Get a Taste of New Orleans at the City’s Best Breweries

From trendy beer gardens to state-of-the-art taprooms.

When you conjure up images of drinking in New Orleans, neon to-go cups on Bourbon Street, refreshing frozen drinks, and classic cocktails like the Vieux Carre and Sazerac undoubtedly take center stage. But here's a little secret: Nestled within this captivating city lies an entire universe of craft beer waiting to be discovered. Despite its reputation as a party mecca, New Orleans boasts a collection of truly exceptional and distinctive boutique breweries. Many of these establishments offer an inviting, laid-back beer garden ambiance that's tailor-made for basking in the sun-soaked summer vibes. We've scoured the city to bring you eight hidden gems where you can kick back, savor a frosty brew, and while away a lazy afternoon.

Selling beer from the taproom of a brewery only became legal in Louisiana about a decade ago, according to Brieux Carré owner Robert Bostick who opened his establishment in 2017. The brewery offers a wide selection of brews but specializes in lager. “Our head brewer, Charles, is a Czech lager nerd. And honestly, after trying any of our lagers on tap, you'll be a believer as well,” he says. Located just off Frenchman Street’s popular corridor, Bostick says he’s aiming to create a “watering hole for locals whilst being a comfortable home base for anyone visiting from out of town.” Besides the brews, you’ll also find a variety of food offerings and regular events.

Crescent City Brewhouse

French Quarter

This upscale microbrewery is housed in a two-story space with an onsite restaurant offering modern Louisiana fare with both indoor and outdoor seating plus nightly live jazz. Crescent City Brew House is located in the heart of the tourist hub of New Orleans, the French Quarter. It’s home to a 17-barrel state-of-the-art facility. Founder and brewmaster Wolfram Koehler carries on his family's German brewing tradition, creating an award-winning selection of world-class beer.

This brewery features a three-barrel brewing system and specializes in IPAs and Saisons. Located just outside the French Quarter in the Uptown district of New Orleans, the establishment offers patrons an ad-hoc relaxed beer garden and a frequently updated tap list. Brews include historic-based recipes such as the “Interwar Stout” from the 1930s. Food offerings are available from frequent pop-up food trucks.

Miel Brewery & Taproom

Irish Channel

Miel means “honey” in Spanish and that ingredient is incorporated into the ingredients in some of the brews at this Irish Channel establishment. Owners Alex Peyroux and Janice Montoya opened the doors to Miel in 2018 with the aim of building a place where the community could come together to enjoy the craft beers of their labor. “We brew with local ingredients, strive for sustainability, and introduce beers inspired by flavors of Central America and Latin culture,” said Montoya. Besides some tasty American and German lagers, they also offer some unique brews like the Flor de Jamaica Hibiscus Gose which is brewed with cinnamon and pink sea salt.

This six-year-old brewery is located in the trendy Bywater district of New Orleans. “We have over a dozen citrus trees, fig trees, mulberries, and garden beds growing an array of edible plants. A good portion of our beer garden is draped in hanging muscadine vines,” says owner and head of fermentation Eric Jensen. This little oasis offers a range of pilsners inspired by Czech, German, American, Italian, and Southern Hemisphere brews. “Almost all of our barrel-aged wild beers use fresh, local seasonal farm fruits,” Jensen says.

Port Orleans Brewing Co.

Irish Channel

This neighborhood brewery is located to the west of the Irish Channel district in New Orleans. The inspiration for the start of this establishment was the weather, according to Chase Guillory, director of marketing and communications. “When it’s 100% humidity almost 100% of the time, beer is important,” he says. The brewery offers crushable brews, boozy sodas, and a taco shop on site. The establishment also offers regular social events such as a Thursday night trivia and a Saturday concert series.

Just a short walk from the streetcars on Canal Street, Second Line Brewing offers a family and pet-friendly beer garden where you can sample a variety of both large-batch beers or a small-batch series that’s only available from Second Line’s taproom. The venue was established in 2014 by a group of friends and it's a proud woman-, veteran-, and minority-owned business offering brewery tours, a rotating diary of food trucks, and trivia nights on Mondays and Wednesdays.

Urban South Brewery

Lower Garden District

Just to the south of the historic oak trees and heritage mansions of the Garden District in New Orleans is an industrial area filled with old factory buildings and warehouses. Urban South Brewery is an unexpected gem from the outside, but inside is a colorful, fun atmosphere where you can find a number of brews on tap. The brewery features a large selection of beverages such as popular American lagers, Mexican lagers, ales, and rum sours. You can also enjoy a famous New Orleans crawfish boil every weekend along with a variety of other events.

Ree Winter is a Thrillist contributor.