Taps: / Bottles:
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 37 | Reviews: 36 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by kensuthe:
3.8/5 rDev -2.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $$
Atmosphere - Located on Frenchman Street in the Faubourg Marigny, d.b.a. New Orleans has a more laid back feel than the nearby French Quarter. There are several other bars and music clubs located within a few blocks, so there can be a good flow of people. Venture too far away, though, and you may not feel so comfortable, especially if you are completely unfamiliar with the area. Earlier in the evening the bar is quiet enough for easy conversation or for solitary relaxation, and as the night goes on you can expect to hear some good live music that gives the place a vibrant feeling. We went there for the beer, but they also offer a nice mix of wine and spirits if the feeling grabs you. The bar is in the middle of the building, with the stage in the left side of the building and limited seating on the right side and towards the rear. There are also a few booth window seats at the front of the bar looking out onto Frenchman Street, so come with a few close friends and watch the human parade while you have a good time. There is sometimes a cover charge at the door later in the evening if there is a musical act, so just come earlier and appreciate the feel. One thing to note, though: if you leave the building, expect to pay cover to get back in.
Quality - The draft beers that I sampled were all fresh and clean, as were the glasses. The place is generally cleaner than I would have expected. There is a limited amount of glassware, however, so don't be surprised if you wind up stuck with a pint glass when you wanted a goblet. The bottled beers that we had were fresh as well, and seemed to have been stored properly. From what I could tell, there would be a decent amount of turnover time on most of the kegs, so I would expect a fresh beer from their taps.
Service - The service can be a little slower than you might expect based on other bars with a similar number of patrons, but I think that a high volume of mixed drink orders may be the culprit. The staff serves patrons on both sides of the bar - in the music area on the left side and the drinking area on the right side - so you may have to wait for a few minutes if there are large orders at other parts of the bar. If the place is packed, don't expect enough time for casual chat, as there can be a continuous flow of new orders to be filled. In my experience, the pours from the taps are good, but you might get a poor pour from a bottle if the bartender is in a hurry. Not a deal breaker, but it can be frustrating when you could make a better pour yourself. If you want a more relaxed feel and better service, show up earlier in the evening.
Selection - The draft and bottle selections are displayed prominently above the bar on chalkboards, with prices included. There are around 20 taps, and the selection and styles seem to rotate through frequently. There were offerings from Rogue, Abita, Paulaner, Unibroue, Anchor and others the last time we went. The bottle selection may not be as extensive as a few other places in the region, but there are plenty of quality beers to choose from across the range of styles. Again, the glassware can be limited, so keep that in mind when ordering if it will bother you.
Value - There are some good prices to be found here, and the pricing doesn't vary too widely between similar beers in the same style. Drinking draft is still a better bet than buying bottle, but the prices shouldn't prevent you from choosing what you're in the mood for. I don't think that food is served here, but you should be able to find something to eat nearby. If you're in New Orleans and you want to hit up a good beer bar, the selection and the atmosphere make d.b.a. a good value choice.
03-27-2008 19:56:33 | More by kensuthe
More User Reviews:
3.36/5 rDev -14.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | $$
OK, this is a hard one to grade. This is one of the premier hot spots on Frenchman St. The dirty dive vibe is a bit contrived. Certainly some good bands play here. Which adds to the feel. Though, for me, far from one of my favorite places to see some music.
When nobody is here the service is alright, but this place is a mad house at peak hours. Unless you want to see a specific band, avoid peak times.
There are 20 taps. Most are generic, though three different NOLA offerings. Also an outlier of Sorachi Ace. Other than that PBR and a bunch of other macros. No food, just booze and music. Take it for what its worth, but I like Spotted Cat, Three Muses, and Apple Barrel better. Even with less of a beer selection.
10-05-2012 04:15:22 | More by champ103
4/5 rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
While my initial knowledge of the "chain" came through its beer reputation, the reason we headed here was for the brass band playing on a Tuesday night. Down on Frenchman Street where music can be sampled by just walking down the street, d.b.a. takes up the width of two buildings. One room has a long bar and a few tables and chairs, the other has a stage at the front, open dance floor and smaller bar towards the rear. Room is quite dark, exposed brick and wood with minimal lighting.
Beer list was extensive for the area. Drafts written and organized hap hazardly on the chalkboard above the bar. Stuck pretty much to the locals from NOLA, Abita and Bayou Teche. Bottle selections covered much from pale ales to Belgians. Service was quick and friendly despite the crowds.
Music is also one of the major draws with some of the better known and well respected local acts cumming in on a regular basis. Most shows are $5 and few are $10. Will definitely revisit when im back down in NOLA.
03-13-2012 21:34:02 | More by rfgetz
2.49/5 rDev -36.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 2 | selection: 2.5 | $$
My wife and I kicked off an evening at D.B.A. The place was comfortable enough and a good escape from some of the quarter nonsense. I had a Hopitoulous to kick things off that sort of seemed off. My wife complained one of her beers was off a bit. Dirty lines? The bartender was busy serving her regulars. Hey I get it serve your regulars and they will continue to serve you. Dont leave the tourist 10+ minutes with empties. The place wasnt that busy at 5pm on a Thursday. The selection available was sort of middle of the road. A few locals, macros and scattered imports nothing to go out of my way for. We stayed over on the Espanades so this wasnt a hike would have repeated if service was better.
07-12-2011 17:28:51 | More by nlmartin
3.48/5 rDev -11%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $$$
They have a pretty decent selection of beer here. I ordered a Rogue barleywine, which I normally love (I was surprised they had lots of Rogue) and i'm pretty sure something was wrong with the tap line or the beer itself, it was undrinkable...plastic tasting...yuck!! Everything else was pretty good however. I did stick to the bottled beer after the bad barleywine. They have a nice atmosphere for live music, saw a couple jazz bands on Fri and Sat evenings which were both great. Prices on bottled and tap beers seemed a bit high to me.
02-24-2011 02:46:54 | More by loren01
3.04/5 rDev -22.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 1 | selection: 3.5 | $$$
d.b.a. has a nice craft beer selection, but the bartenders need better PR training. I ordered two beers that cost $15, and left $3 on the counter as a tip. 5 minutes later, I returned to the bar and asked for a glass of water. Bartender gave me a dirty look and said she would take care of her tipping customers first. When I explained that I did leave her a tip, she said she "would take my word for it." She did not apologize until she saw me talking to the manager. This behavior is unacceptable in an upscale, craft beer bar. I've sent so many people to d.b.a. over the years and have tried to support them, and now I have to rethink this.
01-22-2011 13:34:24 | More by brewtopia88
3.93/5 rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $$
12/2/2010. I was recommended this place by a local server with the fact that we were looking for a place away from the commotion of Bourbon Street. D.B.A. is just outside the French Quarter but its only a few blocks walk from most of the nightlife attractions.
Being my first time in New Orleans, I enjoyed the experience of D.B.A. as it was a place offering 200+ micro and major US/World craft brews and had live blues/bluegrass/jazz music. There was a $5 dollar cover, but I am not sure whether it is every night or just because a band was playing.
A few points on the service of the place; I did have to wait an extended period of time when the keg kicked, but the bartender apologized for the wait and bought the beer for me.
All in all, D.B.A. is a place off the "beaten-path" offering a music scene and eclectic beer selection for those looking to escape Bourbon Street at least for a little while.
12-03-2010 16:50:17 | More by HopstothemaxMD
3.85/5 rDev -1.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | $$
01/30/10 our bartender at another locale recommended Frenchman St. to see krewe du vieux to kick off the pre-Mardi Gras festivities. What a fantastic night! Great locals hangout and the parade scene was high positive energy. As for the bar I had abita amber and andygator only, but the beer selection was large - menu board and scene reminded me of Philly's Standard Tap. Highly recommended non-touristy way to experience the city night-life. The Spotted Cat (great jazz place) and Apple Barrel are about 18 drunken steps across the street so its a prime location.
02-13-2010 02:13:40 | More by dude
2.88/5 rDev -26.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2 | selection: 2.5 | food: 3 | $$
For a place called "Drink Better Alcohol" I was fairly unimpressed. Their fairly wide selection was mostly int'l macros and stuff available at any store in the area. I got Spaten's Optimator which the bartender was kind enough to pour for me in somewhat appropriate glassware, but even though it had the etched fill line, he gave it to me completely headless. I wish I'd asked to pour it myself. The next couple of pints I ordered of Dead Guy were poured to the brim although I had asked for head.
It was also incredibly smoky, which is par for the course in a NOLA bar but that doesn't make it alright.
Basically, if you're there for live music, you can get good beer there, too. In fact, it's the venue I'd choose for alcohol. But if you want good beer first and foremost, you're better off elswhere.
08-26-2009 01:18:28 | More by saztheorybook
d.b.a. in New Orleans, LA
88 out of 100 based on 37 ratings.