My sister went to college at Tulane University in New Orleans. Each summer she'd come home bragging about the Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival, a weekend-long, mystical-sounding party of music, games, rides, and, of course, strawberries.
I was always envious of this celebration, but on the plus side I have her to thank for learning about what is now one of my very favorite parts of strawberry season: strawberry beer, specifically Abita Strawberry Harvest Lager.
All About Abita Strawberry Harvest Beer
At this annual berry festival, among the deep-fried strawberries and strawberry shortcake, there's always plenty of strawberry beer. It's brewed by Abita, a local brewing company, and its release is a big deal to locals in New Orleans because it marks the arrival of spring.
Mind you, it's released just around the kick-off of Mardi Gras, which typically falls sometime in February and is, for the majority of us, very much still winter. Slowly, though, that strawberry beer trickles out to the rest of the country, in time for our own springs and summers. In fact, it's in many stores at this very moment — and it's as light, fruity, and fresh as you'd ever hope for.
Brewed with local berries, this is a beer that smells of walking through a strawberry field. Its flavor is crisp and refreshing, with just a hint of that strawberry flavor lingering in the background. It's far from a sweet beer, though, which means it's a great accompaniment to food. Try it with fresh cheeses (like mozzarella or burrata) or a light salad or pasta, or use it to make an adult-friendly beer float for dessert.
Have you tried Abita Strawberry Harvest Lager?