Activity: Free beer and beer tour
Difficulty Rating: 10 for driving back home.
New Orleans’ best kept secret! Though I don’t know how, since it’s all over the internet. Every Friday from 2-3 is free beer o’clock at the NOLA brewery. It’s located about ten minutes west of the CBD by car, so it’s a bit far off the beaten path for the tourist crowd. Lucky, otherwise there’d be a stampede and we’d lose Mufasa. The brewery is a charming red brick building surrounded by the otherwise drab buildings of what is basically New Orleans’ Docklands and at 2pm the place was already bustling with hip locals.
Upon arrival we were checked for ID and given a green stamp and two wooden tokens redeemable for one free beer. I couldn’t believe how easy it was. They don’t try to trick you and give you beer in exchange for your email password or at the end of a seminar on timeshare flats. You could exchange the tokens at any of the three bar areas set up inside the brewery and enjoy it while you took the tour or just lounged in the rooftop beer garden.
They didn’t even appear to care whether you actually took the tour. The tour guides gave a brief and casual overview of the machinery and bottling process while shouting over the chugging and clunking. They answered questions happily but seemed keen to shoo us back toward the bar with a “meh, it’s just a brewery” air.
The bar had about two dozen beers on tap but only a few of them were compatible with the tokens. I chose the 7th Street Wheat beer which boasted a tang of lemon and basil. There was even a little stall selling McClure’s BBQ (American Husband’s favourite, so he was very happy) so we sat and enjoyed some lunch until about five minutes to 3pm. At that point everyone started realizing they wouldn’t be able to cash their free beer chips in time so they started giving them away to anyone standing still. American Husband ended up surrounded by more beer than he could possibly drink. All up, I felt that this was definitely the kind of place to hold business meetings so you could claim ribs on tax.
Here’s me being totally hip with free beer!