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click to enlarge John Cooper of Abita samples the company's new Macchiato Espresso Milk Stout.

Courtesy Abita

John Cooper of Abita samples the company's new Macchiato Espresso Milk Stout.

 Three local breweries — all on the Northshore — are bringing new beers to market. The state's newest and smallest brewery, Chafunkta Brewing (21449-2 Marion Lane, Mandeville; www.chafunktabrew.com), is offering a new style not brewed anywhere else in Louisiana; Covington Brewhouse (226 E. Lockwood St., Covington, 985-893-2884, www.covingtonbrewhouse.com) is releasing a beer unlike anything in its current lineup; and the modern pioneer of Louisiana brewing, Abita Brewing Co. (21084 Hwy. 36, Abita Springs, 985-893-3143, www. abita.com), is brewing two new styles of beer.

  Chafunkta owner Josh Erickson says the inspiration for Kingfish, the brewery's new cream ale, comes from "our love of football, parading, festival-going, crawfish boiling and everything else Louisiana-related where you're consuming cold beverages for long periods of time." Referencing Kingfish's lower alcohol content and milder flavor compared to Chafunkta's other beers, Erickson adds, "We certainly wouldn't recommend tailgating all day with Voo Ka Ray." Erickson says he is determining whether Chafunkta's current capacity will permit regular brewing of Kingfish or if it would require a larger brewhouse.

  Covington Brewhouse, a small brewery in transition, is working to diverse its portfolio of beer. After showcasing two experimental beers at a WYES beer event in June, Covington is on track to begin brewing and distributing Anonymous IPA in October. The IPA has earned rave reviews from those who tried test batches.

  Meanwhile, Abita's French Connection (a French farmhouse-style using French hops and Belgian yeast), and Macchiato Espresso Milk Stout are intended to give Abita's brewers an opportunity to create new beers for evolving local palates. French Connection rolls out this month and Macchiato should appear in November or December. — NORA MCGUNNIGLE

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