Looking to enjoy a local beer on cask at a unique bar? On Wed. July 10 at 7 p.m., Aline Street Beer Garden
(1515 Aline St., 504-891-5774; www.facebook.com/AlineStreetBeerGarden) will be tapping a firkin of Covington Brewhouse’s Märzen, a Bavarian style of beer cask-conditioned with cocoa nibs and Steen’s syrup.
Aline Street Beer Garden is a homage to the beer gardens of Germany, complete with an enormous list of German beers (with style-appropriate glassware), outdoor tables and benches imported from Germany, bartenders with extensive knowledge, and oompah music on the jukebox. It’s like Oktoberfest all year round.
Jason Comboy says he opened the nearby Sovereign and then Aline Street Beer Garden because he thought the beer cultures of the United Kingdom and Germany were just as important as the beer itself. His attempts to recreate the pub and beer garden traditions were informed by his own experiences overseas, and in the case of the Aline Street Beer Garden, his family history. When we met shortly after the Beer Garden opened in February, Comboy took me on a tour, pointing out the antique German barware, vinyl records, and framed prints decorating the walls, much of which came from his German grandfather and branch of the family.
More important, the beer selection is incredible. All German regions and beer styles are represented - from Kolsch and pilsener, to a variety of weizen styles, to bocks, and more. Comboy is also taking advantage of the fact that two regional breweries are brewing traditional German style beers, and is actively pursuing and promoting partnerships with both Saint Arnold in Houston and Covington Brewhouse (formerly Heiner Brau) in Covington. One Sunday afternoon during American Craft Beer Week, the Aline Street Beer Garden offered free Saint Arnold Santo (a “black Kolsch”) and Lawnmower (a traditional Kolsch) for all those curious to try the styles. The Santo proved popular enough that it has stayed on draft permanently. Also currently on draft (though subject to change): Schneiderweiss Aventinus, Krombacher, Warsteiner, Hoegaarden, and Hofbrau Original. Comboy plans to have Spaten Optimator on draft again soon as well.
Another upcoming local partnership will be with Dat Dog. Though the Milk Bar on Delachaise offers great sandwiches and milkshakes during the day and early evening, the entire block has suffered from a lack of nighttime food. Comboy has been working with Dat Dog to set up a permanent pop-up express counter inside the Aline Street Beer Garden which would serve the Sovereign Pub as well as the Prytania Bar through a connecting window. According to Comboy, “Common menus will almost always include a brat or two to appeal to the Beer Garden crowd; a Guinness brat for the pub; and either alligator or crawfish sausage for the Prytania Bar music club.” The Dat Dog Express counter will be open five or six nights a week and serve between five and eight different sausages plus sides.
Although there is some indoor seating at the Beer Garden, you can still sit outside in traditional beer garden style in comfort during the New Orleans summer heat. Comboy has invested in an outdoor cooling device called the “Port-o-Cool.” As he says, “it’s like a fan on steroids.”
For even more German beer culture combined with local partnership, the Prytania Bar music club will start hosting German style music to cross over with the German beer and brats. On the nights they play, the Beer Garden will be featuring drink specials and other tie-ins.
Come check out the cask event and enjoy cask beer, support a local brewery (which will also be bringing some giveaways), and investigate a very fun and cool beer bar in New Orleans. I’ll be there; hope y’all are too.
— Nora McGunnigle is a freelance writer, blogger, craft beer aficionado, event planner, and regular columnist for
Gambit and Southern Brew News. You can follow her blog at www.nolabeerblog.com, follow her on Twitter at @noradeirdre and read her column every Tuesday on Blog of New Orleans. Please let her know what you think or suggest topics for future columns in the comment section.