It’s Mardi Gras time in Mobile, and while you may be stuck with flavorless Budmilcoorlite at the balls, you can stock your Yeti with something tastier for the parades — and in the spirit of the season — if you look hard enough.
As expected, Louisiana brewers have a host of special Mardi Gras beers for the Carnival season. Abita, the granddaddy of craft brewing in the Pelican State, turns out its Mardi Gras Bock every year at this time. The light, German-style lager is a regional favorite, and I know many people around here look forward to its release every year. It is sweet with lots of malt flavor, and will go great with chicken-on-a-stick on Government Street watching the Comic Cowboys roll by.
Up Interstate 12 from Abita Springs, Baton Rouge’s Tin Roof Brewery produces a number of good beers that are available in our area, including its seasonal Parade Ground Coffee Porter (pictured above), brewed only during the winter months. I love dark beers, but don’t always like the new trend of putting every type of crazy ingredient in stouts and porters. Coffee has become a favorite flavor to add to darker beers, but unlike some coffee porters and stouts, the coffee in Parade Ground is not too overpowering; instead, it’s an excellent complement to the beer. Get one before they’re gone!
Thibodaux’s Mudbug Brewery produces its King Cake Ale year-round and touts it as “The Official Beer of Mardi Gras.” I’ve been to my share of Mardi Gras celebrations, from Fairhope to New Orleans and everywhere in between, and I’d never heard of Mudbug’s King Cake Ale, and with good reason. I was skeptical of a king cake beer, but I figured it was worth a try — I was wrong; it was atrocious. If you are mad at anyone, I’ve got a five pack of it left for you.
Closer to the home of the original Mardi Gras, brewers in Baldwin County also produce some seasonal brews for carnival season. Down by the Gulf, Big Beach Brewing Co. has plans to put out a special bock for Mardi Gras, but I don’t have any details on it yet. Fairhope Brewing Co., on the other hand, has released a number of special Mardi Gras beers in the past, including the Merry Widows Russian Imperial Stout and a King Cake Stout. This year it will debut the Bubba Likes Moonpie Stout, which owner Brian Kane described as having as having “all that creamy marshmallow flavor you would expect out of a beer inspired by one of Mardi Gras’ favorite treats.” Support your local breweries and grab a pint, or fill up a growler of local beer and take it to the parade!
When out at the parades this season, please remember to keep Mobile beautiful and recycle your bottles and cans. As they have since 2012, the Cleaner, Greener LoDa Committee and the Alabama Coastal Foundation coordinate an Eco-Team of volunteers to collect recyclables downtown and along the parade routes. If you are interested in joining the Eco-Team, visit joinacf.org for information.
Let the good times roll and Laissez le bon débit de bière!