Thursday, December 01, 2011

Christmas Time in New Orleans: Abita Beer Dinner in Alexandria, VA.

My friends at Del Ray Pizzeria, in Alexandria, Virginia, are throwing a New Orleans Christmas party, a couple of weeks early, and one thousand miles north, Tuesday, 13 December 2011.

Chef Reid
Del Ray's Chef Eric Reid, has designed a 5 course/6 beer dinner, pairing New Orleans-style fare with beers from Abita Brewing, a brewery located in Abita Springs, only 30 miles north of the Big Easy.

Abita has been celebrating its 25th anniversary of operation this year. They're sending their local representative, Nick Smith —himself, a past brewer for the brewery— to co-host the dinner.

Here's Chef Reid's menu:

  • Smoked Duck Salad
    with currants & figs, blood orange vinaigrette

  • Served with Abita Amber Ale
    Munich style lager brewed with crystal malt and Perle hops. the brewery's first beer and still its top seller. 4.5% alcohol-by-volume (abv)


  • Red Fish Étouffée
    Sautéed Redfish served over rice
    Smothered in Crawfish Étouffée

  • Served with Abita Jockamo IPA
    "Jockamo is named for the tribes of dancing, singing, chanting “Mardi Gras Indians” who have marched in New Orleans for over 250 years." An India Pale Ale made with pale malt and light crystal malts that give the beer a copper color and malty flavor. Hopped and dry hopped with Willamette and Columbus hops. 6.5% A.B.V.

Oysters Bienville w/Abita S.O.S

  • Oysters Bienville
    Oysters baked with bacon & cheese crust.

  • Served with Abita Save Our Shore Weizen Pils
    For every bottle sold, Abita donates 75¢ to the rescue and restoration of the environment, industry and individuals fighting to survive the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. This unfiltered Weizen Pils is made with Pilsner and Wheat malts, hopped and dry hopped with Sterling and German Perle hops. 7% abv.


  • Grillettes & Grits
    Sautéed Veal Medallions
    In a Creole demi-glace over creamy grits.

  • Served with Abita Christmas Ale
    Generally a dark ale, the recipe changes each year. This year, a hoppy brown ale. 5.5% abv

Bananas Foster w/Abita Double Dog

  • Bananas Foster Bread Pudding
    Chocolate Raisin Bread Pudding, topped with Bananas Foster.

  • Served with Abita 25th Anniversary Vanilla Double Dog
    Abita's 'standard' brown ale —Turbo Dog— is the inspiration for a 7% abv version. Brewed with pale, caramel, and chocolate malts, and Willamette hops. Whole natural vanilla beans are added during maturation.


Abita Select Honey Rye. Brewed with pale malt, 4 different caramel malts, wheat malt, rye malt, wildflower honey, and Willamette hops. Limited, and draft-only. 7% abv.


  • UPDATE: Photos added to this post, after the dinner. More pics: here.
  • Caveat lector: As a representative for Select Wines, Inc. —a wine and beer wholesaler in northern Virgina— I sell the beers of Abita.

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