Saturday, September 20, 2008

Not for the pot, but the glass

I usually cook with French beer and then use the tiny bottles they serve it in for yeast propagation or as the perfect nip bottle for strong beer. I'm not sure of any greater insult to throw at a brewery but it's often hard to find anything good at all to say about the average French beer. Invariably they are lagers with little flavour and plenty of gas and Kronenbourg is no exception, however this brewery's Premier Cruz is a cut above the normal stuff, so much so that I plan to hunt down another bottle very soon to have in reserve. It is a very pleasing amber colour and its hefty 6% abv gives a wonderful fullness, padded out further by caramel and toffee. The bottle suggests that there is apple in there too but I can't spot it. There is some lovely hop character that rounds everything off nicely. I am going to Paris on honeymoon next month and wasn't terribly hopeful about the beer scene while there because I had no intention of dragging my wife around in search of craft beer. This tasty drop from one of the major French brewers will keep me quite contented if it is available. I won't be cooking with this one. In fact I'll be hunting down some food to have with it.


David Curran said...

Have you tried Kasteel Cru? And if so what did you think? I did not really like it but it is odd to have a beer brewed with champagne yeast.

Thom said...

I didn't enjoy it much either. Very dry indeed, but the amazing clarity and hue impressed me.

Bionic Laura said...

Just had this last night after your recommendation. It's really nice and quite different from what you'd expect from a French beer.

Boak said...

I quite liked this one too.

Don't get your hopes up about Paris. Like the rest of France, it's Heineken all the way, the variety being provided by the brands of Belgian and German beer that Heineken own.

There are a few Belgian places, and there must be some other decent beer somewhere. There's an OK beer shop on Rue de Abbesses which has some good local stuff, but the range isn't that big.

I do recommend the Frog & Rosbif brewpub chain though. I wrote about a visit to them here.

Thom said...

Many thanks for the tip, Boak. I have done zero beer research for the trip, but these pubs seem ample to keep me contented while there, because, as I said, I don't want to subject my wife to a beer trek around the city.