Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Pizza and Beer, New Orleans Style

Does beer taste better depending on where you sit? In some cases it does. Abita isn't really known for their superior beverages, mainly just as the beer you drink on Bourbon Street. That's okay, better than being known for sucking. Their offerings are all similar in taste and character, not a lot of difference between their Abita Amber, Turbo Dog or Pecan Harvest. The Abita Purple Haze has a little juice in it, but they all have that underlying sameness, which makes them popular in restaurants in the South. Abita Jockamo is different. For one, it's their only IPA and adventure into hops. That sameness found in all of their other beers isn't present here. It's not much of a nose, but a great taste and a super clean finish. Or does it?
I did pose the question of where you sit. Some beers carry themselves on flavor alone, especially when we're talking about IPAs. But others are the weaker sisters and if their sibling beers are somewhat boring and obvious, they can appear even lesser in quality. But put yourself in the right ambiance and serve the right food and you have a much higher degree of satisfaction. I can testify that there is only one way to drink an Abita Jockamo IPA: in a pint glass, sitting in a bar in New Orleans, enjoying a po' boy or other NOLA cuisine. There's nothing like it. The flavor of the city, the flavor of the food, and the flavor of the beer all meld into a drinking experience that has to be experienced. In this case, I was sitting in a little pizza joint on Decatur that I know that makes a unique pizza - a Central Grocery Muffaletta Pizza. New Orleans jazz is playing on the stereo, and I'm chowing down on a hand-tossed pizza with salami, pepperoni, prosciutto and the original muffalleta olive spread. The Jockamo's light, citrusy notes work well with the pizza sauce, the spices in the salami, the sharp prosciutto tastes, and the richness from the olive spread and oils. The finish of the beer is quicker than most IPAs and leaves you with a clean taste that doesn't fight with your food. A perfect pairing that can only be found in one city in the world, and that really kicks off the Cajun theme, laissez les bon temps roulez.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Pizza, beer and environment sound like an unbeatable combination. I have to defend Turbo Dog - it's a down right tasty beverage. Nice write-up dp!