Great Raft Brewing (www.greatraftbrewing.com) finished its second batch of Grit and Grace double IPA, but this is the first time it's available in the New Orleans area. This 8 percent alcohol by volume (ABV) brew is crammed with Citra and Amarillo hops, and Shreveport beer drinkers rave about it. It is available on draft and in large format bottles.
Released last week by Mississippi's Southern Prohibition Brewing (www.soprobrewing.com), Crowd Control is a Mosaic hop-forward IPA that previously has been brewed and released in limited quantities. It's available at The Courtyard Brewery (1020 Erato St.; www.courtyardbrewing.com) and The Avenue Pub (1732 St. Charles Ave., 504-586-9243; www.theavenuepub.com).
40 Arpent's (www.40arpentbrewery.com) Duckweed IPA, the first IPA released by the Arabi brewery, may be in circulation within the week. Head brewer Michael Naquin has not named the dominant hop in the beer, so hop lovers will have to guess.
Parish Brewing's (www.parishbeer.com) double IPA Ghost in the Machine won't be out during Mardi Gras, but owner Andrew Godley confirmed that the forthcoming batch was brewed earlier this week. "Should be smelling hops in your area probably by the very end of February or the first week of March," Godley says. It's a double batch, so hopefully that will hold over Ghost fans a little longer this time.
Hoppy beers from brewers outside the region include Sierra Nevada's (www.sierranevada.com) new Hop Hunter IPA. The brewer uses a special technique involving farm-distilled hop oil, which means the hop essence is captured before the hops leave the field they grow in. It will be a regular release, which means it should be available in New Orleans, although it's not here yet.