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The Complete Guide | Best Breweries in New Orleans

The Complete Guide | Best Breweries in New Orleans

Welcome to New Orleans, one of the most culturally rich and unique cities in America and the world. While you’re most likely here to take in the Men’s College Basketball Final Four, the city offers much more than the ideal location to host large sporting events. New Orleans has a rich tradition of alcohol innovation as the home of the Sazerac and Hurricane drinks, but the emphasis has historically been on cocktails as opposed to beer.

The beer scene has undoubtedly improved in the last decade with the arrival of many breweries and expanding interest in craft beer, and today there are a plethora of options for the beer nerd to satiate their needs in the Big Easy. With my knowledge having lived in the city 2017-2021 and current resident Katie de la Rosa’s expertise, we have assembled a guide of the best places to drink beer in New Orleans along with some extra tips on food and entertainment.

This guide was co-written by Britt Antley and Katie de la Rosa

Can’t Miss Breweries

  • Parleaux Beer Lab is the place to drink the crispiest Lagers in New Orleans. This Bywater staple has a large outdoor area with ample seating and is ideal for hanging out and downing a couple of easy drinking brews. Don’t be scared of the more obscure beer styles that appear on their tap list; everything Parleaux makes is expertly crafted and sure to go down easy.


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  • Courtyard Brewery is the first and best purveyor of haze in the city. The closest brewery to Final Four festivities, Courtyard stays true to its name with a relaxing courtyard where many beers can be had. Rahm Haus Ice Cream is on-site serving delicious frozen treats perfect for the warm weather ahead.
  • Miel Brewery is another spot with a great patio area… sensing a trend here? The taproom has a wonderful vibe and aesthetic, and the eclectic tap list has something for everyone from Sours to IPAs to Stouts to Seltzers and even cold brew coffee. 
  • NOLA Brewing is the oldest craft brewery in the city and only 1.5 blocks away from Miel. Their extensive tap list is diverse with a little bit of everything, and their tart Sours are very popular. There is often live music in the taproom making it an energetic environment. Make sure to visit the upstairs balcony overlooking Tchoupitoulas and the Mississippi River beyond. Also get some pizza downstairs from NOLA Pizza Co.

Best Breweries by Style


  • Courtyard Brewery
  • Brieux Carre has a great location off Frenchman Street in the Marigny where they serve Hazy IPAs and an assortment of other brews. The diminutive taproom has a courtyard in back where you can enjoy your beverage, or you can simply grab a to-go beer and walk around the happening area.
Haze and mural across the street
  • Gnarly Barley is an hour drive away from the city in Hammond, but it is well worth the trip. They are making phenomenal Hazy IPAs along with Lagers, Sours and Stouts. There’s a reason Gnarly Barley has been one of the fastest growing breweries in the States.
  • Parish Brewing is even a further drive from the city (~2.5 hours), but if you have an extra day you should visit the best brewery in Louisiana. Their Ghost in the Machine Double IPA has rightfully racked up many awards and accolades, and their barrel aged Stouts can hold their own with some of the best in the country. If you don’t have time for the trip, Ghost can be easily found on draft throughout New Orleans. Make sure to try it!


  • NOLA
  • Parleaux
  • Zony Mash is housed in an old theater and decorated very handsomely. While their overall tap list is diverse, their Sours run the gamut from traditional to carrot cake to Hurricane inspired. Outside the stylish taproom is a large patio often featuring live music.
  • Urban South might be making Sours even more insane than Zony Mash. If you like your beer in smoothie form, this is the spot for you.


  • Parleaux
  • Faubourg Brewing made their return to New Orleans in the past couple years, and their massive warehouse facility is a beer destination featuring a disc golf course, bocce ball, a pond and even a walking path. Listen to live music while sipping on one of their flagship Lagers.

Rising Breweries

  • Bywater Brew Pub is a new brewery offering a quintessential brewpub tap list and Viet Cajun cuisine. Pop in this spot while walking around the neighborhood.

Beer Bars

  • Avenue Pub is consistently rated one of the best beer bars in the country. In addition to their large and well-curated tap list, they have an extensive collection of cellared bottles. Check out the upstairs balcony overlooking St. Charles Avenue and the streetcar line, and take a peek at their large whiskey collection at the upstairs bar. Their food is solid if you need something to balance out the alcohol.
Mardi Gras view over St Charles
  • Cooter Brown’s is the best sports bar in the city. If you’re not attending the Final Four in person, this is the spot to watch it. While you’re watching your favorite team on the big screen you can enjoy some beer from their huge tap list. Make sure to see what’s on draft at the back bar as that’s where their best beers are served. Oysters and very good bar food complete the experience.
  • Ms Mae’s is a New Orleans institution serving good cheap beer 24/7. Saddle up to the bar, and strike up a conversation with one of the friendly patrons.
  • Bayou Beer Garden is a Mid-City staple with a large tap and bottle list. As with all the best places in New Orleans, drink your beer on the expansive patio.
  • Wrong Iron is another Mid-City bar with a nice tap list. Visit here to relive your college glory days and perhaps have a frozen drink to go with your brew.
  • Black Penny is the best beer bar in the French Quarter. Serving only beer in cans in addition to a full bar, their impressive selection is worth checking out. This is the closest bar in this guide to Final Four games, so stop by here before or after to grab a to-go beer.
  • d.b.a. is a music club on Frenchman Street that also happens to have a respectable tap list. Listen to good music and drink good beer. Can’t go wrong with that combo!

Bottle Shops

  • Stein’s Deli is much more than its name implies. While there is indeed a deli making amazing sandwiches (Fernando is my personal favorite), the secret is in the back. Walk beyond the deli to the back door, go outside, turn to your right, and open the back room where you are greeted by 100’s of bottles. Spend some time looking through the collection, and you’re sure to find something special.
  • 504 Craft Beer Reserve is both a bottle shop and beer bar with about 15 taps. Grab a beer and walk around checking out their large selection.
  • Elio’s has an impressive selection and is worth checking out if you’re in the area.

Local’s Guide to Restaurants & Attractions

  • Parasol’s has my favorite po boy in the city, the legendary Firecracker Shrimp. Wash that delectable treat down with one of their reasonably priced draft or bottled beers.
  • Jacques-Imo’s is one of the most fun Cajun restaurants in the city serving classic dishes in a very communal atmosphere. Show up early as reservations are only accepted for parties of five or more, and grab a drink while you’re waiting for your table.
  • Pizza Delicious serves up some of the best pies in the city (THE BEST in my humble opinion) to go along with a small but mighty tap list.
  • Dat Dog has several locations around town with delicious wild game hot dogs and creative toppings. Their tap list is always impressive and full of local brews.
  • Bearcat has one of the best brunches in New Orleans and has a location not far from Final Four games.
  • Crescent Park runs alongside the Mississippi River and offers stunning views of New Orleans and the Crescent City Connection bridge. Take some beer and lay out on the grass soaking up the sights and sounds of the city.


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  • Audubon Park is a beautiful historic park across the street from Tulane and Loyola University. Take the St. Charles streetcar Uptown and enjoy the majestic homes and scenery along the way.
  • Bayou St. John is a scenic bayou snaking through Mid-City. Rent a kayak from Bayou Paddlesports to meander through the urban waterway.
  • Ghost tours in the French Quarter are on the touristy side of things BUT they offer a unique way to learn about the history of New Orleans. You can book ahead of time or find a tour leaving from in front of St. Louis Cathedral.

General Tips

  • New Orleans is geographically pretty small and generally a very walkable city. Unless you plan on driving out of the city for day trips, there is no need to rent a car. An Uber, Lyft or a taxi will get you to your hotel from the airport. The streetcar is a convenient way to get from the French Quarter and Downtown to the Garden District and Uptown. The RTA app is great for route planning and mobile tickets. Blue Bikes are also a great cheap way to get around the city.
  • Drinking in public is allowed everywhere in the city. While walking around, pop into a random bar to grab a to-go drink.
  • Make sure to tip your service staff! A friendly attitude and a good tip will often lead to extra booze and/or drinks on the house.
  • If someone tells you “I bet you I can tell where you got your shoes,” tell them “on my feet.” Trust me on this one.

Have fun and enjoy your stay in New Orleans! Locals are very proud of their city and will help you if you need some advice. Don’t be afraid to strike up conversations with strangers and learn something new. Part of the charm of New Orleans is how friendly the city is, so help contribute to the congenial atmosphere. Laissez les bons temps rouler!


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