City Park Festival Grounds, 24 September 2016
We went to same event two years ago. Unfortunately we had to miss last year’s event as Fr. Jack had relatives in town. NOLA on Tap combines two of our favorite things: beer and dogs and as an added bonus it is for the ASPCA. Two years ago we spent most of our time with the commercial offerings as many were not yet available in Louisiana. We cannot recall a large homebrew contingent two years ago.
This year, our first impression was the huge line to get in. Two years ago we were able to just walk up and get tickets. Word on the street says that the line caused a lot of people to give up on the event before even getting inside. Luckily Large Marge bought tickets ahead of time, but it was still confusing as there was no protocol over the will-call line and the general admission line. Something new for us were the electronic wristbands where you paid in advance and one dollar = one bock. Most commercial beers were one bock, homebrews were two. “Rare” beers were three.
Commercial offerings were pretty standard for New Orleans: lots of local beers we have had many times before. It was difficult to find anything entirely new to try. Standouts included Elysian Space Dust IPA, IPAs from 10 Barrel (especially the Apocalypse) and old favorites from Gnarley Barley that we rarely see south of Lake Pontchartrain. We spent most of our time at the two homebrew tents.
The homebrewers seemed to be mostly local. Some tables were clearly marked and their beer names and styles prominently displayed, while others were more decorated and it was harder to tell what beers and/or styles they had on tap. Some tables had very long lines while others were empty: we found that there was little correlation between crowd and quality of the beer. Standouts for us include: Brewstock IPA, Dr. Infecto’s Gose, No Sobriety’s ESB, Crescent City Homebrewers ESB and Brewz Krewez Pale Ale.
Final thoughts: Large Marge was not a fan of the wristbands and the bocks as she felt the process was unnecessarily complicated. We liked the fact that the event had gotten so much bigger in two years. We were also impressed by the large selection of food vendors. Next year we will check out the raffles: somehow we missed them this time around. Our number one complaint: lack of Cavalier Spaniels and Irish Wolfhounds! Only spotted one Cavalier and zero (yes ZERO!) Wolfhounds.