New Orleans On Tap, the dog- and family- friendly beer festival sponsored by the LA-SPCA and Bulldog was a huge success in every way this past Saturday, September 27.
It's a tossup to decide who had a better time at New Orleans On Tap (NOOT). One the one hand, humans were able to drink a from a selection of 300 different commercially available beers and another several dozen from area homebrewers. On the other hand, dogs had many other dog butts to sniff and drunken humans to lavish affection upon them. Really a win-win there.
New Orleans On Tap is a major LA-SPCA fundraiser, held in partnership with the Bulldog and, for the second year, has closed out Louisiana Craft Brewer Week. NOOT took over the City Park Festival Grounds on September 27 and between noon and 8pm, 10,000 people attended the pups and suds revelry - up from 8,000 last year. The LA-SPCA raised over two hundred grand to support the animals in the state's SPCA shelters, up from $120K raised last year. No official number of how many dogs were in attendance, but it seemed an exuberant yet manageable amount.
This year, NOOT organizers recognized the importance of homebrewer participation by holding a BJCP-certified homebrew competition which paired certified judges with local "beer celebrities," like the beer writers from NOLA.com and Gambit, bloggers, and authors of the book "New Orleans Brewing: A Hoppy History of Big Easy Brewing." They all judged 44 entries and the winners were Half-Hearted Brewer's Sour Brown with Raspberries, Cranberries, and Tart Cherries in first place; Bombadil Brewing's Eleventy-First Birthday Saison in second place; and Laughing Troll's Belgian Dubble, Demaciale, in third place.
NOOT also held a "people's choice" homebrew award, and the winners were: Long Bridge Brewing's Café no Lait, Bucktown Brewing's Rippin' Red Ale, and Beaucoup Craft Brew's Kangaroo Kick Wheat Ale.
The family-friendly beer festival (not words you hear together much) also had food, music, and plenty of space to spread out and enjoy the day - the pleasant overcast weather of the early afternoon did tip into rain for a little while, but nothing serious and the rain boot warning level stayed at low.
LA-SPCA Development Resource Coordinator Jeffrey Elizardi says, "We want this to continue to grow every year and be the best beer festival in the South."