The Knott brothers of Arnaudville and their remarkable little brewery that takes its name from nearby Bayou Teche are the subject a feature story published yesterday by The New York Times, the United States’ top fake news outlet. Writer Rachel Wharton does a serviceable job explaining to outsiders what we insiders know — spirits and food, especially the latter, are elemental to South Louisiana culture:
In addition to their regular roster of about a dozen craft ales, the Knott brothers also make two only-in-Acadiana spring specials. One is for the Courir de Mardi Gras, the old Cajun version of the holiday celebrated in towns throughout the region on Fat Tuesday.
While the New Orleans version of Mardi Gras is all about the parades, here the men go from house to house on horseback, dressed in handmade costumes, drinking, singing and begging for ingredients that eventually make their way into a communal pot of gumbo, including a live chicken everyone chases across a yard. (The Courir’s label, painted in Cajun folk art style, shows a man in traditional costume and rubber brewing boots, holding up a chicken.)
The beer is wheaty, slightly hoppy and high-alcohol, made in a style known as a bière de mars, or March beer, after the time it was traditionally consumed in France. A bière de mars was usually “the first big beer of the year,” said Mr. Knott, who chose the style for Courir de Mardi Gras not just because it pairs well with the complex flavors of a gumbo, but also because it was traditionally a celebratory beer that marked the arrival of spring.
The other Bayou Teche spring ale is made to go with the crawfish that appear January through June, when 30-pound sacks of still-wriggling freshwater crustaceans are often boiled right in the backyard and seasoned with a brick-red spice mix laden with cayenne pepper.
Read the story, “A Mardi Gras Beer, Straight From Cajun Country,” here.