01.16.15 / CRAFTBEER.COM
By Nora McGunnigle
New Orleans, a city known more for its to-go cups than its quality beverages, has had some problems with craft beer. Five years ago, it was assumed that no one in The Big Easy, resident or tourist, wanted to drink craft beer. When this assumption was finally proven wrong, bars with little experience in the craft beer world struggled to keep up with demand—and the result was often a quagmire of untrained staff, questionable draft lines, old beer, frozen glasses, and a selection limited to wheat beers and lagers.
But things are quickly getting better. In recent years, the city’s distributors and the state’s breweries have stepped up to guide inexperienced bars and restaurants towards best practices in serving beer, and have educated them on a wider variety of styles.
As a local, I’ve watched with growing pride as the 10 New Orleans beer bars and restaurants below either started strong right out of the gate, or adapted to the demands of craft beer and craft beer consumers.
4. Junction | 3021 St. Claude Ave.
Junction is new on the scene, having opened in the Bywater neighborhood at the beginning of 2015. Though Junction is well-known for its delicious burger menu, manager Lloyd Miller says that he runs a beer bar first, and a burger joint second.
Miller and his team are committed to working with local and national craft breweries. Every other Thursday, you can find brewers and representatives from breweries like Chafunkta Brewing, Brooklyn Brewing, Southern Prohibition and Lagunitas on hand to meet customers and share their beers.
The beer list has a few standards that are always on tap, like Southern Tier’s Live, an American pale ale that’s one of my personal favorites. Junction also cycles through new beers and seasonals regularly. The bar’s beer menu is great for educating new beer consumers — it’s a flipbook with brand graphics and extended information about each beer.