Jul 3 2010

Beers of Paris

Recently I got to go to Paris to speak at a digital media conference called OFFF. While there, I made sure to be on the lookout for different beers of France. The most common beer, which I assume is France’s equivalent of Budweiser is Kronenbourg 1664. There’s not really much to say about this beer, other than it’s no difference than any other mass produced no frills beer.

The first ‘good’ French beer I had was called Adelscott. Although not as common as 1664, I did notice it at a bunch of different brasseries. It was pretty good, although it wasn’t a good thirst quencher. In fact, I would just say it was ‘alright.’ It had a heavy mouth feel and a nice hint of whiskey.

Another pretty common beer was Pelforth, known for the iconic pelican logo. Pelforth Blonde, a Euro Pale Lager, really wasn’t anything special. It was pretty light, good for a hot day. Later, I had a Pelforth Brune, which is apparently a bock. Like the name implies, it’s a darker brown ale. This one was quite good, I can say that so far in my journey, this was the best one I had so far.

My friend/coworker/co-presenter Mathieu is from France and lived in Paris for a few years and told me that mussels are very popular. Loving mussels myself I went out of find some. So on one night we found a nice place to have a big plate of mussels, watch the Brazil vs Chile match, and enjoy some beer. One of which was La Goudale. A light blonde, it paired well with the mussels. Very enjoyable. If I remember correctly, it had some floral notes to it.

One of my favorite beers in France was Desperados. Not for the taste, but just the concept. Desperados is a beer that is mixed with tequila. Just to be clear, it is sold that way premixed in the bottle, this is not something that you would do yourself. That said, it’s not really a great tasting beer. I like to think of it as a French Corona, except it is the beer that Corona might want to be – it’s a little stronger and has more of a bite. It is sometimes served with a lime, but doesn’t need it as it seems to have a citrus taste on it’s own. Either way, this is a very common beer in Paris and I would recommend people trying it, if just for the experience alone.

The last beer I want to mention is more like a mixed drink. It’s called a Monaco, and it’s beer mixed with a sweet fruit syrup, usually grenadine. It doesn’t taste like beer at all, it taste more like cherry soda or flavored seltzer water.

And that’s about it. I had a bunch of other beers as well, but I only wanted to ‘report’ on the ones from France. For instance, Carlsberg was pretty popular there. What was nice though was the lack of American macro brews, it was nice not to see Bud, Miller, Coors at every bar.

Apr 17 2010

Beer Review: Sam Adams Noble Pils

I saw a 6-pack of Samuel Adams Noble Pils at the store last night, and since I’ve heard good things about it, I picked it up without hesitation. It was defiantly a good choice. Nice clean pour, amber color and clear. Head is light, recedes pretty quickly. Light hoppy aroma. Very crisp, with a slight grapefruit flavor of hops, and a nice bitter after taste. Personally, I think it had more flavor than most pilsners. Very drinkable, and very nice chilled.

Sam Adams Noble Pils

Apr 15 2010

Beer Review: Southampton Triple Abbey Style Ale

The Southampton Double White is one of my favorite beers. So I was thrilled today when I was picking up a pack of Sam Adams to celebrate their 25th anniversary that I spotted a large bottle of Southampton Triple Abbey Style Ale. Previously, I had only had their three flagship beer – the Double White, IPA, and Altbeir. I had no idea they made a triple, and it is one those beers I like to consider a “secret beer,” one that isn’t mentioned on the brewer’s website.

When I first poured the beer, I noticed that it was dark amber, slightly cloudy. The head was yellow and receded quickly. The nose was quite mellow, mostly being sweet and malty. It has a medium heavy mouthfeel, and it the alcohol taste was pretty strong, or at least stronger than I would expect from an 8% ABV beer. Taste wise I can only really describe it as having a sweet, almost caramel or candy like flavor. Again, because of the hotness from the alcohol, it reminded me a little like a whiskey. Defiantly a good beer, although it’s not one that you sit back and chug on a summer day, it’s better for sipping and enjoying.

Apr 13 2010

Beer Review: New Glarus Spotted Cow

First of hopefully many beer reviews. A colleague who lives in Madison, Wisconsin brought be a highly sought after local beer: New Glarus Brewing Co‘s Spotted Cow. I believe it’s classified as a farmhouse ale.

The beer is dark gold in color and cloudy. It has a light head that recedes quickly. The aroma is really nice, slightly fruity and yeasty. But most of all, it smells like Gouda cheese, and not in a bad way. The taste is sweet with major nutty and buttery characteristics. It’s very low in bitterness/hopiness. It has a medium mouth feel, and although it’s not very light it is very drinkable.  I’ve had it both cool and warm, and warm actually seems better, as more of the complex flavors are enhanced. It’s defiantly a good beer, I can see why its a prized local brew.