Carnival parades begin in Orleans Parish Saturday with Krewe du Vieux, and part of making a parade-watching game plan is deciding what beer to bring. Here are some new can and growler options.
Oskar Blues began distributing in Louisiana in April 2015. While it's not advisable for parade-watchers to choose high alcohol-by-volume (ABV) selections like Ten Fidy imperial stout or G'Knight imperial red IPA, the brewery's Pinner session IPA and Mama's Little Yella Pils pilsner are good choices.
Sour beers are becoming more popular, and they're usually low-ABV and refreshing. Destihl Wild Sour series beers have become more widely available in the past year, and its Here Gose Nothin' gose beer (5 percent ABV) and Counter Clockweisse berliner weisse (3 percent ABV) are perfect for a Mardi Gras marathon.
Another light, refreshing and flavorful new beer in cans this season is NOLA Brewing's 7th Street Wheat. Although the beer has been available on draft for several years, it wasn't released in cans until May 2015. It is 4.5 percent ABV and is brewed with lemon basil, which gives a herbal note to the wheat ale's light body.
The draft-only beers of Second Line Brewing and Courtyard Brewery (1020 Erato St.; www.courtyardbrewing.com) are available in plastic growlers. Lonesome Traveler single-hop IPA and the low-ABV Baby IPA are available in 32-ounce growlers from Courtyard Brewery, which is less than three blocks from the Uptown parade route.
Second Line Brewing (433 N Bernadotte St., 504-248-8979; www.secondlinebrewing.com) opens at 9 a.m. Feb. 6 for the Krewe of Endymion parade. The brewery offers plastic growlers year-round, so revelers can stop on the way to any parade to get special releases and flagship offerings.