I found a good article today in the Fort Worth Star Telegram about the Louisiana Brewery Abita. Abita is located across Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans. Like most places in that area Abita suffered mightily from Katrina, and while its been a struggle, they are doing pretty well, in fact their production will increase this year, from 52,000 barrels to 60, 000. Not to shabby for this small brewery in Abita Springs. I have a special place in my heart for Abita. As a college student in Louisiana it was Abita's Turbodog and Purple Haze that got me away from the Miller and Bud that I had been drinking. This was my introduction to good beer, and it was quite an introduction. The dark smoky liquid that is Turbodog shocked me with my first sip, I didn't realize that beer could have this coffee flavor, honestly, at first I wasn't even sure I liked it...till that second and third sip. Then I had their Purple haze and that about jolted me out of my shoes. The taste of wheat and the vibrant electricity of the raspberries, I wasn't sure what to think, but I knew I had to try more. This was my introduction to good craft beer, and what an introduction it was. Abita has been around for 20 years now and it has released a very nice 20th Anniversary Pilsner, I haven't had it yet, but it will be around till the end of the year, so I have some time to pick it up.
The sad part of this article is the demise of another local New Orleans Brewery Dixie Brewing. While not a huge fan of their ubiquitous Dixie Brew which is basically no different than any other old school regional pilsner (think Pabst), their Blackened Voodoo beer was enough to get anyone's attention and it will be sad day if this is the last we have seen of it.