Southern Suds: Abita Brewing Company
Louisiana definitely isn’t known for it’s beer, but that’s only because jazz, jambalaya, and Mardi Gras tend to come to mind before anything else. Don’t let that fool you though; the Bayou state has a handful awesome breweries – you just have to know where to look for ’em.
Tucked away in the piney woods about 30 miles North of New Orleans, there’s a town by the name of Abita Springs. Named for it’s deep artesian wells, the town has attracted people with it’s fresh water for over a century, but it wasn’t but it wasn’t until Abita Brewing Co. popped up in 1986 that the city started to draw crowds for its beer. The brewery, which makes its beer with water drawn from the town’s infamous spring, has seen a boom in recent years. Why? Their booze is downright delicious.
Made from British and North American malted barley, German and American yeast strains, Pacific Northwest hops, and the pure artesian water of Abita Springs, Abita’s brews are incredibly crisp and refreshing. And that springwater isn’t just a gimmick either; it lends itself to a freshness and drinkability that’s lightyears ahead of your run-of-the-mill Budweiser or Henry Winehard’s. You really can taste the difference – kicking back one of Abita’s lagers is like drinking Evian after being raised on L.A. tap water.
The company makes seven flagship beers that they produce year round, as well as an array of seasonal and harvest brews. The flagship line spans the entire color spectrum; it’s got everything from a low-calorie light lager to a full-bodied dark brown ale, so you’ll never have trouble finding the right beer to pair with your food. Abita’s diverse collection seems perfectly built for the Louisianan diet. We’ve found that the Jockamo IPA is an excellent match for practically any spicy cajun concoction, whereas the Restoration Pale Ale goes great with crawfish, shrimp, and most other seafood dishes. If you’re barbecuing in the backyard, we recommend you pick up a sixer of the Golden lager. It pairs well with pretty much everything, but it’s best for chicken and fresh vegetables. For red meat, go with the Amber ale or Turbodog – both are bold and malty and perfect for steaks, hamburgers, and smoked sausages.
Abita sells their brews in 46 states, so be sure to check out their website to track them down in your area.