We went to another great beer tasting at San Francisco's world-famous Jug Shop and they were showcasing Abita Beer from New Orleans.  Since Mardi Gras (literally "Fat Tuesday") is next week, they were handing out beads, shouting "Laissez les bon temps rouler!" (Let the good times roll), and having a grand time. 

They started us off with their Purple Haze, a raspberry-wheat that has a ruddy tint from the raspberry puree they add to it.  The fruit was not overpowering and added a nice tartness to the earthy wheaty-ness.  They say it pairs well with Brie, I could see that.

Their Pecan Harvest was also a stand out.  They say it's made with real pecans and most nut-beers are not.  I didn't know that, but then I haven't had many nut flavored beers.  No matter how you pronounce pecan, it has a bold nuttiness that's superb.

We tasted about 8 beers and what made the night extra special was...

the blackout... 

The power went out making everything pitch black.  Immediately people began to break out their cell phones to illuminate the counter and the Jug Shop crew didn't skip a beat.  They kept pouring drafts.  Someone even had an umbrella with a LED shaft that they hung from the existing light fixtures (see the photo above).

They finished the tasting with two amazing brews; their Andygator and their Abby Ale.  Both ring in at 8% but both are surprisingly NOT heavy or cloying.  Andygator is done in the style of a Dopplebock (like Paulaner), Abbey Ale done like a Belgian Trappist (like Leffe).  The power didn't come back on by the time we left.  I'm a new fan of Abita's beers.

Authordavid koch