Ever since we visited for New Year's last year Red and I have been slightly obsessed with all things New Orleans. The food, the music, the history and culture, and most importantly, the drinks. One of our favorite breweries we encountered was Bayou Teche Brewing, founded by the Knott brothers specifically to create beers that complement Creole and Cajun cuisine. Done and done. Of the locally inspired brews, the LA 31 Boucanée quickly became our beverage of choice while inhaling oysters, gumbo, boudin, po' boys, muffulettas...well, you get the point.
This approachable smoked wheat is the perfect gateway beer for people who want to drink some different styles but don't know where to start. The nose smells sweet and slightly smoky due to the cherry wood that's used in the brewing process. The first sip starts sweetly too, with a caramel, malty flavor that evolves slowly to smoky and then into the traditional characteristics of a German weissbier with hints of banana and clove. You notice different flavors with each sip, but none of them overpower one another. It's perfect for BBQ, sausages, steak, burgers, basically anything that's spent time near a flame. What's better is that it's low alcohol, making it great for tailgating, day drinking, or any other "more than one" occasion. We've dubbed it our new "house beer" and pick some up whenever we see it (they've got limited distribution in NYC). If you can find it, grab a sixer for yourself and smoke 'em if you got 'em. --Brown
LA 31 Boucanée