Skip to main content

Open Containers and Craft Breweries: A Mardi Gras Beer Guide

New Orleans is deep in the throes of its annual eruption into brightly colored plastic beads as Mardi Gras returns for another bit of insanity.

If you’re making a pilgrimage to the Crescent City, here’s our guide to the best in local New Orleans craft beer.

What to Buy

turbo dog beer
Image used with permission by copyright holder

New Orleans and greater Louisiana are probably best defined by the beers produced by Abita Brewing Company. Founded way back in 1986, Abita is one of the grandfathers of the current craft beer generation and deserving of a pioneer’s respect. Whether you’re showing local love by grabbing a venerable Turbodog or searching out the acclaimed newer foray Wrought Iron IPA, you’ll be drinking a solid beer.

New, smaller breweries are springing up throughout town and are ready to provide an intimate tasting room experience or offer growlers to go. To get a taste of the latest wave of New Orleans beer, hit up The Courtyard Brewery or the NOLA Brewing taproom.

Where to Buy

beer room stein's market and deli
The Beer Room in Stein’s Market and Deli Image used with permission by copyright holder

The craft beer bottle shop with the most heat in town is Stein’s Market and Deli. Located at 2207 Magazine Street, this sandwich shop moonlights as one of the best stashes of beer in the city with over 450 craft beers, ciders, and meads on the shelves. As a bonus, you can also grab some great grub to absorb your extra alcohol intake and pregame for the next parade.

Where to Drink

the avenue pub
The Balcony of The Avenue Pub, New Orleans Image used with permission by copyright holder

Whether it’s to soothe a sore throat obtained by yelling at strangers or to wind down at the end of a long day people-watching in the sun, Avenue Pub is the best bar for craft beer fiends. This Saint Charles Avenue spot frequently makes “Best Bar in the US” lists–and for good reason. The bottles and taps feature a tightly curated group of brews, including many cellared items impossible to find elsewhere.

As a bonus, New Orleans’ relaxed open container laws mean that you can walk down the street drinking a beer, as long as it’s in an approved container. So the best spot to have a beer is on the way to the next spot to grab a beer.

Lee Heidel
Lee Heidel is the managing editor of Brew/Drink/Run, a website and podcast that promotes brewing your own beer, consuming the…
The 11 Best Beer Glasses for Every Style of Beer
A group of friends enjoying their glasses of craft beer.

If you’re a self-proclaimed beer lover or beer connoisseur, you should know that glasses are more than vessels for drinking brew. And not just any glass, mind you. It’s those uniquely shaped beer glasses that allow you to get the full bouquet of aromas and distinctive flavors of your favorite beer.

From pilsner glasses to snifters, there are beer glasses for every style of brew that provides the ultimate drinking experience. Don’t be ashamed if your knowledge of bar glassware isn’t on par with your local hipster bartender, for we created this guide on the best beer glasses for every style of beer.

Read more
The 7 New Champagne of Beers to Drink This New Year’s Eve
Beer Alternatives to Champagne

Beer is always welcome, whether it's a smoldering Sunday afternoon in August or a chilly December eve. Why should anything change during New Year's Eve? Granted, it's the occasion of occasions but there are some great beers out there that can compete with your favorite sparkling wine. And some are so celebratory and effervescent they're practically bubbly anyway.

By all means, get your holiday cocktail and wine on. Just don't overlook beer. It's so often the commoner in drinks land, deemed ill-equipped for more lavish gatherings or the most festive nights out (or in). Well, that all depends on the beer you're celebrating with, of course.

Read more
Craft Beer Trends To Watch as 2022 Approaches
Oakshire Brewing Smoothie Sour beers on table.

The world of craft beer is massive and always in motion. Seems like just a generation ago we had a handful of macro options, plus the occasional micro selection. Today, we are gifted with thousands of players in the craft beer scene, all working to elevate the industry and push it even further ahead.

We reached out to Jim McCune, who has spent decades in craft beer, for some insights and things to look out for. He's had runs at brewers like Blue Point and is presently the executive director of the Craft Beverage Division at EGC. What's he seeing in his crystal ball? For one, even more innovation in the hazy IPA, sour, and traditional lager genres. Also, more in the way of fusion beers made with CBD and THC.

Read more