Abita Beer

One of the perks of being a fringe member of the press (not the same as a member of the fringe press) is the occasional invite to VIP events. Today, it was Abita Brewing Company’s opening of their new visitor center in Abita Springs. A nice reception, complete with catered snacks–crawfish cakes, grilled sausage and Drago-style char-broiled oysters, along with all the Abita Beer of any type now in existence available to drink.

That’s a glass of Abita Strawberry on the table.

The new visitor’s center is located adjacent to the brewery. Tours need only go out the back door to enter into the chamber of holies.

Each of these fermenting tanks holds 600 kegs of beer. Brewmaster Mark Wilson gave us the tour. It included a little introductory talk at the center’s 26-foot long polished mahogany bar.

He explains the differences in barleys and hops and yeasts that make for different styles of beer. Abita uses water from its own wells, untreated other than by sand filtration. It’s an ideal water for making lager-style beer like the Abita Amber. They use malted barley from the U.S. and U.K., hops from the U.S., U.K. and Germany.

Fifteen taps, fifteen brews.

Lots of Abita merchandise is on hand at the visitor’s center, which opens to the public this weekend.

There’s a cool mosaic at the entrance, and great artwork by Eddie Mormon (who Abita president David Blossman said is color blind).

Jockamo IPA bottle by Eddie Mormon.

Abita Amber by Eddie Mormon.

Hops and barley out on the bar. Blossman showed everyone how to tear open the hop pods and rub them on your hand to activate the aroma. My hands still smell like essence of beer.

It was a pretty good time. Northshore luminaries like Abita Springs Mayor Louis Fitzmorris, Abita alderman and owner of the best snow ball stand ever, Bot & Nola’s Sno Balls & Other Cool Stuff, Sheri Campbell (I also learned she is a Bonerama freak) and Mandeville pol and publisher Dennis Bechac were in attendance.

Beers tasted: Jockamo IPA strong and hoppy), Abita Strawberry (very crisp and clean, much better than what I expected) and Abita Amber.

So if you’re looking for a nice Sunday drive before gas prices hit $10, head on up to the Abita Brewery for some beer and a tour. The little town of Abita Springs is also home to the Abita Opry, a nice trailhead complex and visitor’s center on the Tammany Trace and the kitchiest roadside stop on the face of the earth, the UCM Museum, home to Darryl the Doggiegator and The House of Shards.

The Northshore doesn’t always suck.

3 Responses to Abita Beer

  1. stacey on April 30, 2008 at 10:15 pm

    I poured Abita Beer for about 3 hours today!! I still smell like it too. 😉 I am going to make it up there one day soon, we always talk about it!!

    I am the original Bonerama Freak. 😉

  2. […] by A Packful of Candy Cigarettes. If only I had a smidgen of her creative writing ability. *sigh* Ponchartrain Pete finds luv in a brewery. Now on quest to keep the luv flowing….down his throat. Heh. 2 Millionth Web Log insults Jed […]

  3. gwen stithem on June 17, 2011 at 9:08 am

    The cool mosaics at the entrance was created by Gwen Stithem. The logo was exiting.

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