Updated: Jan 22
Parleaux Beer Lab
Think of Parleaux like the island in Pirates of the Caribbean - It's a brewery that cannot be found except by those who already know where it is. Tucked deep into the underbelly of New Orleans' eclectic Bywater neighborhood, Parleaux lives up to its identity as a local brewery, serving all their own beer exclusively across the taproom bar.
Locals pack this place daily, often riding bikes or simply walking. The brewery boasts a pretty badass bike rack right outside the door and the New Orleans bike-share Blue Bikes has several racks by the sidewalk ready for anyone without wheels. Check out our post on how breweries like Parleaux are encouraging less cars and more bikes.
Like any good neighborhood brewery, the taproom and courtyard bustle with patrons of all ages. Young couples, families with children, and groups of friends all sit, stand and enjoy each-others company over a beer. Long tables in the taproom encourage groups to sit together, with patrons happily sharing the space to accommodate other fellow beer lovers.
Don't quote me on this, but I'd say that over half of Parleaux's lot is taken up by their beautiful courtyard. Local breweries are really upping their game when it comes to maximizing their space, and having outdoor seating seems to be a trend that's here to stay. The courtyard is one of my favorite parts about Parleaux. Courtyards and patios are sparse throughout New Orleans, with most restaurants and bars choosing air conditioned space over outdoor seating. But Parleaux seems to draw the kind of crowd that will put up with high 90's and humidity if you put a cold, carefully crafted beer in their hand. Who needs A/C anyway!
On my last ramble to Parleaux, a good friend and fellow National Guard combat medic tagged along. This happened to be his first time going to a "real brewery" and he seemed rather unsure of what to expect. People actually drink at breweries? Is there a bar? What kind of beer do they have? He cautiously ordered a 5 ounce taster for his first round. On his next trip up to the bar he returned with a flight of four sours, a big dopey smile on his face, and nothing but compliments for the beer and brewery. As we sat at one of the long taproom tables, a family with three children set up camp next to us. The parents had beers in hand and the kids started up a lively game of Guess Who while my buddy (who brews mead at home) and I sat talking about the brewing equipment that lined the wall. When it was time to head home, he asked the bartender to fill three crowlers to take home.
Parleaux makes it easy to introduce anyone to a "real brewery". Not only does Parleaux sling some awesome beer over the bar, but they have built and encouraged a sense of community around the brewery. Every neighborhood needs a brewery like Parleaux Beer Lab.
Patrick's beer pick - The Tortoise and the Hare - Maibock - 7.6%
"Very crisp and clean. I like to try different beers, but I find myself ordering this one every time I make it to Parleaux"
Erin's beer pick - Prosecceaux di Pesca - Tart Peach Ale - 5.5%
"I liked that it had a good amount of peach flavor, but that it was still dry, rather than sweet. It wasn't overly fruity like some fruit beers are."
Parleaux Beer Lab
634 Lesseps St.
New Orleans, LA 70117