Abita has cosponsored the Emeril Lagasse Foundation's (www.emeril.org) Boudin, Bourbon & Beer fundraiser since its inception in 2011. Abita Vice President of Sales Leo Basile talked to chef/restaurateur Emeril Lagasse about creating a more casual event to complement the foundation's lavish wine fundraiser, Carnivale du Vin, which starts at $1,000 a ticket, and they thought a less formal event would be perfect for focusing on beer.
At this year's event, scheduled for Nov. 7 at Champions Square, Abita will serve all its year-round beers on tap, including Light, Purple Haze, Amber, Restoration Pale Ale, Jockamo IPA, S.O.S., Andygator and Abbey Ale, as well as the seasonal Christmas Ale. Also on tap is the most recent version of the brewery's Bourbon Street Imperial Stout.
The event's cask beer garden will feature a wet hop Restoration Pale Ale, which includes freshly harvested Cascade and Chinook hops that were grown on a Northshore farm for Abita and added to the beer after fermentation. Abita President David Blossman says he's looking forward to sampling this beer in particular, since Restoration Pale Ale is a beer that is well-served by cask conditioning. Also in the cask garden is a new variation of Turbodog called Bourbon Coffee Dog, which is aged in boutique bourbon barrels with coffee.
Abita's Black IPA Imperator also will be available on cask. It's an 8 percent alcohol by volume (ABV) beer which goes down very smoothly, Blossman says. His strategy for the evening will be to start with one pint of Bourbon Street Imperial Stout, followed by one Imperator. Then he'll switch to lower ABV and more mellow Wet Hop Restoration cask ale to ensure he's able to enjoy the entire event.