This series of posts is dedicated to the many, many six packs, pony kegs and pints that have sauntered into my life at one point or another.
I’ve been to New Orleans many times, including a trip over six years ago that centered on service work in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. There were a multitude of discoveries on that particular visit to the Big Easy, many of them emotionally devastating and more than a few, thankfully, that were the opposite, providing the sort of ragtag inspiration than comes from the heavily scuffed and compromised version of resiliency that exemplifies the citizenry of that bayou town. (There’s laudable aptness to the ad campaign for the new season of HBO’s Treme, a campaign which is practically omnipresent in the city in which the series is set.) One of the things I was introduced to on that journey was a new offering from the local craft brewery. Abita Brewing Company is actually situated a few miles outside of New Orleans, in nearby Abita Springs, but it clearly belong to the larger city and feels a corresponding responsibility to it. We were there some nine months after Katrina hit, and Restoration Pale Ale was a new addition to the Abita roster at the time. A portion of the brew’s proceeds went towards hurricane relief efforts, a significant and daunting task at the time and still one that requires attention over a half-decade later. Sales of the beer have raised over $500,000 for the charitable endeavor. I’ve thrown quite a few of my own dollars into that kitty, feeling doubly rewarded by each and every one.