Liam Deegan

Super Bowl: Brew Dat!

In Uncategorized on February 6, 2010 at 1:08 pm

One of the biggest weekends of the year for communal consumption in America is coming up, the Super Bowl.  This year’s Super Bowl matches up a Midwest powerhouse, with a down South underdog.  The match up that is about to happen here at pourThought is less about inches and more about ounces.  Indiana can boast some great quality breweries as well as being surrounded by some states with deep history in both brewing and distilling.

During the Whiskey Rebellion, when many distillers were chased from Pennsylvania to Kentucky, no doubt the surrounding midwestern area, Indiana included benefited from rich tradition and culture.

The challenger, New Orleans is almost synonymous with drinking, and while it may be the Saints and the Who Dat nation’s first trip to the big game, they aren’t new to the bar.

Overall, a reaction to this question on BeerAdvocate was that Indiana was the clear winner.  They have Three Floyds brewery as their frontrunner out of Munster, Indiana.  They have 64 beers on BeerAdvocate with an average rating of A-.  There are a few other quality breweries in Hoosier country, but many don’t distribute out of the local area.  However Three Floyds Dark Lord is one of the most anticipated releases in the beer community with the Vanilla Bean Aged Dark Lord ranking at #4 in the Top Beers on Planet Earth, and the original Dark Lord #11.  Dark Lord’s first release was in 2004, and a year later Peyton Manning was announced the Pro Bowl MVP.  Coincidence? Probably.

Louisiana’s big brewery is Abita.  While many serious beer drinkers don’t see Abita as one of the top craft breweries, they make some good beers and have a wide selection.  Their average beer rating is a B-, which is still respectable with 34 beers listed, with Turbodog being the craft favorite.  Dixie is another New Orleans beer, but like Jax and Falstaff it has left New Orleans.  Falstaff and Jax pretty much fell into contract brewing wasteland.  Pabst stopped production of Falstaff in 2005 and Jax went from the 10th largest brewery in the country in the 60s, to bankrupt in the 70s.  Dixie is now contract brewed in Wisconsin, and has one craft crowd favorite, their Blackened Voodoo Lager.

Living in New Orleans, I have some bias, and NOLA is a beer only available on draft (with the exception of mini party kegs).  They have been open for just under a year and make three very great beers: Brown Ale, Blonde Ale, and the newly released Hopitoulas IPA.  All are very good and made with care and quality by Dixie’s former brewer, Peter Cadoo.  New Orleans Lager & Ale (NOLA), like the Saints, are helping to bring the spirit of New Orleans back after hurricane Katrina.  There are also some other breweries to mention; Heiner Brau on the north shore, and Bayou Teche, a brand new nano-brewery that is entering the market with expectations.

While Indiana may have a Manning and some respectable and well-known beers, the Saints and the regional beers have an underdog spirit and incredible heart.  I’m giving the win to the Saints.  The city of New Orleans has earned it’s place, and while you can’t get exceptional beers like NOLA anywhere else, you also aren’t going to understand “Who Dat” unless you are here.

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