The Pelican State of Louisiana is famous for its gastronomy, especially the Cajun cuisine which utilises fresh local ingredients to produce some very distinctive textures and flavours.
Louisiana also has some great breweries, both big and small, so here is a selection to try on the great Louisiana Beer Trail:
Abita Brewing, Covington
The Abita Brewery is the oldest and largest craft brewer in the southeastern U.S. Abita Amber, Turbodog and Purple Haze make up three of the company’s flagship brands. Another favourite is Abita Andygator, a German-style helles doppelbock that packs a punch at eight percent alcohol by volume. The beer has a malty backbone with a flavour that is as distinctive as Louisiana cuisine.
Bayou Teche Brewing, Arnaudville
Teche is the word for “snake” from the Chitimacha tribe and the flagship beer is Bière Pâle. Classified by the brewery as a Louisiana Pale Ale, this is the beer they designed to pair with all local cuisine. Using Belgian malts and American hops and yeast, it is a unique brew that represents Acadiana. Other beers from the brewery include Passionné, a wheat beer with the bright citrus flavour of passion fruit; Bière Noire, with French roast coffee flavours; and Boucanée, which is highlighted by the essence of cherry smoke.
Chafunkta Brewing Company, Mandeville
Their two flagship beers, Voo Ka Ray IPA and Old 504 Coffee Porter. Both beers have been a huge hit on Louisiana’s Northshore. Voo Ka Ray IPA uses a late-hopping brewing technique to draw out the flavors and aroma of the hops without excessive amounts of bitterness. Old 504 is a robust coffee-infused vanilla porter. It packs plenty of flavor with a dark body while remaining easy to drink.
Tin Roof Brewing Company, Baton Rouge
Only a block away from the Mighty Mississippi, there are three beers available year-round: Tin Roof Blonde Ale, Perfect Tin Amber Ale and Voodoo Bengal Pale Ale. Brewed from June to August, Watermelon Wheat uses Louisiana watermelons to create a refreshingly light and well-balanced brew. Additional seasonal beers come in the fall with the Parade Ground Coffee Porter and in the spring with the Juke Joint IPA.
Parish Brewing Company, Broussard
The company’s flagship brew is Canebrake, a refreshing wheat ale brewed with Steen’s Cane Syrup from nearby Abbeville. In 2012 Parish released the first version of their Grand Reserve, an annually released bottle-conditioned barley wine. Parish Envie, an American pale ale, is also on the market as Parish’s second full-time brew. Envie is a Cajun word for “craving.”
Covington Brewhouse, Covington
The brewery makes German-style beers with names like pilsner and bock. The Covington Collection comprises Pontchartrain Pilsner, Bayou Bock and Strawberry Ale. The Seasonal Collection includes Festbier Oktoberfest from September to November.