New Orleans was once home to dozens of breweries. Over time these dwindled and withered away until the changing of the times when craft beer became fashionable again and hip all over the country, finally having a revival in New Orleans. Within the past few years there has been an explosion of new breweries in New Orleans and the surrounding areas ( over a dozen now,) and folks wanted to explore and try the different styles of beer being created again in New Orleans.
Nola Brew bus and New Orleans Brewery Tour both started a few years ago to fill that niche of pairing great beers with the history and food of New Orleans.
First up is New Orleans Brewery Tour. The tour bus picks you up and focuses on gardendistrict/ uptown, with stops at Courtyard Brewery, Urban South, and NOLA brewery. Each stop is different style of brewing. Courtyard brewery brews their own as well as tapping beers from around the country they believe are delicious and special. The bartenders play great vinyl and a food truck is usually parked in the lot, check their website for food truck schedule. Urban South focuses on blending European tradition with new american styles with a fun spacious taproom, while NOLA brewery the largest of the three has a great brewery with an upstairs tasting room, live music and delicious BBQ by McClure’s. This is a great tour to see and experience the variety of breweries on different production levels all with great tasting beers.
Nola Brew bus takes the beer tour a step further. Offering different themed tours day and evening that stretch a bit further into the city. With Day drinking tours, uptown, french quarter walking tours the Brew bus offers something for everyone. The tour meets up at the Brew bus headquarters and goes from there. The Brew bus also offers food and beer pairing tours, so you can get a taste of New Orleans while sipping on craft beers. The tour guides will go through the different styles to hone in on the ones best for you and then pair it with Po-boys, Crawfish or Fried chicken depending on the tour you choose. Each beer and pairing tour is an excellent way to see the cool and developing craft beer scene in New Orleans. The Brew bus website, nolabrewbus.com, is constantly updating which breweries are tapping which beers to help hone in on the brewery you may want to check out.
For both tour companies, prices vary from $65-$90 per person depending on the type of tour. Samples are included on each tour and each tour runs about three hours usually with stops at three breweries. Check out their websites for reservations and if you want to go deeper down the rabbit hole check out these pubs: Cooter Brown’s, The Avenue Pub and Black Penny!