When you live in a city as hot as New Orleans, beer that's like water is actually considered to be a GOOD thing... but sometimes it's still nice to hydrate with something that's got a little flavor, so we perused NOLA's finest craft beer spots, and power-ranked them for your pleasure:
6) Crescent City Brewhouse 527 Decatur St.; 504.522.0571
Not a craft bar as much as it is a brewery with a restaurant attached, CCB makes the list mostly because their house brew is crafted in small batches, and conforms to the Bavarian Purity Law of 1516. Also, the guy that makes it is a German dude named “Wolfram,” which you have to admit is pretty rad.
5) d.b.a. 618 Frenchman St.; 504.942.3731
Okay, so d.b.a. might have started off in Yankeeville New York and migrated down to New Orleans. Big deal. It's been nativized now, and this town is the better for it. Their draught selection may not be as impressive as some of these other spots (hence it's in at five), but it’s got a solid 20 taps, not to mention the fact that it's one of the best places in the city to catch a live show.
4) Abita Brew Pub 72011 Holly St.; 985.892.5837
One of the best and largest homegrown breweries, any list such as this couldn’t ignore the Brew Pub in Abita Springs because you can uniquely sample draught versions of all of their offerings -- from favorites like Amber, Turbodog and Purple Haze to seasonals and harvest ales -- in one spot. Plus, they brew up some good food, too.
3) Cooter Brown’s Tavern 509 S. Carrollton Ave.; 504.866.9104
Cooter’s has always been a great place to knock back some raw oysters, but their vast beer menu takes it from a good spot to a great spot, with a stunning variety of international brewskis ranging from Slovakian Golden Pheasant, to Brazilian Xinghu, to Canada's Elephant Red, which ironically can make you forget.
2) The Bulldog 3236 Magazine St.; 504.891.1516
Say what you will about the jocular nature of the crowd at the Bulldog (as well as their dogs... and there are always dogs), it takes the number two spot here. Not just because of the selection (which is vast, at 160 and counting, incl. vaunted rarities like Mikkeller, and Clown Shoes), but because their draught beer never touches air until it reaches your glass, since the lines are pumped with CO2 and nitrogen. Not to mention the fact that they use a $5000 dishwasher & a detergent specifically designed to clean pint glasses.
1) The Avenue Pub 1732 St. Charles Ave.; 504.586.9243
Easily taking the blue ribbon is the Avenue, the sine qua non of craft beer temples in the city, if not the state (and we’ll throw in Mississippi and Arkansas, too. And Delaware, because what are they gonna do about it?). With 40 brews on draught and more than triple that by the bottle, you’d be hard-pressed not to find something to satisfy even the nerdiest of beer nerds. Do they have Evil Twin Imperial Biscotti Break? Southern Tier Creme Brulee Stout? Green Flash Citra Session? Yes, yes, and yes.
1. Crescent City Brewhouse527 Decatur St, New Orleans
2. d.b.a.618 Frenchmen St, New Orleans
3. Abita Brew Pub & Grill72011 Holly St, Abita Springs
4. Cooter Brown's Tavern & Oyster Bar509 S Carrollton Ave, New Orleans
5. The Bulldog Uptown3236 Magazine St, New Orleans
6. The Avenue Pub1732 Saint Charles Ave, New Orleans
This place was the first brewpub in Louisiana, constructed in a historic two-story building in the French Quarter. The 17-barrel brewery turns out small batches of its four signature beers, and the food menu combines traditional local ingredients with modern tweaks.
This music club features performances by local and regional acts every night of the week, and all tickets are first come, first serve. When you're not nodding your head to some tunes, you can partake in the killer selection of wine, cocktails and draft beers that's available. Or you can do both at the same time, whatever.
This full-service restaurant is located in the building where Abita brewed and bottled its beers until 1994. With more than 15 different beers on tap, including seasonal varieties and guest beers, this is definitely a place for beer-lovers to congregate.
This bar and eatery has more than 400 varieties of domestic and imported bottled beers, as well as 60 different beers on tap. There are also 17 flat-screen TVs and two eight-foot drop-down screens, displaying many different sports packages via satellite.
Bulldog is a low-key tavern on the corner of Magazine and Pleasant with a vast beer selection and a popular, dog-friendly patio (hence the name). The neighborhood watering hole boasts 48 mostly craft and local beers on draft and more than 100 bottled, plus a pub menu of burgers, seafood, and signature dishes like crawfish banditos and Tex-Mex eggrolls. It's the ideal lineup for the fans who pack the place during football season thanks to Bulldog's many flat-screens. But, if you're not crazy about sports, the twinkle-lit, brick-walled patio is worth a visit, offering a gorgeous and relaxing spot to people-watch on one of the most popular thoroughfares in the city.
Located in the Lower Garden District, this American craft beer pub is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The tap list is heavy on one-and-done offerings with enough rarities to keep the beer nerds at bay, while the bottle list is about as thick as a small-town phone book, offering up everything from Belgian farmhouses to all-American IPAs, all of which taste considerably better when paired with the famous bechamel and pork Dump Truck Fries.