops on the boat as it starts up again, but James gets stuck in the swamp. For real, I think, because they left him with a producer and a very unsettling gathering of insects. He eventually gets picked up by the camera boat without even losing a limb, so all is well.

The top five craft breweries in Louisiana are:

5. Crescent City Brewhouse

4 Gnarly Barley Brewing (you can skateboard while drinking!)

3. Abita Brewing (a New Orleans classic)

2. Tin Roof Brewing

1. Bayou Teche Brewing

Finally, James and Martin take a preliminary sip of their golden brew. Nobody gets sick from the swamp water, but there’s still time. After the beer has fermented for two weeks, the crowd gets a taste. Of course they love it, I mean they’re probably already drunk!

Next week is the season finale which takes on the glittery, star-filled city of Los Angeles.

Reprinted from

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