As Carnival comes to a close, permit me to reflect on the wondrousness that is canned craft beer. It wasn't that long ago that cans were assumed to contain crappy, flavorless beer. But over the past few years, more craft brewers nationwide have proved that stereotype wrong. Canned beer, first sold to the public in 1935 by Gottfried Krueger Brewing Company in New Jersey, is a boon to all beer-drinking New Orleanians, since our open container laws prohibit drinking alcohol in glass out on the street. But craft brewers across the country point to the can's light weight (for ease of shipping) and opacity (to block out all skunk-causing light) as compelling reasons to can rather than bottle. Also, Orleans Parish doesn't recycle glass, so aluminum cans are an environmentally superior option. Here are my favorites to drink along parade routes, or at festivals, beaches, crawfish boils and any New Orleans outdoor occasion you care to enjoy:
NOLA Brewing's Brown Ale is a great beer to sip by the six-pack on parade days. With a 3.9 percent alcohol by colume (ABV), this full-flavored but easy-drinking beer is the first one I reach for when choosing cans.
Tin Roof's Parade Ground Coffee Porter's coffee flavors are great for waking up the palate after a few hours out on the neutral ground.
New Belgium's Shift Pale Lager is 5 percent ABV and drinks clean, refreshing and flavorful.
On occasion, I'll have the occasional higher ABV beer like NOLA Brewing's Irish Channel Stout, Santa Fe Brewing's Black IPA or Southern Prohibition's 2014 IPA.
"No glass" no longer means "no class." Everyone raise a can (or pour into a go-cup) and enjoy. — NORA McGUNNIGLE