CHRISTMAS BEER #9: PLAQUEMINES ALE
PLAQUEMINES ALE (IBU: 25, ABV: 5.2%) Fresh persimmons bring this juicy, light ale a subtle tartness.
To conclude the Christmas beer series, we've got a light and refreshing persimmon ale to ring in the new year. The inspiration for the Plaquemines Ale goes back all the way to the birth of New Orleans.
Ridgely Dorsey, Second Line's beer garden manager, was born in New Orleans and grew up across Lake Pontchartrain in Covington, Louisiana. After studying at LSU in Baton Rouge, Ridgely spent a brief time building cabinets and fine furniture and later in the solar energy industry. He's since transferred to Tulane to study history.
Ridgely is passionate about Louisiana history and loves getting the chance to hear bits of local history in conversations with neighborhood patrons of the beer garden. The Plaquemines Ale gets its namesake and primary ingredient from the persimmon.
According to folklore, Pierre LeMoyne, Sieur d'Iberville, was led by local Native American guides to a site at a large bend in the Mississippi River. The guides told him that it was the location of a portage between the river and a large lake that led to the Gulf of Mexico. Iberville took note of the spot, along with some Bison sightings, in his journal. Two decades later, Iberville's younger brother, Bienville chose that spot to build New Orleans. The next day, the guides took Iberville's party across the river to their village on the West Bank. That night, the Native Americans provided the explorers with their "fire water", brewed with persimmons, which could be found in abundance in those days.