New Orleans Mission Recap

New Orleans is known for a lot of things: The Sugar Bowl,…

New Orleans is known for a lot of things: The Sugar Bowl, Bourbon Street, good food and Hurricanes (the liquor drinks and Mother Nature’s version too). Like other major cities in this great country we live in, it has a large homeless population.

The guys at OTBX teamed up with Abita Beer, tapped a few kegs and put on a great fundraiser last week. Chris Paysinger and John Kvach from Reconstruction South* brought some unique relics for the silent auction. The money raised helped fund a mission trip to NOLA to put some food in the bellies of the hungry.

When I walked in, the party was in full swing. I snagged the last seat at the bar and ordered the Abita Bourbon Street Stout. Stout indeed: One was enough, but man was it tasty. Once again, beer aged in a bourbon barrel is hard to turn down.

Speaking of bourbon, I like bourbon and talked with a friend, who also likes bourbon, about bourbon, while we drank craft beer, made in New Orleans. I realized that whether we debate who has the best bourbon, or the best craft beers, there is no right or wrong. With 1000’s of each, how can we ever know who has the best? We will just have to keep tasting. I also tasted, the Pachyderm Wheat from Avondale. Good stuff. I ordered a glass and tasted more.

Speaking of tasting, the food on hand was really good I hear, because by the time I arrived the food table looked like starving lumberjacks had been turned loose. Several patrons were walking around glassy eyed, rubbing their bellies mumbling about shrimp and grits and pimento cheese. Hat tip for LeeLee Wiginton for providing the good groceries.

*Let us talk about John and Chris, these Reconstruction South guys. They have a cool thing going. If you dig antiques and Southern heritage and culture, you are going to want to follow them. When the new UG White Mercantile opens downtown, you will be able to find some of their great items. Thanks to a well-timed auction bid, one of those items resides in my home now. A Fehr’s Beer box from the early 1900s, complete with the original lid and hinges.

Interestingly, Fehr’s was founded Louisville, KY, not far from Bourbon country. I am an old soul. I like old stuff and I get lost in thought when I look at something like that old beer box. What was it like to load and unload hundreds of those? Did bottles break often? What was their production like? There’s nothing pre-fab about making a box like that in 1920. I want to know who made that box. Was it an old man in overalls, with gnarled hands? We’ll never know, but we can wonder, and that’s what makes it great.

Remember, drink responsibly. Life’s just too damn short.

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