Considering its long-standing embrace of boozy excess, it sure has taken New Orleans a long time to warm up to craft beer. Back in 2007, it had just two local breweries—Abita and Heiner Brau—and both were tucked away on the northern side of Lake Pontchartrain, more than an hour from where most tourists sip Ramos Gin Fizzes and Sazeracs. Meanwhile, the term "bottle shop" didn't mean well-curated coolers like Stein's Deli or 504 Craft Beer Reserve; it meant corner stores that stocked malt liquor and watered-down lagers.   "When I started Parish Brewing Co. in 2008, there were less than five breweries in the state,” says brewmaster Andrew Godley. “Now there are 22 or 23, and more are slated to open this year and next. The beer consumption in Louisiana is Top 10 per capita in the country, so I don't see the growth slowing down anytime soon.” — Andrew Parks  

Food & Wine

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