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And the Valley Drinks: Abita Big Easy IPA

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Spice up your Super Regional tailgate a bit with one of Abita's newer offerings.

I've mentioned it before, but one of the great things about the whole craft beer explosion, is that it's pushed a lot of larger outlets to keep up.

Abita's been around a long time, and if you're like me they were probably the first non-Miller/Bud/Coors beer you ever tried. Turbodog was my first stout, and Purple Haze was my first fruit-flavored beer, etc...

And with the rise of NOLA, Parish, Bayou Teche, Great Raft, etc... gaining more and more popularity -- Abita even has Chafunkta and Covington Brewing right in their back yards -- they've had to adapt and put out even more offerings. We've detailed a few of these over the last few years, and the trend has continued through the new year, with a new spring offering, the Big Easy IPA:

The hop flavor's big, but like life in New Orleans, we're taking it easy. This Session IPA is brewed with lemon peels and dry hopped with Cascade, Amarillo, Centennial and Simcoe for a hoppy aroma of citrus, fruit and pine. Easy to drink and just right for long hot days, steamy nights, parades or a day on the river with friends.

This one's 4.5 percent alcohol, and available in draft in a couple spots and pretty easy to find in six-packs as well.

Review

This has kind of a sweet bouquet. Very malty, almost creamy, in a way, and that follows through lightly on the open. Very soft. Takes a beat or two for the hops kick in, and it offsets the malty open very well. Again, if you've never been sure on IPAs, or intimidated by them, this is a solid way to push yourself. Very drinkable as well. Could fit well as a tailgate or grillin' beer, especially on a big baseball weekend like this. Give it a nice 3.75 stars out of five.