About a year ago, I found myself walking down Bourbon Street. My head was ringing from being too close to the stage at Pat O’Brien’s, so I left my traveling companions and went for a walk. It was chilly for New Orleans, but downright balmy for me so I didn’t feel out of place wandering down the street, taking it all in on a rather spare evening. I find myself telling people that I got drunk on New Orleans, intoxicated by its culture and beauty, and earning a slot on the cities in this nation that I love (behind New York, ahead of Washington).
While walking, I popped into a bodega and bought a can of Tin Roof Parade Ground to drink during my stroll. It seemed like the right beer for a walk through the French Quarter and thankfully New Orleans has no open container laws. The 7% ABV porter provided enough of a warming sensation that the jacket was unnecessary. That evening ended with me back at Pat O’Brien’s in one of the side bars away from the pianos, where I slugged overpriced Abitas and chatted with some friends from Arkansas and Minnesota.
Through the miracle of FedEx, I was able to get my hands on a couple of cans of Parade Ground and decided that now was as good of a time as any to crack one open. I was told by the guy at the bodega that Parade Ground earned its name for the space where krewes set up their floats for Mardi Gras parades. Apparently, he saw me coming a mile away. The Baton Rouge-based Tin Roof Brewing Company actually named its coffee porter after the large field in the center of the Louisiana State University campus, down the road from its headquarters.
Tin Roof cans and kegs all of its beers, and the Parade Ground gives a slight hint away with its design. A burlap sack pattern and stenciled type provides a tip about the coffee flavor you are about to encounter. If you don’t like coffee, walk away. Otherwise, crack the can and sniff. It’s like you just put on a fresh pot. Tin Roof makes its porter with five malts, including coffee and chocolate, but it packs a complex coffee aroma.
If you can get your hands on a can or six (and since their distribution network does not go much beyond Louisiana and Mississippi, this may be challenging), and enjoy coffee, I would suggest getting your hands on it.
Brewer: Tin Roof Brewing Company
Beer: Parade Ground
Style: American-style porter
ABV: 7.0% IBU: 35
Container: 12 oz. can
Price: It’s complicated Point of Purchase: Also complicated
To The Eye: Pitch black with a big tan foamy head
To The Nose: Bitter coffee.
To The Palate: Bitter coffee and bittersweet chocolate. Heavy body and mouthfeel. Others have noted vanilla, but I could not find it. It actually tastes better as it gets warmer.
Aftertaste: Like a dark coffee.
Boozy Factor: Enough to warming you up like a cup of coffee.
On a Scale of 1 to 10, with 10 as highest: 8