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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 | 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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