3001 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA
Our second visit, but the first since the opening of their new tap room/restaurant. Tap room is on two levels with a full bar on the ground floor and a smaller bar on the second level offering around a half-a-dozen beers. Decor is reminiscent of a Applebee’s: looks like it could be anywhere in the US of A except for the alligator heads wearing Mardi Gras beads. Seating seemed at a premium on the ground floor thanks to the restuarant, but we had no problems finding space on the second floor. Small tables on the first floor with bar seating, bigger tables and bar seating on the second level. Balcony seating offered a lovely view of Tchoupitoulas St and railroad tracks/whaf across the street.
Beer selection included all of NOLA’s distributed beers plus offerings we have not seen elsewhere. We tried Hogtied, Two Lane Hwy, Wharf Series #1, and Sauvage: Brett Pale Ale. The Hogtied was a Belgian wit with coriander and satsuma peel, though we would not have guessed that it was a white beer. It tasted a bit heavier and wasn’t as spicy as expected. Two Lane Hwy is a German-style wheat that was light and refreshing. Wharf Series #1 is a sour beer that was rather subdued, but very enjoyable. Sauvage is probably the weirdest pale ale we’ve ever had – in a good way!
So the first time we went to NOLA, a year or so ago, we expected a tour and did not get one. In fact, when we asked about a tour, they looked at us like they’d never heard the word before. This time we weren’t expecting a tour, and suddenly they were calling out that one was starting in ten minutes! Our tour guide was Rob and he took us through the warehouse to see the boil kettle, lauter tun, fermenters, grain mill, and then onto the production side of business. The tour was very informative and funny. We stayed behind, naturally, to ask more detailed questions about the brewing and the background of the company. It was absolutely one of the better tours we’ve had. NOLA is still owned primarily by one person, with some investors. And despite being some of the better beers in the state, their distribution is not widespread yet.