For its 31st year, the WYES International Beer Fest and Private Beer Sampling
will be bringing beer from the state, the country, and the world to New Orleans. The weekend of beer begins Friday, June 13 from 7-10 p.m. with the smaller, more intimate Private Beer Sampling, which features many hard-to-find and one-off beers like Tin Roof’s soured version of their Perfect Tin Amber ale, Pucker Up Flemish; a variety of The Bruery’s beer; and Saint Arnold’s Boiler Room Berliner Weiss beer, which until now has only been available in Texas.
Saturday, June 14 brings the larger International Beer Festival, which sold out last year. There is something for every palate — from adventurous selections from one of the 11 homebrew clubs participating, to classic lagers like Harp, Heineken, and Pilsner Urquell. There also willbe a wide variety of ciders and non-beer malt beverages for non-beer fans.
Both events will be held at Mardi Gras World
. Tickets are $50 for the Private Beer Sampling on Friday, $40 for Saturday’s event, and designated driver tickets are available on Saturday for $15. A new service offered this year will benefit beer lovers on the Northshore — round-trip bus tickets to Mardi Gras World are available for an extra $10 on Saturday. Pickup and dropoff is at the commuter parking lot at the Old Mandeville Trailhead (675 Lafitte St.).
This year brought several challenges to the WYES organizers and participants, with the recent enforcement of state laws which disallows the direct donation of beer to nonprofit events. Homebrewers also faced several barriers to participation, especially clubs from outside the state.
Another upcoming beer event is Gambit’s FestivALES
, being held in the Warehouse District June 28 from noon-6 p.m. With 28 beers to sample at seven locations, all nine Louisiana breweries currently being distributed in New Orleans will be featured. Tickets are $35 and guarantee 28 3-ounce pours and a commemorative T-shirt.