AS I move around our city and see the damage inflicted by Hurricane Matthew I’m reminded how fortunate we are. As bad as it was, and continues to be, most of us did not suffer to the extent that New Orleans did during Hurricane Katrina.
Savannah and New Orleans have similarities beyond hurricanes. A deep history in the cotton trade, similar geography, oak -lined streets, Southern geniality and, of course parades have yielded an impression that Savannah is New Orleans’ little sister. Despite all these similarities, and more, Savannah and New Orleans do have distinct differences. Savannah is smaller, more romantic next to New Orleans big city activity.
New Orleans also has, with apologies to Johnny Mercer, a stronger history of music, with jazz being the cornerstone of that history. Louisiana was also on the leading edge of the resurgence of local beer.
One of the early craft breweries in the South, Abita was founded in 1986 within ten years of the California resurgence of craft beer. Founded in Abita Springs about 30 miles from New Orleans, Abita Brewing quickly grew and expanded, and beers like Turbodog and Purple Haze become many Southerners’ “gateway” craft beer.
New Orleans will be sending a bit of its distinctiveness to Savannah and the Lucas Theatre this week when Abita joins forces with New Orleans jazz greats the New Breed Brass Band at a fundraiser for the 11th season of the Savannah Children’s Choir on November 3rd. The event dubbed “A Night In New Orleans” will feature the nine piece ensemble whose roots lie in the second line brass band tradition but which have been expanded to included all types music including rock, hip-hop and funk. It will be a good time.
But what about the beer you ask? Well there will be plenty of that too. Abita is sending several options including their Amber, Peach and Big Easy IPA. Peach is part of Abita’s harvest series, all beers made from fresh Louisiana grown ingredients. Peach is Abita’s Fall seasonal version and at 5% is an easy to drink fruity beer. Big Easy IPA was brewed to serve as a good drinkable IPA for long hot Southern days. Brewed with four different hops, Cascade, Amarillo, Centennial and Simcoe, Big Easy will bring citrus and pine to the table as main flavors and at 4.5% ABV are not to heavy. Abita will also be bringing plenty of New Orleans themed swag, Mardi Gras beads, to the party.
All proceeds from ticket sales will go to support the Savannah Children’s Choir and their year long endeavors. Tickets to “A Night In New Orleans” are $25 for general admission. Select VIP tickets are available for $50. VIP ticket holders enjoy reserved upfront seating and are invited to a backstage after party and a meet and greet with the band. There is also a dinner package that includes New Orleans inspired food served up by Smith Brothers Butcher Shop. Tickets available at lucastheatre.com.