Where to reliably find Ghost (and other great local beer) in the New Orleans area

Discussion in 'South' started by Moohing, Dec 20, 2018.

  1. Moohing

    Moohing Initiate (48) Dec 5, 2018 Louisiana
    Trader

    Seeing a lot of people, especially in the Ghost thread, visiting New Orleans and asking for bottle shop recomendations, so I figured I'd throw together a little guide. Hope this helps some people out, both visitors and veterans of New Orleans just now breaking into the craft scene alike.

    Here in New Orleans we have access to quite a few bottle shops with amazing selection that really didn't exist as recently as 5 years ago. Some of them are wine/liquor stores that have capitalized on the booming craft beer scene, others are grocery chains trying to do the same thing, while a few are dedicated craft beer stores selling hard to find stuff. I'll start with my personal favorites and work my way down the list in no particular order.

    1. 504 Craft Beer Reserve: This one might be a bit out of your way depending on what part of town you're staying in, but for locals, it couldn't be more central. Location: 3939 Tulane Ave, New Orleans, LA 70119 (pretty much the corner of Tulane Ave and Carrolton Ave) Why here?: By far my favorite atmosphere in the city. I think this is also the most unique concept because it's really half bar/half bottle shop and you'd be remiss to come here just for a six pack. Any bottle or can in the store can be fast chilled and cracked in house for a $1 fee (yes, even bombers) and they will provide a glass of course. 16 constantly rotating taps with local, national, and international stuff, usually with no two taps from the same brewery. The staff here are exceptional and care deeply about what they are trying to accomplish with this store. Jason, Patrick, and Steven will give you samples of anything on tap to help you make your own decision, never pushing one beer over another or criticizing your tastes/preferences. These guys have great relationships with literally every local brewery that distributes in the area and many breweries accross the country. They do tastings once a week too, usually with reps from one or two breweries both local and from afar. The customer base is great too, very much a local spot and brewers from around the city hang out here quite often. Don't be surprised if you walk in, hang out a bit at the bar, and get invited into a bottle share some of the regulars are throwing at a table. Oh, and a decent selection of locally made spirits as well as some sake. I really can't sing this place's praises enough. Criticizms: Can at times be a slight bit pricier than other places, especially if you're trying to buy six packs, as everything in the store is priced by the single. The enormous selection, attention to detail (dates are always on point) and atmosphere make it well worth your time though.
    2. Elio's Wine Warehouse: My go to spot for 6 packs, closer to garden district and uptown with tougher hours. Location: 6205 S Miro St, New Orleans, LA 70125 (basically right across Claiborne Ave from Tulane University) Why here?: Elio's has been in business for decades. It's a tiny family run shop that has an amazing relationship with some of the local distributors, especially Crescent Crown. Great selection of local and national six packs and some smaller run stuff sold as singles. Plenty of bombers and large format stuff too. I believe they have 6 or 8 rotating taps for growler fills only (no on site consumption, sadly). Great staff who all seem like family and are happy to help you find something specific or recommend some recent favorites. Arguably their biggest plus is price, consistently rivalling the big grocery chains but with a smaller, more personal touch. Of course, you can find wine and spirits here, and always insane deals on stuff that's close to or just after the expiration date, if you're into that kind of thing. Criticizms: Smaller, more national selection and very few things offered as singles or already chilled. I've also definitely found (and accidentally brought home) 6 packs of significantly out of date beer. They are more than happy to take it back however if this happens to you, and have great customer service. Also, those pesky hours man...
    3. Brady's Wine Warehouse: Close to downtown with a similar vibe to Elio's. Location: 1029 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd C, New Orleans, LA 70113 (almost to Lee Circle, by the WWII museum) Why here?: Great selection and always friendly staff. To be honest, I haven't been here in quite a while as it's pretty out of my way, but they are a local mainstay and I've never heard a bad thing about them. Criticizms: Price, purely due to their location.
    4. Stein's Market and Deli: In-between the garden district and uptown with a great selection and (you guessed it!) a very friendly staff. Location: 2207 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70130 Why here?: Really, you can't go wrong with any of these first four. Stein's is awesome because you can come do a little shopping for groceries, grab a muffaletta, and drink a local beer all in the same spot. Great selection for sure and middle of the road pricing with a great location on magazine, though finding parking can be tough sometimes. You should be able to find just about any beer you'd want here although I haven't been here in a while for the same reasons as Brady's, so hopefully their singles section is better. Criticizms: Definitely check dates here. Can get busy as this place has a bit of a tourist following.
    5. Craft Beer Cellar: Larger chain with a good location but poor date management. Location: 2801 Magazine St D, New Orleans, LA 70115 Why Here?: All singles here and plenty cooled down, so stop in to grab a beer as you walk down Magazine St window shopping and take advantage of the lack of open container laws! Criticizms: It's a national chain, so there's that. Everything is singles so it gets expensive fast. Definitely check dates here, can't tell you how many cans I've picked up that are from over a year ago or have no date at all. Employees are usually unhelpful at best, sometimes rude and just generally working a minimum wage job without passion for what they're selling. And finally, a significantly less impressive selection than other options. I'd really only stop here if you're walking past.
    6. Grocery stores (Rouses, Winn-Dixie, Roberts): a surprisingly large selection, sometimes with some singles/build your own six pack, always close. Location: tons around the city Why here?: Often the cheapest you're going to find in the city. Good selection of local and not-so-local stuff. Rouses especially has an amazing selection at all of their locations with walk in coolers and unchilled stuff too. Criticizms: Obviously these are the big chains cutting into the market for smaller stores higher up on this list. Don't expect anyone to be able to help you so you should have a good idea of what you're looking for before you show up. Local stuff usually has good dates but always check at these locations.
    I really hope this guide can help some people find the best spot for them in the city. If there is any interest, I'm thinking of doing a few more guides like this to local breweries, bars, etc. If anyone needs recommendations for what beers to search for or anything about the New Orleans area, feel free to reply here or shoot me a PM, I'm always happy to help!

    Also, if there are any other locals that feel like I've missed something or have incorrect info, please tell me so I can edit accordingly!
     
  2. Henryb22

    Henryb22 Initiate (90) Jun 18, 2014 South Carolina
    Trader

    Do any of these places do crowler fills (flying so want to avoid glass) or sell cans of Parish?
     
  3. Moohing

    Moohing Initiate (48) Dec 5, 2018 Louisiana
    Trader

    All of the breweries themselves will fill crowlers. Flying with glass is easy though, just put it in a gallon Ziploc and wrap in a towel or dirty clothes or something. I believe all the bottle shops just do growlers but I'm sure you could find a plastic growler if you really want something off tap.
     
    Henryb22 likes this.
  4. Moohing

    Moohing Initiate (48) Dec 5, 2018 Louisiana
    Trader

    Forgot to press the reply button, see above!
     
  5. Henryb22

    Henryb22 Initiate (90) Jun 18, 2014 South Carolina
    Trader

    Cool, was just wondering if any parish cans are readily available or if any of the bottle shops do crowlers so I could take home parish. I plan on getting crowlers/cans from breweries too.
     
  6. MarshallBirdhouse

    MarshallBirdhouse Devotee (414) Feb 19, 2013 Louisiana
    Trader

    Envie is the only canned Parish beer that I've regularly seen (besides the last running of DDH Ghost which they used a mobile canning line). Envie cans are contract brewed at Brewhub in Florida. Everything else from Parish is bottled.
     
    Henryb22 likes this.
  7. Henryb22

    Henryb22 Initiate (90) Jun 18, 2014 South Carolina
    Trader

    Is envie worth getting with it being contract brewed?
     
  8. MarshallBirdhouse

    MarshallBirdhouse Devotee (414) Feb 19, 2013 Louisiana
    Trader

    Canned Envie is hit or miss, regular Envie in bottles brewed in Broussard is awesome.
     
  9. donspublic

    donspublic Poo-Bah (1,622) Aug 4, 2014 Texas
    Premium Trader

    Remember seeing a ton of this in the panhandle back in June, most was canned the first couple of months of the year. I didn't bite. I have had it in the bottle with up to 5 months on it and it was still solid, but not wanting to experiment on BrewHub's canning line when I was so far from the beer store.
     
  10. Minipork

    Minipork Initiate (145) Dec 11, 2010 Illinois

    I live in Chicago but am from Folsom. I was there for new years and got a case of Ghost at the Rousses in Covington.