We’ve come to the end of our journey, and it’s been fun. I got to drink some new beers and pretend that I was traveling the world in search of my next pint. It’s a good thought to have. Not sure if any of you have followed along on this journey or have gone out to grab any of the aforementioned beers, but if you have, I would love to hear your thought, good or bad, it doesn’t matter!
Regardless, this final selection keeps us pretty centralized in Europe. Sticking to a couple countries that speak a good amount of French, I was able to find some delicious and unique beers that really speak to tradition, brewing locally, and, an overall appreciation of the art of brewing.
If you enjoyed these in-depth looks into beer, be on the lookout for a series I am starting at our St. Louis Park store called Beer Geek Night. Once a month we will get together and geek out over some aspect of beer. We could spend an entire night talking about hops, malts, glassware, brewing with local ingredients, organic brewing, homebrewing, yeast, wild fermentation and any number of other topics.
And Now, the Brews
|Picobrouwerij Alvinne | Cuvee de Mortagne | Ale Aged in Oak Barrels|
|Within this study abroad series, I have already highlighted a beer from Picobrouwerij Alvinne, the Cuvee Freddy. This is another one of their phenomenal beers, they make awesome beer if you haven’t figured that out yet. Cuvee de Mortagne is a damn sexy dark red ale that was aged in Pomerol wine barrels from Bordeaux, France for 8 Months. This aging results in aromas of caramel malts, raisins, vinaigrette, red wine, and booze. The aromas are complemented by warming flavors of toffee, figs, caramel, raisins, and red wine grapes with a nice touch of a brandy-like thickness that makes this a perfect dessert beer to have with some decadent chocolate cake, muffins, or chocolate covered strawberries if you want to get your romance on with your sweet somebody!|
|500 ml Bottle | 14% ABV | N/A IBUs|
|De Glazen Toren | Lentebier | Saison D’erpe|
|Belgium is great. So many amazing beers come from Belgium as if that was any surprise. Name one other thing that comes out of Belgium without Googling it, I dare you. It’s home to De Glazen Toren, a nice little outfit which opened up in 2014. They currently brew some fun beers, including Saison D’Erpe Lentebier. Lentebier is once a year to pay homage to the traditional way of brewing Saisons. It’s single hopped with Premiant (Czech) hops that is brewed according to the ancient Saison tradition of the province of Hainaut. It is a blond, high fermented beer, with refermentation in the bottle. A delicious Saison with characteristics of lemon, cloves, farmhouse funk, yeast, and some good earthy hops. This all culminates into a silky smooth beer that hides all 9% of alcohol in this treat. If you’ve ever wanted to know what a true Saison tastes like, this is your ticket.|
|500 ml Bottle | 9% ABV | N/A IBUs|
|Brasserie La Goutte d’Or | Chateau Rouge | Spiced Ale|
|Maintaining the trend of French-speaking countries, we head to the French-speaking capital of the world, good ole Paris, France. I know what you’re thinking, Parisians hate Americans and they’re only into wine. Okay, I made all of that up, I have no idea what you’re thinking, but regardless, Paris has a thriving craft beer scene that is on the rise. Brasserie La Goutte d’Or is one of the breweries that is shaping that landscape. Thierry Roshe, owner and head brewer, has his brewery located in the “Old Arab quartier” which is where the many foods and spices help inspire his recipes. The spices in his beers often come from the spice shop located directly across the street. Chateau Rouge is one of those spiced beers that truly captures the area in which his brewery lies. He does not reflect the “new way of French brewing” rather, the multicultural values of the most famous area of Paris. Named after the metro station located near the brewery, this Red Ale is spiced with Bonnet red chili seeds, hibiscus, and feuille de bois d’inde, among others. This collection of spices combine to create an assertive bitterness that is mellowed by a slightly sweet-tart combo of hibiscus, chili peppers, banana, apple, and a touch of yeast. A unique beer that really speaks to the “terroir” of the brewery.|
|500 ml Bottle | 6% ABV | 28 IBUs|