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Abita Brewing Talks Fruity Beer   By Loren Green  |  February 15, 2017 The beer scene is a quickly flowing river these days, with many unpredictable twists and turns within its dynamic current. With trends ranging from session beers to kettle sours to whatever weed was growing in the backyard, it can be hard to keep track of who is doing what because they believe in innovation and who’s just jumping on the bandwagon. Fruit beers have a long history, but recently breweries have used fruit to enhance the already present sweet notes in the hop and barley build of a beer, giving said beer an extra kick. “We love making fruit beers,” explains Abita’s brewmaster Mark Wilson. “It’s one of the things we’re known for. We want to use as much local produce as possible and we just want the fruit to enhance the flavor so you know you’re drinking beer.” Abita, New Orleans’ 31-year-old brewery, brews some well-known fruity beers, like the raspberry-infused Purple Haze and their spring seasonal Strawberry Lager. While grapefruit and orange IPAs are all the rage today, and cherry and raspberry sours are regular one-offs around the country, Abita has been brewing with strawberries, peaches, and...
Today is a great day for Abita Beer. This morning, everyone who works at the brewery came together to celebrate the wrap up of our three-year, $30 million dollar expansion. This expansion means exciting things for people who love Abita Beer. A brand new visitor center, a new and bigger gift shop, more tours each week and most importantly, in order to brew the finest craft beer possible, a state-of-the art brewhouse and cellar. We’ve come a long way since we started in 1986 in the tiny back room of what is now the Abita Brew Pub restaurant. We’re proud of the fact that we were the very first craft brewer – not just in Louisiana but in the entire southeast. And we’re proud of the role we played as a pioneer in the craft movement. Abita brews the beer that reflects the people, passion and culture of Louisiana. I knew when I was just 17 what I wanted to do with my life. I invested my teenage savings – all $2,500 of it – into what would become the Abita Brewery. Little did I know that one day I’d have one of the greatest jobs in Louisiana. I’m very...
Craft beers accounted for 11% of U.S. beer sales volume in 2014, marking the first time that segment reached the double-digit mark, according to an annual industry report. And local brewer, Abita, did its part to contribute to that mark."We've definitely played our part," says David President of Abita Brewing Company. "I think, last year, we were the 14th largest craft brewer in the United States." Craft brewers last year produced 22.2 million barrels, and saw an 18% increase in sales volume and a 22% increase in retail dollar sales, according to the Brewers Association, a trade group representing small and independent craft brewers. "I'm not surprised," Blossman says. "Our goal is, by 2020, to be 20 percent of the overall beer market in the United States." He says Abita Brewing sold about 173,000 barrels of beer and root beer in 2014. The number of operating breweries grew 19% last year, totaling 3,464 breweries, with 3,418 considered craft breweries, including 1,871 microbreweries, 1,412 brew pubs and 135 regional craft breweries. There were 615 new brewery openings in 2014, and 46 closings. Why are craft beer sales so frothy? "I think people are gravitating toward craft beers," says Blossman. "It's like...
Beer giant Budweiser has gotten a lot of flack for its “Brewed The Hard Way" Super Bowl ad, which some brewers charge takes a dig at craft beer drinkers --even as Budweiser’s parent company continues to buy smaller breweries. “It’s brewed for drinking not dissecting,” the spot proclaims of its "macro" brew while hipsters sip brews from tiny glasses.  The tag line on the ad is: "Let them sip their pumpkin peach ale. We'll be brewing us some golden suds.'' But Abita Brewing Co., a Louisiana based microbrewery, is firing back with a spot of its own. "We're not a dog and pony show,'' reads the Abita video ad copy, over a backdrop of pint beer glasses. "We're Louisiana. Proudly American-owned. Yeah, we made a pumpkin peach beer. And it was good. Damn good.'' The Times-Picayune went to Abita to talk to patrons about what they really think of Budweiser versus craft beer. But instead of talking trash, Abita fans pretty much just confirmed what most of America already know: People who like craft beer are just regular people who like beer. And Bud is basically for people who want to get drunk without really tasting what they’re consuming. “I...
Photos and article by Nora McGunnigle                                         Abita Brewing recently paired up with glass manufacturer Spiegelau to demonstrate why the glass used to drink a beer is as important to enjoyment as the beer itself. Speigelau regional sales manager Chris Hillin guided 60-65 eager beer connoisseurs through an Abita beer tasting in five different shaped glasses: Abita Amber in the lager glass, the SOS Imperial Pilsner in the pilsner glass, Wrought Iron IPA in the newly crafted IPA glass, Abbey Ale in the Belgian snifter glass, and Naughty Quaker oatmeal stout in Spiegelau’s brand new glass created just for stouts. Speigelau expanded from wine glasses into the beer game in 2004, bringing the traditional lager, pilsner, and Belgian glasses to the market; several years later, the company began assembling professional tasting panels of brewers, homebrewers, and sensory specialists to create glasses for specific styles, like the ridged stemmed IPA glass and and the stout goblet, which warms the beer in the drinker’s hand. The specialty glasses are superior to the industry standard shaker pint for several reasons; the quality of the raw...
From the coconut mussels at the Palace Cafe to the shrimp and grits at Emeril's NOLA to the barbecued shrimp at Dickie Brennan's Steakhouse, some of the
most revered New Orleans restaurants proudly incorporate the beer offerings from Abita Springs, Louisiana-based Abita Brewing Co. into their dishes. Not only are Abita's beers present at the top Big Easy eateries, but the city's star chefs frequently tout the brews' excellent pairing and gastronomic attributes. "Our beers are made to complement the food of Louisiana," explains brewmaster Mark Wilson. "We want our beer to be a natural extension of the local food." With endorsements from chefs like  Emeril  Lagasse, John Folse and Tory McPhail, the brews-produced just 30 miles north of New Orleans, using water direct  from the wells of Abita Springs-are growing in popularity among beer connois­seurs and foodies alike. Founded in 1986, family-owned Abita Brewing is the oldest craft brewer in  the Southeast and  the nation's largest craft player, according to the Brewers Association. Its beer volume increased about 4 percent last year to 157,000 barrels (the company also produced 10,000 barrels
of root beer). A soon-to-be-completed brewhouse expansion, along with organic growth, should drive volume up
6 percent this year, according to...
By Laura McKnight from NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune   (NOLA.COM Archive) Abita Brewing’s popular Strawberry Harvest Lager is cropping up on taps around New Orleans, offering a spirited — and according to some, better — way to enjoy a local warm-weather favorite. This year marks the first time the Abita Springs-based brewery has ever offered Abita Strawberry on tap, Abita Brewery president David Blossman said More than 100 bars and restaurants in the New Orleans area are carrying the strawberry beer on draft, a version preferred over bottles by some beer-drinkers, including Blossman. “I always find draft better,” Blossman said, as long as draft lines are kept properly. “We’re a very draft-driven brewery”. Abita Strawberry fans can also find the brew on tap for the first time at this year’s French Quarter Festival, set for April 10-13. The festival served the bottled version of the strawberry beer for the first time last year, said Rebecca Sell, marketing and publicity manager for French Quarter Festivals Inc., which produces the fest. “Since we embrace all things local, the fact that it’s made with (South Louisiana) strawberries is very appealing," Sell said. Lots of local beer-drinkers seem to agree, as demand for the strawberry...
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