It's New Orleans: Out to LunchIt's New Orleans: Out to Lunch

The Beer Bus & Trail of Tea

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When somebody suggests going out for a beer, you know what that means. Or, rather, you know what it doesn’t mean. It doesn’t mean meeting up for a single beer.

And after you’ve had a few beers at whichever place you decided to meet, at some point somebody will suggest moving on and going to get another beer – or two – at someplace else.

The problem with this plan is, nobody should be driving a car at this point. And ride-sharing isn’t as cheap as it used to be. That’s why Elizabeth Bates launched her business, Beer Bus.

Beer Bus is a hop-on-hop-off bus line that serves New Orleans craft breweries on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. It’s been running since the end of 2023 and when you pay your $10 – or $30 for unlimited rides – you can check the Beer Bus website to see where the bus is and when it will be by if you want to hop on and try another brewery.

Elizabeth Bates is not just the founder of Beer Bus, she’s also the bus driver.

If you’ve spent any time in the UK or around British people, you’ll be familiar with the sentence, “What you need is a nice cup of tea.”

Whether there’s been a death in the family, your car broke down, or maybe you’ve gotten a giant bill you don’t know how you’re going to pay… Whatever the calamity that’s befallen you, the default old-fashioned British remedy is, “a nice cup of tea.”

Well, it turns out, like many pieces of folk wisdom, there’s actually some truth to the healing power of tea. That’s the basis of Portia Cooper’s business, NOLA Botanical Tea.

Portia makes specific concoctions of various strains of tea to treat particular physical ailments. There’s ginger root, elderberry, chamomile, hibiscus, and others that Portia says will remedy stress, reduce inflammation, boost your immune system, boost your energy, and much more.

Normally if we say we’re going around in circles, we’re implying we’re doing the same thing over and over again and getting nowhere. But when going around in a circle is a ride on the Beer Bus - taking us from one New Orleans craft Brewery to another - we may physically end up where we started, but the ride has been anything but unproductive.

On the other hand, if you have a recurring medical complaint that’s not life threatening but never seems to totally go away, you really do feel like you’re going around in circles. Maybe adding medicinal tea to your treatment would help.

Whether you’re drinking New Orleans beer or New Orleans tea, it’s a triple bottom line – good for the mind, body and local business.  

Out to Lunch was recorded live over lunch at Columns in Uptown New Orleans. You can find photos from this show by Blake Langlinais at itsneworleans.com.

 

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