Craft or Crap?: The Beer That Brad Pitt Tossed to Matthew McConaughey in New Orleans


This past weekend one legendary celebrity stoner (Brad Pitt of Honey Bear bong fame) tossed a beer to another legendary celebrity stoner (Matthew McConaughey of naked bongo playing fame), and the tabloid world was there to breathlessly cover every moment.

McConaughey was hanging out on the balcony of Saints quarterback Drew Brees, which just happens to be across the street from Pitts’ New Orleans home.  Pitt wandered outside, and a balcony-to-balcony bromance budded, which wound up with Pitt tossing McConaughey a can of beer.

While I don’t usually get into celebrity gossip (especially when it involves pretty dudes), this story instantly caught my attention because as a beer geek I needed to know one thing – what kind of beer did Honey Bear Boy toss to the Bongo Kid?

This matters, because it impacts how I judge these guys, or at least Pitt who was the giver of the beer.  I like the acting work of both (especially McConaughey lately, who seems to have discovered he’s more than a guy who looks good in a towel) but the beer that was shared could change things.

There’s a lot of silver and blue on that can – was it a Natural Light Tallboy?  Because that makes Pitt a man who prefers mass-produced frat beer to well-crafted artisan beverages.  What kind of self-respecting artist would do that?!  I couldn’t blame McConaughey for drinking it, because refusing Pitt’s projectile would make him look rude and out of touch with the common man.

Was it an Abita, the hometown beer of New Orleans?  There was a movement to elect Pitt as the mayor of  New Orleans a few years back, and supporting the local flavor would only make him more lovable to his fellow Nolinians (I may have just made this word up).  And we all know how much McConaughey’s character Rust Cohle on True Detective enjoys his Lone Star, so I’m sure the real world McConaughey would happily knock back the New Orleans equivalent.

Was it a craft beer? This was my hope from the start, that Pitt air mailed a finely crafted beer with a dank and sticky hop profile that his balcony buddy would enjoy.  I want to live in a world where cool people drink cool beer (and throw it around balconies in a cool city).

A little forensic photo analysis has revealed that the beer was…Hopitoulas from NOLA Brewing!

Zooming in on a picture taken after the toss shows the back label art.

Zooming in on a picture taken after the toss shows the back label art.


This nice image courtesy of reveals that it was indeed a craft beer!

This nice image courtesy of reveals that it was indeed a craft beer!

Well alright, alright, alright!

Here’s how the beer is described on the brewery’s website:

This 6.5% ABV ale is a West Coast style India Pale Ale that combines six malts and six hops with additional dry hopping for three weeks. It takes about a month and a half to make each batch and we think it is worth the wait.  Hints of pine and citrus with a powerful, yet balanced hoppy flavor, Hopitoulas packs a punch that you won’t forget.  Available on draft and in 16 ounce cans.

So there you have it – the perfect beer!  West Coast IPA for that sticky resinous flavor! Locally brewed for Mayor Pitt! A tallboy can – extra hipster cred (not to mention extra beer)!

I’m ashamed to admit it, but I was so happy to find out the bros were sharing an honest-to-goodness craft beer instead of some industrial light lager.  Not only does it make me appreciate their taste (or at least Pitt’s for buying the stuff), but it also warms my heart to see craft beer making inroads everywhere in our culture, even at the top of the pop culture food chain.



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Categories: Beer, Lifestyle, News


Craft beer nerd, frequent beer blogger and occasional home brewer.

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29 Comments on “Craft or Crap?: The Beer That Brad Pitt Tossed to Matthew McConaughey in New Orleans”

  1. simonbroderick
    May 19, 2014 at 12:55 pm #

    Reblogged this on Simon Says… You really should drink this! and commented:
    This is brilliant, I must admit I liked Pitt anyway but my respect for him has grown exponentially! 🙂

    • May 20, 2014 at 10:19 am #

      Yup – he’s “real”!

  2. preadn
    May 19, 2014 at 8:03 pm #

    There are other pictures taken after this toss that show Drew Brees drinking an Abita Amber on the same balcony.

    • May 20, 2014 at 10:20 am #

      I love Abita, probably because I first had it in the French Quarter – it tastes like good times.

  3. May 19, 2014 at 8:04 pm #

    Where are all the comments, Jim…?

    I was sure it was a Coors Light as I was reading along. I am pleasantly pleased to learn that it was indeed a craft beer! I have a new level of respect for Mr. Pitt.

    And I think that’s “N’awlinians”

    • May 20, 2014 at 10:20 am #

      I think you’re right on the spelling, but I’m pretty good at being wrong and didn’t want to screw up my streak!

  4. May 19, 2014 at 9:17 pm #

    Not that craft and crap are at all mutually excessive…

    But cheers to those guys for drinking a local beer. Thats pretty rad.

    • May 19, 2014 at 9:19 pm #

      Should have been “exclusive” oops…

    • May 20, 2014 at 10:21 am #

      Agreed, and I fear that “craft” and “crap” will get even chummier as people start flooding into the industry looking to make a buck.

  5. May 19, 2014 at 9:56 pm #

    That’s some serious CSI shit right there. Nice work. (And it is cool, even though we shouldn’t care.)

    • May 20, 2014 at 10:22 am #

      Thanks – it took all of a minute because I started with local brewers who canned their beers. That said, i was excited when I closed the case – very satisfying!

  6. John
    May 20, 2014 at 2:10 pm #

    The beer and whiskey detective brother (the other is MIA in Idaho) nice post Jim!

    • May 20, 2014 at 2:11 pm #

      Yeah, maybe I should turn my skills to finding Don! 🙂

  7. May 20, 2014 at 4:01 pm #

    What’s next for craft beer? An un-sponsored product drop in a Jay-z song?

    • May 20, 2014 at 4:07 pm #

      Depends – what rhymes with pale ale? Chain mail? Trouser fail? Organic kale?

      Guess that’s why he gets the big bucks (and free nut kicks in the elevator).

      • May 20, 2014 at 5:44 pm #

        He seems to support all things Brooklyn. How about a shout out to Brooklyn Brewery? “Brush those Brooklyn Brown suds off my shoulders.”

        • May 20, 2014 at 6:27 pm #

          In that case, what rhymes with “hipster dipshit”? Wag ‘n Wisdom Wit? The evil Mikeller twin is in Brooklyn, right?


  8. May 20, 2014 at 5:41 pm #

    Beer snobs are such sad people.

    • May 20, 2014 at 7:25 pm #

      Agreed – as are people who feel the need to troll them.

  9. May 20, 2014 at 7:28 pm #

    Not great, but a good beer. But then, anything is better than the 200 plus beers controlled by AB Inbev (Which I refuse to drink on principle)..

    • May 20, 2014 at 7:36 pm #

      Yup, sends the right message: craft, local, good beer in cans. You’d think Brad would have Heady Topper shipped in from Vermont!

  10. May 21, 2014 at 8:40 am #

    It’s a NOLA Hopitoulas.

    • May 21, 2014 at 8:47 am #

      I commend your reading comprehension, Joel.

  11. May 22, 2014 at 3:27 pm #

    Hot shit! Its nice to know that some of the beautiful people have class.

  12. June 4, 2014 at 11:17 am #

    Reblogged this on THAT DANG OL' SHOW and commented:
    Because it’s Wednesday and we haven’t posted anything lately about Brad Pitt or Matthew McConaughey. Or beer.


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