Bières de France. Seven of them.
It’s time for another omnibus entry and this time 6 beers from France, out of the 25 that are in the book. Quite an impressive number for a country that isn’t really known as a beer destination. However, many months ago we realized that 1001 Beers You Must Try Before You Die isn’t up to par with the current beer trend. Suffice to say that France has more than twice representatives in the book than Denmark. Well, again, with more than a little help from our friends we pulled up some goodies.
The Beer Greek, who gets paid to do beer business and traveling to SIAL Food Show in Paris is a part of his job, brought Annoeullin L’Angelus Bière de Froment that has a beautiful, rustic label, depicting a peasant couple in a wheat field – very Bière de Garde-ish. It was a weird beer. Pours clear straw with apple, vinegar and a little fuel aroma and a very sour taste that surprisingly has some candy sweetness too. The body is light and the texture feels somewhat oily – weird.
Like a true, devoted beergeek, Teva Boy was on the lookout for cool stuff to bring and drink during a romantic winter getaway to the City of Light. Thiriez Etoile Du Nord is an alright Saison that he shared at a tasting. I got to drink the bottom of the bottle, which is usually fine by me, as I like the yeastiness. The cloudy, weird, hay-like colour of the liquid in my glass was due to all this goodness. I smelled cookie dough, raisins and jasmine. And tasted mild, lingering bitterness with some cucumber. Smooth texture, light-to-medium body, leafy green vegetable finish make Etoile Du Nord a fresh, springy beer, though we tasted it in the winter.
Bière De Brie Ambrée has a cute name, cloudy-opaque muddy brown colour with a dissolving frothy cream-coloured head, earthy, grass and spices aroma, and it tastes like Belgian ale: yeasty, sweetish and good. It is full bodied, carbonated and has sweet finish. I like it alot.
3 Monts is from another family-owned brewery, St. Sylvestre. Clear light golden colour and a frothy white head, straw, sweet and some corn aroma, vegetal, sweet taste and a light body makes it an OK, thirst-quenching drink.
Cuvée des Jonquilles by Brasserie Au Baron is my favourite French beer. A fine Bière de Garde, that paints the glass in cloudy pale amber protected by a big white head, it smells of sugar, spice, allspice and other nice aromata such as yeast, flowers and earth. The taste is fruity, faintly sour. Medium body, fizzy, long finish. Balanced and good.
We also gathered our French loot: From our weekend in Switzerland we brought Adelscott, Scotch Ale made with peat-smoked malt. I’m a sucker for anything smoky but was quite surprised to learn that this is a Heineken beer because smoked beer is not something you’d expect the giants would play with. Well, this beer pours clear dark golden (whisky colour?) with white ring. It has honey and malt aroma that is slightly grainy and has notes of pipe tobacco which I quite like. It tastes very sweet and a little smoky I guess I would’ve liked it better if it was very smoky and a little sweet. Light body, sticky, pipe finish and smooth carbonation.
Last for this entry is Gavroche which is another Bière de Garde brewed by St. Sylvestre, but unlike 3 Monts, tasted pretty nasty. The Beer Greek tried to convince me to ignore what I tasted. He had tried the beer before and my bottle was clearly damaged during storage or shipping or something. I’m on a run and I have over 700 beers to complete my mission; no time to wait and no money to spend on another bottle my sample smelled of spoiled cheesecake – an aroma that can’t be described as good or appropriate but it was nothing compared to the taste – sour, lemony and unpleasing. The beer must be old. The 1001 book tells stories about hop spice and roast and dark fruit but I don’t need a book and in this case a Beer Greek to tell me the beer’s off – it really stood out. I’m ticking this one and hope to bump into another, better bottle, though I can’t count on it.
These 7 French brews were beers #235, #236, #237, #238, #239, #240 and #241 I Must Try Before I Die.