Abita Brewing Company – EST. 1986

Abita Springs, LA

(All trademarks, logos, brand names, copyright Abita Brewing)

Founded in 1986, the Abita Brewing Company is 30 miles north of New Orleans in ….. Abita Springs.   It’s not a large town from what I remember but the pine trees are abundant.   Of course that’s true of the entire area.

In its first year, the brewery produced 1,500 barrels of beer.   By 1994, they outgrew the original site (now their 100 seat brew pub) – I actually think I’ve been there. 1999?  That’s where I was introduced with their Amber (also, very good).

With the springs there water is pure and pristine and not altered in any way.  Abita Beer has no preservatives, additives or stabilizers and is cold filtered. Hand-crafted and brewed in small batches, producing over 109,000 barrels of beer annually. For you non-beer drinkers (not sure why you would be reading this blog, but hey the more the merrier) they also brew root beer…..over 6,000 barrels worth.

S.O.S. (Save Our Shores)  –  ABV 7.0% —– Unfiltered Wheat/Pilsner

I thought this was a fabulous and environmentally responsible idea:

“This Abita Beer is a message in a bottle…a distress signal for the troubled waters of our Gulf Coast. For every bottle sold Abita will donate 75¢ to the    rescue and restoration of the environment, industry and individuals fighting to survive this disastrous oil spill. In addition, related retail merchandise (hat, t-shirt, lapel pin, decal and car magnet) will be sold and 100% of the net proceeds will also go to the SOS Fund.”

An unfiltered pilsner/wheat beer with german hops, gold in color. Now, their description says “a sweet malt flavor with a pleasant bitterness and aroma”.   Personally, the hops were not so pleasant.  Good, but slightly more than I prefer.

Andygator – ABV 8% —Helles Doppelbock / Maibock

I thought the name ingenious; calling to mind the swampy environment of Louisiana, which I’m assuming was the intention.  Sorry I don’t have a pic; guess I accidentally deleted it – like an idiot.  The color is basicallly the same as the S.O.S. but with a creamy head.

Maibock is the pale version – Helles (Blonde) of the traditional bock – meaning less malt, drier, and somewhat bitter BUT still low hops. Mildly spicy. Doppelbocks have sweet rich flavor with little hops. The combination in the Andygator is a great balance of sweet and bitter.

Fruity smell with a bit of a syrupy taste, but neither was overpowering. At first I wasn’t digging it, but my palette adjusted quickly. Carbonation and head were decent. I definitely preferred this over the S.O.S.

 Abita Amber – ABV 4.5%

 Munich style lager – smooth, malty, slightly caramel flavor and a rich amber color. Abita Amber was the first beer offered by the brewery and continues to be a leading seller. It has been voted “best beer” in numerous New Orleans reader polls and is used frequently in recipes of great Louisiana chefs. Good, but I found it a bit too sweet for my liking.