#48: Purple Haze: Abita Brewing Company, Abita Springs, Louisiana
State: Home to jazz music, delicious Cajun and Creole cuisine, and above ground graves, Louisiana is distinctly different from the rest of the Deep South. Or at least New Orleans is.
Brewery: Abita Brewing Co. started brewing in 1986, using water from the "artesian wells" in a small town 30 miles north of New Orleans. It is now listed as the 15th largest microbrewery in the country and can be found in 46 states and Puerto Rico.
Beer: Purple Haze is a light beer infused with the awesome power of raspberries. The slightly purple hue and fruity taste add on to what is an otherwise dull beer. Starting earlier this year, Purple Haze is one of three Abita brews available in cans.
Difficulty of Obtaining in Oregon: Easy. Check your local beer emporium.
Average Score: 49.5
Purple Haze is an intensely light-bodied fruit beer. The tart crispness and pale color bring back fond memories of clear Haribo gummy bears that had absorbed trace amounts of the raspberry red ones. Just a trace. Lacking both a strong taste and aftertaste, this blowzy beer is so quick and stealthy that you'll forget all about it the second you finish.
Unlike most Southern states, Louisiana does not have any strict laws regarding brewing, distribution and consumption. That's right, the home of the drive-thru daiquiri shop practices a laissez-faire attitude towards beer—outside of the arcane cash beer law that requires all purchases of beer, and only beer, by a retailer from a wholesaler must be completed with "currency and/or coin."
The most recent legal dispute regarding beer in the state was, in fact, just a clarification of the already legal practice of homebrewing in 2010. It passed… by a vote of 36-0 in the state senate and 90-0 in the House of Representatives.
Louisianans, it seems, approve of drinking.
Bourbon Street is famous worldwide as the epicenter of the drunken hedonism that is Mardi Gras. LSU and its corndog-scented fanbase have gained notoriety for the atmosphere of night games at Tiger Stadium—Tigers fans don't change the start of their tailgating, they just drink longer. And that's without even mentioning the Cajuns…