Abita Brewing Company
@TheAbitaBeer 166 Barbee Road, Covington, (985) 893-3143; abita.com
The vibe: The recently expanded Abita tap-room doubled its number of taps from 15 to 30 and serves many taproom-only experimental beers. There's a growler filling station so customers can take beers to go. What you'll drink: This is where the new Harvest beers Blueberry Wheat and Peach Lager were crowd-tasted and approved, so keep an eye out for the next big thing.
@CourtyardBrew 1020 Erato St.; www.courtyardbrewing.com
The vibe: In the shadow of the Pontchartrain Expressway in a converted loading dock, the brewery's DIY approach means there are folding chairs inside and out, but beers on tap are a professional matter. There also are beers from other breweries and food trucks serving everything from tacos to banh mi. What you'll drink: One of brewer Scott Wood's hoppy cre-ations, such as Sonic Youth in 1983 or Baby IPA.
@CovingtonBrew 226 E Lockwood St., Covington, (985) 893-2884; covingtonbrewhouse.com
The vibe: Head brewer Brian Broussard, who also plays bass for Cowboy Mouth, keeps the brewhouse casual but cozy. What you'll drink: Broussard's experimental high-gravity beers, like Kitchen Sink Imperial IPA or Phat Bottomed Belgian.
Crescent City Brewhouse
@crescentbrew 527 Decatur St., (504) 522-0571; www.crescentcitybrewhouse.com
The vibe: The French Quarter brewpub and restaurant is easy to spot with its gleaming kettles behind the bar. It focuses on German beer styles. What you'll drink: Owner and brewmaster Wolfram Koehler's clean, refreshing pilsner.
@GordonbierschNO 200 Poydras St., (504) 552-2739; www.gordonbiersch.com/locations/new-orleans
The vibe: Convention visitors may recognize the name of this Warehouse District outpost of the national brewpub chain. It crafts German and Czech-style beers. What you'll drink: Try one of brewer Sonny Day's hoppy offerings like Col. Klink German IPA or the new Session IPA. But don't overlook the deceptively simple-looking Kolsch.
@NOLATapRoom, @NOLABrewing 3001 Tchoupitoulas St., (504) 896-9996; www.nolabrewing.com
The vibe: The two-story taproom includes deck seating on the second floor, tables made from large barrels and murals painted by local artists. What you'll drink: Sample beers in the NOLA Funk series of sour and wild ales, especially the dry-hopped, Brettanomyces-fermented Sauvage, which just won a medal in the 2016 World Beer Cup.
Old Rail Brewing Company
@OldRailBeer 639 Girod St., Mandeville, (985) 612-1828; www.oldrailbrewery.com
The vibe: The restaurant and brewpub occupies an attractive modern space blocks from the Mandeville lakefront. What you'll drink: Try summer seasonal Gandy Dancer Saison, the annually released Zest Fest Blood Orange Black IPA (a collaboration by brew master Matt Horney and his former colleagues at Terrapin Brewing in Athens, Georgia) and flagship Cow Catcher Milk Chocolate Stout.
Second Line Brewing
@SecondLineBrew 433 N. Bernadotte St., (504) 248-8979; www.secondlinebrewing.com
The vibe: The brewery's family-friendly beer garden setup features picnic tables and bright red umbrellas outside. Food trucks visit regularly. What you'll drink: Brewers use the pilot system to try new brews, which can vary from a smoked peat Irish red ale to a coconut porter to a grapefruit-infused IPA.
Urban South Brewery
@UrbanSouthBeer 1645 Tchoupitoulas St., (504) 517-4677; www.urbansouthbrewery.com
The vibe: The brewery fills some of the converted warehouse space in the Lower Garden District, and the taproom has plenty of space for its picnic tables, a kid's corner with games and an area with games for the grownups. What you'll drink: Try a shandy featuring house-made organic lemonade mixed with Charming Wit wheat beer or one of the Charming Wit varieties (peach or raspberry).