New Orleans is renowned for its love of libations, so it’s no surprise the craft beer trend has taken off in the city. Showcase the Big Easy’s burgeoning beer scene at your wedding with a craft beer bar featuring the city’s most delicious local offerings. Forget the ubiquitous Anheuser-Busch products in favor of choice selections from breweries across the Crescent City.
The craft beer world is vast, so have fun when making your selections.
“Unless you have a crazy brand loyalty, mix up the breweries,” Kirk Coco, owner of NOLA Brewing says. “Most craft beer drinkers like a lot of different types of beers, so I think variety in type and brand is important. More and more people are choosing craft beers [at their weddings] or at least [as] an option because more people are drinking it in general.”
With the wide range of flavors, breweries and types, the field can seem overwhelming. But this is to your advantage because you can make the bar highly customizable to your tastes. (And taste-testing brews is a great way to blow off wedding planning steam.) Be adventurous when making choices for the final bar, but also include some tried-and-true standbys that will appeal to most guests.
At least four different beers are needed to make a flight for out of town guests to sample, but the more choices available the better. Mix up types of beers and breweries to give guests a big taste of the city’s craft offerings, and consider the season when choosing.
“Try to cover the full range: light, hoppy, saison, dark,” says COO Mark Logan of Second Line Brewery in Mid-City. “Stouts and porters are typically not the best thing during summer weddings. For a winter wedding, have a hearty beer.”
A simple light beer is essential for guests unfamiliar with craft brews and looking for something approachable to sip on. The NOLA Blonde Ale is a golden and crisp beer, which makes it good choice for folks not used to drinking craft beers. Other brews to consider serving for mass appeal could be Covington Brewhouse’s Kölsch, a crisp wheat ale, Second Line Brewing’s Batture Blonde Ale for an effervescent beer, or Urban South Brewery’s Charming Wit, a light and fruity beer that is perfect to complement a hot summer day.
Dark beer lovers will want a hearty ale no matter what the weather calls for, so be sure to include at least one in your lineup. Abita Amber, a local favorite year round, and the NOLA Brown Ale are crisp darker brews that satisfy the dark beer cravings without being too heavy. Try the Bayou Bock by Covington Brewhouse for a creamier dark beer. IPAs are bold in taste, so add at least one to the final cut. NOLA’s Hopitoulas IPA is a favorite among IPA fans, or try Chafunkta Brewing Company’s Voo Ka Ray IPA for a less bitter but still hoppy brew.
Most of the local breweries have tours and beautiful outdoor spaces to learn about and enjoy their libations, so choosing the final lineup of beers should be an educational and fun adventure. Drink up!
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