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Boudin, Bourbon & Beer 

click to enlarge A volunteer serves one of 
the five specially prepared Abita beers from the "cask garden" at the Boudin, 
Bourbon & Beer Festival.

A volunteer serves one of the five specially prepared Abita beers from the "cask garden" at the Boudin, Bourbon & Beer Festival.

At the third annual Boudin, Bourbon & Beer event Nov. 8, I may have missed all the Buffalo Trace bourbon cocktails (they ran out quickly) and a lot of the sausage (The Foundry was so jam-packed I couldn't get to the stations near the stage), but I did enjoy the beer offerings very much.

  Abita Brewing Company has been a co-sponsor of this fundraiser for the Emeril Lagasse Foundation since the beginning, and this year it set up a cask garden that served five specially prepared beers: Imperial Stout, which will be on cask around the state in the next few months; the first of its "Bourbon Street" bourbon barrel-aged series of cask ales, Imperial Stout aged in Pappy Van Winkle barrels; a bourbon barrel-aged version of its new Select beer, Macchiato Espresso Milk Stout; a spiced version of its Christmas Ale; and Amarillo-hopped Restoration Pale Ale.

  While enjoying the cask ale selection, I was able to chat with local beer folks including Ron Swoboda, director of craft beer education at Crescent Crown Distributing; 40 Arpent Brewing Company's founder, Michael Naquin, and wife Emily; and the senior Abita team of President David Blossman, National Sales Manager Leo Basile III and brewmaster Mark Wilson.

  Blossman and Basile were excited about the upcoming Bourbon Street bourbon barrel-aged line of beers as well as the new Harvest series beer, Grapefruit IPA. Blossman and Basile also discussed the tweaking of the soon-to-be-released Seersucker Summer Pilsner — it's long been their goal to add an easy-drinking yet flavorful pilsner to Abita's lineup.

  Participating beer-loving chefs included Alon Shaya from Domenica, Nathaniel Zimet from Boucherie, Phillip Lopez from Root; Kristen Essig from Sainte Marie, and Tariq Hanna from Sucre. There should be beer events to report from some of these chefs in 2014. Stay tuned.

Email Nora McGunnigle at


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