Tag Archives: 500 Beers

À l’Abri de la Tempête

À l’Abri de la Tempête

It feels somewhat apt that I woke up this morning to the first moderately big snowstorm of the season and opened my advent calendar to find a beer from À l’Abri de la Tempête.  I’ve already reviewed one of their beers here, so here are the other two I’ve tried…

No. 436 – Écumé
2017-12-12 - 436 - A l'Abri de la Tempête Écumé poured _500beers

This one looks great in the glass.  It’s a deep amber gold colour and the head, though a little flat looks very appealing when you swirl it around like a pro!  It has a nice aroma, with a little floral hint, and the taste is mildly sweet, without being too sweet.  It feels like a sweet pilsner, which is fine.  It’s a good beer but not great.  5/11.

No. 485 – Belle Saison
2017-12-12 - 485 - A l'Abri de la Tempête Belle Saison poured _500beers

I was very happy to see this beer in my advent calendar (day number 12) as I had looked at it a few times in the past but for whatever reason had not bought it.  It has a floral aroma and a great golden colour.  It’s very easy to drink at only 5.5% and has a floral fruity hint to it which comes through a little in the aftertaste.  It’s not too hoppy, not too bitter and quite refreshing.  Probably a good barbecue beer.  An easy 6/11.

The three beers I have tried from À l’Abri de la Tempête have all been good so it’s a little annoying that I did not discover them sooner, though maybe in 2018 I will try some of their other more expensive beers like Corps Mort.

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Multi-Brasses

Multi-Brasses

This is one of my favourite discoveries of the year.  Inexpensive, good quality and a little different.  I found these beers at le Frigo de Bacchus on Masson and 9th Avenue after a friend told me of a beer shop not far from her new apartment.  I have actually tried four of their beers, but unfortunately I was extremely drunk when I tried one and can’t remember what it was and quite drunk when I tried the first one, hence the blurry pictures…

No. 461 – Brune au Café

The aroma is gorgeous, a very strong, thick, deep, rich coffee flavour and the head is nice and frothy.  It would probably suit a little cinnamon and chocolate.  It tastes like a mix between a brown ale and a lighter stout which is hardly a surprise as the emphasis is on the coffee.  As such it has a slightly heavier feel than a regular brown ale.  It’s fine, an easy 6/11 – it just doesn’t live up to the aroma, which is excellent.  6/11.

No. 483 – Fabuleuse

This is a real treat, I wish I’d seen this when it was warmer outside!  It has a strong blueberry aroma that makes me think of pancakes smothered in blueberry jam.  The blueberry comes through in the taste better than it did for the Éphémère Bleuet that I tried way back in the Summer, which makes it by default my favourite blueberry beer.  But, there is a little more to it than that.  It’s a nicely balanced beer.  The fruit is not too strong as to overwhelm the feeling of drinking a beer, nor is it too weak to make it feel like a genuine fruit beer.  It’s a little bitter, but by no means sour.  I recommend this one – 7/11.

No. 484 – Amoureuse

This beer smells like strawberry jelly (or jello I suppose as I’m in North America) – it’s a delight.  This beer has the same perfect balance as the blueberry beer – it’s not sickly sweet, nor is it too weak.  I’m also going to give this one 7/11 and I recommend trying it.  I may even purchase a bottle to drink with my Christmas Trifle*.

So, this was brewery was a really good find and I’m looking forward to trying anything else that they have to offer.  If you like fruit beers, you should definitely check them out.

*Trifle being…fruits, sponge cake, jelly/jello, custard and maybe some liqueur.

 

Advent Calendar Nos. 467 – 469 + 471

Advent Calendar

I have almost finished my challenge, in fact it will be finished on 20th December.  That will mean that I will have tried 500 different beers in 353 days (taking into account that I didn’t start until 2nd January).

With it being the festive season, various beer shops have been offering beer advent calendars.  I got mine from Veux-tu une bière?  Who were happy to customise it to not include anything that I have already tasted this year.  This means that I have under my tree a new beer for each day up to Christmas Eve.  Needless to say, as I would with a traditional sweat filled advent calendar I will be finishing it early. 

Oh the joy of waking up, grabbing out a surprise beer and dreaming of it all day in work until I get home to drink it!

Nos. 467 – 469 + 471

At the time of writing it is 5th December and I have tasted the first five of these beers, however I’m only going to write about four of them for the minute as I am currently enjoying my Dominus Vobiscum Triple from Microbrasserie Charlevoix.

No. 467 – Vrooden Dunkel
2017-12-02 - 467 - Vrooden Dunkel poured _500beers
I’ve seen Vrooden beers around a lot lately but have never been tempted to try one.  I regret that.  Their Dunkel is a really good brown ale.  The aroma is a little grainy and hoppy, while also carrying a little hint of caramel.  It is very smooth in the mouth.  A very nicely balanced brown ale, bordering on red.  It’s got a little hoppy hit but tastes a little creamy.  It’s a great beer that I would recommend to newcomers to brown ales.  7/11.

No. 468 – Shelton Saison Sure Houblonnée
2017-12-03 - 468 - Shelton Saison Sure Houblonnée poured _500beers
One of the reasons I got the advent calendar was to get beers I would not choose by myself.  This is one of those beers.  I’ve mentioned before that I don’t necessarily like sour beers so finding an accessible sour beer is always good.  This is quite a good beer all in all.  It is sour, with strong hints of grapefruit and a tropical lilt to it.  It is in no way overwhelming however and was easy enough to drink.  It felt a little closer to an IPA with accented sourness rather than a sour beer (if that makes sense).  5/11.

No. 469 – Malstrom IXPL des Prairies
2017-12-03 - 469 - Malstrom IXPL des Prairies poured _500beers
This is an odd beer.  I would have expected it to taste less bitter than an IPA and lighter than a decent lager.  It tastes like a particularly bitter IPA and the cumulative effect of drinking it made if feel like a double IPA.  Nice if you like hops and hoppy bitterness.  4/11.

No. 471 – L’Espace Public Kolschlaga
2017-12-05 - 471 - L'Espace Public Kolschlaga poured _500beers
I’ve had a few beers at L’Espace Public (I like that bar a lot) but have not written any of them up yet, thanks to a mixture of laziness and badly typed notes.  They were all pretty good though.  This one is also fine.  Funnily enough it tastes more how I would have imagined Malstrom’s India Extra Pale Lager to taste.  It’s quite light, tastes of grain and cereal, and has a very subtle hoppy undertone to it which is quite good.  It doesn’t have much life and has a medium texture, definitely not a light beer.  I’d drink it again – maybe in Summer.  4/11.

So that’s 4 beers down from my advent calendar, another update on that in a few days.

 

Comme Si, comme ça – Nos. 449 – 453

Comme Si, comme ça

I’ve been to Sherbrooke several times over the last year and always had the intention of visiting Si-Boire at the bus station for a few beers.  Fortunately, there’s a Si-Boire in the plateau, not too far from the orange line.  I was there last night for two beers to bring my total up to 450, I ended up having five…

No. 449 – Quaker Stout
2017-11-22 - 449 - Si-Boire Quaker Stout _500beers

This stout was described as an oatmeal stout, but felt much more like a milk stout, which was a little disappointing as I haven’t had an oatmeal stout for a while.  It had a lightly creamy head with  mild hints of coffee coming through.  To be honest it tasted like a decent Guinness, not a great one but it wasn’t bad either.   It’s an odd one to mark, because it’s good, it’s not entirely accurate but it is worth the price and I would drink it again.  It’s a little comme si comme ça!  I’m can’t give it more than 5/11.

No. 450 – Mcamen
2017-11-22 - 450 - Si-Boire Mcamen Scotch Ale _500beers

The big 450 was always going to be a scotch ale.  This one was somewhat weaker than the scotch ales I’ve tasted at home at only 7% but was still fine.  It felt a little more like a fortified red ale.  There were hints of caramel or toffee and a little sweetness in the aroma and the taste.  It did not have the warmth that I like in a scotch ale unfortunately but it did have the advantage of being a scotch ale that is accessible to those who don’t like their beers too strong.  I’m giving it a 6/11.

No. 451 – Ingénieuse
2017-11-22 - 451 - Si-Boire Ingénieuse _500beers

Where do you go after a stout and a scotch ale?  Red ale of course.  This is an Irish style red ale, which in all honesty was not too dissimilar from the scotch ale.  A decent red with hints of caramel and a nice balance between the sweet and the bitter.  Fine but not great again – it is the theme after all. 5/11.

No. 452 – Hops ‘n’ Cream
2017-11-2 - 452 - Si-Boire Hops n Cream _500beers

I decided to try this one as it was another hybrid that I haven’t seen or tasted before – an IPA/cream ale mix.  A little hoppy floral scent comes through the very thick creamy head which was a first for a cream ale for me.  To taste, it has a really nice thick creamy texture and tastes initially like a decent cream ale – but then there’s that lightly bitter floral hoppy aftertaste that comes through.  This was a little bit different from the other cream ales I’ve had so I was impressed with it – I’m giving it 7/11 as it is a decent beer with a little something different about it.  I would recommend it.

No. 453 – InsPirAtion
2017-11-23 - 453 - Si-Boire InsPirAtion _500beers
Well, this is a first, I got drunk and forgot to take a picture of a beer.  The proof is my receipt!  InsPirAtion is a decent fruity IPA.  That’s all I have to say about it as my notes are quite frankly unreadable.  I do however remember that it wasn’t bad, and wasn’t great.  5/11.

And so that is Si-Boire, a bar with decent beers that I would recommend trying out.

47 to go.

 

 

Update + No. 439 – How not to pour beer

Update

I didn’t have a decent picture for the feature image so here’s a picture of what we can look forward to for the next few months.

Anyway, as of this moment I have tried 448 different beers this year.  That’s 448 different beers in 325 days, or 1.78 beers per day – feel free to see the list to see what they are.  Of them, 18 have been good enough to fight a bear for and 4 have been good enough to go out of my way to fight a bear for! 

Capture

It is also perfectly clear at this point that I will not have time to write everything up before the end of the year.  So in that case, I’ve decided to leave the beer-off until February (where I will retry some of the best beers in order to find the best beer) and focus on tidying up the write-ups over December and January. 

No. 439 – Tsingtao, or how not to pour beer

2017-11-17 - 439 - Tsingtao 1 _500beers

I can sometimes be fussy about pouring beers.  This has been the case more so this year as I have had to take pictures of each different beer.  I had two bottles of Tsingtao at a Japanese restaurant a few evenings ago as I was curious to taste it again.  The last time I had it, I believe, was with breakfast after a massive drinking session in Manchester (the English one) and I don’t remember much about.  I asked the waitress if I could pour it myself but she insisted on pouring it.  I watched on in horror.  I tried to resist the urge to tell her to tip the bottle up a bit more or to move the glass to less of an angle as it was clear that no head would appear otherwise.  I restricted myself to a single gesture – hinting that quickly tipping what remained in the bottle would save this poor beer’s dignity.  Alas, no.  As the picture suggests, the beer had no head, even though it still possessed some life.

The beer itself was a reasonably smooth lager, but was nothing special, I’ve had better recently.  The experience of watching it being poured may have influenced my overall experience and the score as it’s only getting 3/11 and I don’t think I’ll ever drink it again.

I feel better having written that down – free online therapy!

 

Why I went to Strasbourg

Why I went to Strasbourg

Before moving to Montreal in 2013 I tried to see as much of Europe as possible.  Just pick a cheap flight from Belfast or Dublin to some great European city and a return flight from some other great city and zig-zag between them on the train for a couple of weeks.  One such trip started in Geneva and ended in Brussels.  While filling in a few places to visit in between I decided to visit Strasbourg, not for the historical buildings, the museums and the various European institutions there but for the fact that that is where my old favourite beer comes from.  Well at least, that’s where it was originally brewed way back in 1664.  I spent two days in an Irish bar there because it rained a lot, but I do recommend it for a visit – La Petite France is a very quaint little part of town where I spent most of my time and where the cover picture above was taken.  As for Kronenbourg…

No. 4 – Kronenbourg 1664
2017-10-09 - 4 - Kronenbourg 1664 poured _500beers

Kronenbourg 1664 was my drink of choice back home.  At least, if I was drinking at home it was my favourite beer for eating pizza and watching football.  I don’t recall it being available in too many bars that I would frequent.  It was a standard lager, but it was smoother than all the rest, whether it be from a bottle or a tin.  Here, in Montreal, I drank it every Sunday with brunch while watching football until the bar decided to discontinue it and sell Beau’s instead.  This is another reason as to why I started hunting for new beers.  In any case, I tried the Kronenbourg 1664 on draft at McKibbin’s on Bishop street way back in January, hence it being No. 4, but I did a re-tasting as I need to get a picture of it – it’s the same for the Kronenbourg Blanc.

In all honesty, I’ve nothing much to say about this other than that it is a very good light European lager.  It’s a nice mix, not too hoppy bitter and a little malty creamy.  It’s crisp and refreshing.  I’m giving it 7/11, which is high for a lighter lager and is probably just me being a bit nostalgic, but it is a good beer.

No. 5 – Kronenbourg Blanc
2017-11-12 - 5 - Kronenbourg Blanc poured _500beers

I used to quite like Kronenbourg White as well, however, having retried it, I was a little disappointed.  It has definite hints of orange and citrus but also borders on something I don’t like too much in white beers.  It tastes a little like something you would clean a kitchen with.  This is a way I have described some berliner weisse style beers, for want of a better description.  It’s not a strong taste by any means but it is something that has not appeared in the better white beers I’ve tasted.  It’s getting a 5/11 as I would still suggest it as a comparison to the North American white beers I’ve tried so far.

The catch-up continues, next I’ll try to cover Guinness, Harp, Smithwicks and Kilkenny, which I’ve seen sold together as the Irish collection.

Free Beer!

Free Beer!

To date, I’ve had three gluten free beers and one alcohol free beer that have counted towards this challenge.  I’m still waiting for my free gluten and free alcohol…

No. 53 – Bières Nouvelle France’s La Messagère au Millet

2017-02-09 - 53 - La Messagère Millet _500beers

I personally have no problem with gluten and am one of those people who doesn’t understand why anybody would avoid it if they didn’t have to.  Having a friend who can’t really take gluten gave me an urge to try a few gluten free beers throughout the year to see how they compare.  The first was way back in February.  I had bought a six pack of this for my gluten free friend and she only took a couple of them, so it was up to me to finish them off.  To be honest, I’ve no notes on this but from memory it was a good blonde ale with a little sweetness to it.  Very fizzy, as you can see by the picture and worth a go.  I gave it 6/11 at the time, which I would like to revise but I’m not going to because at this late stage in the year I just won’t have time.

No. 335 – Krombacher Alcohol Free Pilsner

2017-09-09 - 335 - Krombacher Pilsner NA _500beers

After much debate, it was decided that an alcohol free beer would still count.  The reasons being that it is made by the same process (this was decided without any checking, but seems possible) and because it is just low alcohol beer, not truly alcohol free.  Besides, I’d tried everything else Brutopia had to offer that day.

This is my favourite alcohol free beer – it is smoother than others I’ve tried and a little like a beer and lemonade shandy.  It’s better than quite a few proper beers I’ve tried this year.  It gets a 4/11 for being drinkable, ok for the price, a little different and I would recommend it for non-drinkers or drivers.  I doubt that I’ll drink it again though.

No. 343 – Glutenburg Blonde

2017-09-11 - 343 - Glutenburg Blonde _500beers

Back to gluten free.  Another one I tried because I had been through all of Brutopia’s other beers at that point.  It’s definitely a blonde ale, but it has a little sweetness to it, like the Messagère Blonde above.  Maybe that’s a feature of gluten free beers.  I gave this one 4/11 for being fine, for tasting like a blonde, being worth the price and one for recommend-ability.  I won’t be drinking this again.  I’d drink the Messagère ahead of this I think.

No. 426 – Glutenburg Rousse

20171108 - 428 - Glutenburg Rousse _500beers

This was cheap, so I bought it.  It smells quite nice, like a sweeter red ale – very promising indeed.  To taste though, it’s fine – like a red ale without that little hoppy fizz that you get sometimes.  There’s no aftertaste, no little bitter hit to it.  On the plus side it was somewhat refreshing.  I give this one 4/11 as well.  It’s not something that I would drink again but it’s not bad either, just a little bland.

So that’s a few brief notes on gluten free and alcohol free beers.  I don’t think I’ll try any more this year but they had interesting tastes.