The Avenue Pub is the premier beer bar in New Orleans and one of the best in the region. That alone is reason enough for any beer fan to visit this mecca for brew. But even if beer isn’t your thing, it’s still worth going to this 24-hour neighborhood joint it pours as robust a whiskey list as any in the city, and its bartenders are friendly to beer nerds and novices alike.
Until 2006, the Avenue Pub was a typical neighborhood bar, pouring big-brand beer and basic booze at low prices. Then the owner died and his daughter, Polly Watts, took over. Over the next several years, she transformed the bar into a beer haven, one of the first in the city to focus on regional, national and international craft beers. The forty-plus taps change regularly and offer rare beers from around the world. Her strong relationships with brewers and distributors mean she carries beers that no one else in the city or even region may carry, including beers from Cantillon and De La Senne in Belgium Visitors who have a hard time choosing from among the bounty can sample four-
Before taking over her dad’s pub, Polly lived in Louisville, Kentucky, and her whiskey list reflects the time she spent surrounded by America’s spirit. While most neighborhood joints offer “programming” like trivia or movie nights, the Avenue Pub hosts regular visits from brewers, distillers, and other folks in the industry, who pour special barrels of whiskey or collaborations between several breweries. Although the bar’s drink menu is upscale, the vibe is still very low-key.
It is a 24-hour bar, after all, and drinking here at 3 a.m. comes with all the woozy delight that hour affords. That also means that bartenders here accept all kinds of drinkers, from someone who wants a pretty basic pilsner to someone who knows exactly what kind of glass his Imperial Stout should be served in. There are no snobs working at the Avenue Pub.
The upstairs bar opens at 5 p.m. daily and its balcony affords a lovely view of St. Charles Avenue. If you love beer or whiskey (or both) the Avenue Pub is a must-visit. I probably Uber home and leave my car parked here overnight more than any other bar in town, because once I start sampling, it’s hard to stop. Each time I drink here, I learn something new about beer, and doing so while drinking on a balcony makes the learning even more fun. Given that my business is called Drink & Learn, it’s not surprising that the Avenue Pub is one of my favorite bars in the city.
The Avenue Pub NEW ORLEANS Photo Gallery
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