New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton is wishing you a happy new beer.

Actually, the Port Orleans Brewing Company is wishing you a happy new beer with its Sean Payton Blonde Ale.

In a city where you have a street named Bourbon, it’s naturally Nawlins to have a beer named after a successful football coach.

The limited edition beer from one of the city’s latest brew pubs was made available in cans and on tap at Port Orleans on Dec. 30, eight days before the Saints host the Carolina Panthers in an NFL wild-card playoff game. The Payton Ale is also available in select stores in the NOLA area.

Longtime Saints offensive tackle Zach Strief, sidelined since Oct. 3 with a season-ending knee injury, opened Port Orleans last spring and made good on what sounded like a playful demand from Payton.

“You better make me a beer!” Payton told Strief when he heard about his lineman’s business venture, an Uptown brewhouse and restaurant along the Mississippi River.

OK, Coach! Who’s pouring?

The Payton Ale is in the tasting room at Port Orleans, which is on Tchoupitoulas Street. The location is seven miles west of the French Quarter and a 15-minute drive from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, the home of the Saints.

The Port Orleans Facebook page says “Sean Payton’s Blonde Ale is light in body, with a bright mild malt character and smooth finish. Perfect when kicking back or tailgating. Cheers to the coach who brought the city its first Championship, & here’s to number 2!”

Quarterback Drew Brees led New Orleans to its first Super Bowl title in February 2010 and the Panthers game on Sunday will kick off the Saints’ quest for a second NFL championship in the Brees-Payton era.

I saw no other Saints-themed beers on the Port Orleans Facebook page, but if the team can win Super Bowl 52 next month in Minneapolis, perhaps the brewhouse could come up with a celebratory blend in honor of Payton’s beloved quarterback and Strief’s teammate.

Call it the Super Drew Brew.

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SOURCEPhoto: Port Orleans Brewing Company Facebook
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John E. Bialas
John, 65, is retired from the Pulitzer Prize-winning Sun Herald newspaper in Gulfport, Miss., after a 45-year career there in which he was a sportswriter, weekend sports editor, book reviewer, rock music critic, copy editor, blogger, Facebook administrator and award-winning headline writer and page designer. He lives in Gulfport with his wife, Patricia, and writes the blog Pictures of Tilly which you can find at http://picturesoftilly.net/.