The Warehouse District downtown has grown by leaps and bounds over the past 10 years. It’s a destination for fine dining institutions like Emeril’s, Root, Cochon, La Boca, and Peche, as well as for galleries and museums on Julia Street, Magazine Street, and beyond. Now, the neighborhood is also becoming a beer destination, with restaurants expanding their craft beer selections and new establishments opening up.
The Warehouse District area is conveniently located for exploring other parts of town that one might wish to visit. It’s close to the French Quarter, the Central Business District and the Lower Garden District. (In fact, it’s just a jaunt under the expressway on Magazine Street to find the Courtyard Brewery, which offers house brewed beer alongside guest taps and food trucks.) But, really, everything you need is right in one New Orleans neighborhood.
Take a closer look at the beer boom happening right now in the Warehouse District with these bars and restaurants. All are family friendly (although only patrons 21 and older can get into Barcadia after 9 p.m.) and offer food — Cochon Butcher’s selection of sandwich with house cured meats, Cochon’s Cajun cuisine, Barcadia’s burgers, Wood’s pizza, a full menu of bar snacks and sandwiches (and weekly beer-unch) at World of Beer, the German-inspired dishes (and fried hot chicken skins) at Tchoupitoulas Beer Garden, and more.
What to know: Barcadia first brought an extended tap list of rotating drafts to the area in 2013, when it opened the bar-restaurant-adult playground replete with vintage pinball machines and video games, giant-sized Jenga, and skeeball. Its 44 taps focus heavily on local beers as well as a few macro brands. The vibe is lively, and it attracts local young professionals as well as tourists. It’s not a beer bar per se; it’s really more a place that has a large number of taps and drinking options.
What beer to order: Gnarly Barley’s Korova Milk Baltic Porter
What to know: When Cochon Butcher expanded and renovated its space in 2014, it expanded its beer list and now showcases several local beers on draft and in the bottle or can. Hard-to-find beers like Parish’s Ghost in the Machine have popped up quietly on tap at Butcher, and the space has played host to several beer events, like Bayou Teche Brewing’s anniversary pig roast and Great Raft’s brunch and beer pairings.
What beer to order: Southern Prohibition’s Jack the Sipper (unless Ghost in the Machine is on)
What to know: Butcher’s big sister, Cochon Restaurant, also stocks a variety of Gulf Coast beer to complement its local flavors and food menu — a fact that often flies under the radar. Cochon was one of Bayou Teche’s first draft accounts back when the brewery opened in 2009, and the restaurant’s dedication to all things Louisiana and Cajun certainly shows in its beer menu.
What beer to order: Parish Brewing’s Farmhouse IPA
What to know: Wood opened in 2014 and brought the beer garden concept to the corner of Andrew Higgins and Annunciation. Almost all of its seating is outdoors, and its 40 taps are broken down into style categories on the menu, so patrons seeking a specific style, like IPA, stout, or wheat beer, can easily identify what they want to order. Pizza and beer are a classic combination — you can find tap lists in pizza restaurants all over town.
What beer to order: Lazy Magnolia’s Lazy Saison
What to know: This bar’s recent opening in the Warehouse District definitely upped the beer scene status of the neighborhood. Although it’s a Tampa-based franchise, each World of Beer works with local breweries to collaborate on events, food recipes and pairings, and even the beer itself. When the Julia Street location opened in a converted molasses warehouse, Bayou Teche Brewing brewed a special beer to commemorate the occasion, incorporating molasses, chicory, coffee, cocoa nibs, and marshmallow root.
The Warehouse District location of World of Beer also boasts two different happy hours (Monday through Friday from 3-7 p.m. and Sunday through Thursday from 10 p.m.- close). During those times, enjoy $4 select draft beer along with a special happy hour bar menu with everything priced at $5.
World of Beer serves food till closing, which is 1 a.m. during the week and 2 a.m. on weekends, making it one of the only spots in the area to get late-night eats.
What beer to order: Saint Arnold Brewing Endeavor double IPA
What to know: TBG is the newest player on the scene, with a German biergarten theme and several local and German drafts available to complement the food. The restaurant operates on a token system: all the food and most of the drinks are purchased with pre-purchased special doubloons, which are $4.50 each (if you buy ten, you get one free). Most items are between 1-3 doubloons, and the objective is to streamline the serving process and to provide a unique experience. TBG has an extensive boilermaker menu as well, pairing each of its beers with a shot specially chosen to complement it.
But it’s not all shots and doubloons. The back of TBG is full of games like air hockey and table tennis, as well as smaller games to play at the tables. The restaurant’s director of operations, Juan Rodriguez, says that the point of these games is to get families to stop texting, put down the phones, and interact with each other.
What beer to order: Destihl Counter Clock Weisse if you like a sour beer; if not, try NOLA Brewing’s Irish Channel Stout