Tag Archives: Lager

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!

 

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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.

How to and how not to hand model + 2 from La Succarsale

How to and how not to hand model
+ 2 from La Succarsale

There are times when it is just not possible to easily take a picture of a beer.  Times when it is necessary to request aid from a friend who will help you document your year of alcoholism.  This post is a thank you to everyone who has held a beer while I try to take a decent picture (see the list of names below – thank you all*).  It is also a friendly middle finger to those who try to hinder me at every opportunity (you know who you are).

How to and how not to hand model

Good hand modelling is not difficult.  The important thing is to hold the beer so that you can see any logos and so that your hand does not cover too much of the beer.  Examples…

It is also possible to get some interesting pictures and effects with effective hand modelling.  Examples…

However, people are also tempted to hand model or interfere in other less useful ways.  Examples…

2 from La Succarsale

What good fortune that a friend who has just moved back to Montreal has moved less than thirty seconds from a micro-brewery!

No. 416 – La Succarsale 1814 Porter
2017-10-28 - 416 - La Succarsale 1814 Porter _500beers

A fine porter with a warm milk chocolate aroma.  It does not quite follow up on this promise, but it is a decent porter that I would recommend.  Oddly refreshing after a twenty minute walk at full speed.  6/11

No. 417 – La Succarsale Vienna Lager
2017-10-28 - 417 - La Succarsale Vienna Lager _500beers

Somewhat dark looking for a lager, it felt more like a standard blond ale.  I should have started with this rather than the porter as it was a good beer that I found refreshing.  It won’t be high up in the reckoning of the best beer at the end of the year, but I would definitely recommend giving it a go if you are in the area and fancy something refreshing.  5/11

I have had one other beer at La Succarsale and will probably try one or two more before the end of the year – it’s a promising place, no bad beers yet.

*In alphabetical order for convenience, it’s no comment on your skills as a model…
Alice, Charlotte, David, Declan, Elspeth, Éric, Jess, Jordan, Moussa, Rachid, Sophie

 

Nos. 176 – 181 – Vices & Versa

Nos. 176 – 181 – Vices & Versa

After having written about Birra, it makes sense to look at a few beers I tried in another bar in little Italy with a great selection of beers.  I tried these in early June, therefore I don’t have too much to write (a good thing from time to time), but I recall a couple of them being somewhat special…

No. 176 – Dieu du Ciel Gaélique

2017-06-07 - 176 - Dieu du Ciel Gaelique Cream Ale _500beers

It has become something of a ritual to start with a cream ale or a stout over the last few months.  This one in particular was a very good choice.  It is a finely balanced sweet fruity cream ale with an aftertaste that brought memories of drinking dandelion and burdock lemonade many, many years ago.  This therefore is not only a good beer but one that also evokes memories for me – indeed I recall at the time having to text my mum to ask what the drink my dad used to buy was as I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.  It gets an 8/11 for being good, accurate, worth the price, having something special, for drink-again-ability, recommend-ability and I would go out of my way for it, and go out in a snowstorm or a heat-wave.

No. 177 – Brasserie Dunham Berliner Mango Weisse

2017-06-07 - 177 - Dunham Berliner Mango Weisse _500beers

So that was a really good start, what could possibly go wrong?

I’m not generally a fan of sour beers in this style but over the course of the summer I’ve had one or two which have been good.  This one was not.  Maybe it was a bad pint – but it was overwhelmingly sour and finishing it was a chore.  I’m generously giving it 2.5/11 for accuracy, being different and for the fact that I would recommend it, to someone I don’t like.

No. 178 – Le Trou du Diable Maiden Shawi

2017-06-07 - 178 - Le Trou de Diable Maiden Shawi _500beers

And back to good beers again…

This is a pretty good brown ale of a standard I’ve come to expect from Le Trou du Diable recently, having tried several more of their beers at home.  It has a toasty aroma with caramel coming through strongly and this is reflected nicely in the flavour.  The picture doesn’t do it justice as it looks gorgeous too.  An easy 6/11 for being good, accurate, worth the price, I’d drink it again, recommend it and I’d go out of my way for it.

No. 179 – Les 3 Mousquetaires Blonde Helles

2017-06-07 - 179 - Les 3 Mousquetaires Blonde Hellos _500beers

My notes for this and the next one total four words.  This one is a ‘fine blonde,’ and I’m going to leave it at that – 4/11.

No. 180 – Microbrasserie Charlevoix Kläss Lager

2017-06-07 - 180 - Microbrasserie Charlevois Klass _500beers

And this one is a ‘great lager.’

Lager seems to be difficult for north Americans to get right – either that or my European sensibilities were already warped before I got here.  In any case, I drank lager almost exclusively for seven or eight years and am still searching for a really good one that is worthy of being in my top twenty beers at the end of this year.  This one is so far one of the best.  I’m giving it 6.5/11 for being good, accurate, worth the price, for drink-again-ability, for recommend-ability, I’d go out of my way for a pint or five and I’m giving it 0.5 for luck.

No. 181 – Pit Caribou La Gaspésienne Porter

2017-06-07 - 181 - Pit Caribou La Gaspésienne _500beers

I asked the server to surprise me with this one so it took me a while to figure out exactly what beer it was and from which microbrewery.  I’m pretty confident that this is the correct information, though the beer seems a little too stouty to be a porter.  It’s a very creamy, almost milky porter with a nice aftertaste.  From memory, it felt like a porter except for the head.  Maybe it’s one of those really good hybrids, the best of both worlds.  It gets a 7/11 for being good, accurate, worth the price, for drink-again-ability, recommend-ability, I’d go out of my way for it and I’d go out in a snowstorm for it.

So four really good beers out of six, a pretty good return for an evening out.  I’d recommend Vices & Versa, you could almost do a mini pub crawl on St. Laurent with it and Birra!

Nos. 230 – 232 – The pursuit of hoppyness – 3 from Dieu du Ciel

Nos. 230 – 232 – The pursuit of hoppyness – 3 from Dieu du Ciel

And so, playing catch up with the posts begins. 

I’ve had 19 beers from Dieu du Ciel, with two more in the fridge but I’ve only written about nine.  The majority of them have been stouts or scotch ales, but here are three decent lighter beers…

No. 230 – Saison du Parc

I was going to write about this one on its own and call it the pursuit of hoppyness, hence the title.  However, I found quite a few results on google for this so perhaps it’s not so original.  In any case, this is a hopped up seasonal ale with a very frothy head and strong yellow colour.  It smells strongly of hops and tastes strongly of hops, unsurprisingly.  I got a hint of lemon in this one, but the taste seemed to be overwhelmed a little by the hoppyness.  It gets 4/11 for not being bad, for the price, for the description and for recommend-ability.  If you like hoppy lighter beers, give this a go.

No. 231 – Sentinelle

Not too much to say about this one but it was surprisingly good.  It really reminded me of drinking a lager back home, which seems to fall in line with the description – malty with a little hoppy bitterness.  It was refreshing and would be a good match for drinking in the park with some food, unlike the Saison du Parc.  It gets a good 5/11, for being good, for the price, for the description for drink-again-ability and for recommend-ability.

No. 232 – P’tit Blanc

Easily the best of the three beers here.  A light wheat beer with added juniper berries and lime.  The aroma is very pleasing, very fruity, what I assume to be juniper coming through well.  To taste, it is very refreshing and the taste remains in the mouth for a long time.  There is a delicious sting of bitterness in the taste, which again, I assume comes from the juniper and lime.  Very nice indeed and a decent 6/11 – for being good, for the price, for the description, for having something a little different, for drink-again-ability and for recommend-ability.

The next three beers I post about will be Équinox du Printemps, Pénombre and Isseki Nicho – a scotch ale, a black IPA and an imperial stout.  One of these is a contender for the best beer so far…

No. 194 – Beck’s (quick review No.1!)

No. 194 – Beck’s
2017-06-16 - 194 - Beck's _500beers

This is a beer that I have had in bottles in the past and never really liked.  I picked it as a number booster, not really expecting much from it.  It was better than I remember.  A typical lager that seemed quite light to me, but it was thirst quenching and cheap.  Possibly a little too easy to drink, I got through it in five minutes I think.  So, it’s getting a 5/11, it’s good, cheap, accurate, I’d drink it again and I wouldn’t tell anyone not to drink it so it’s recommendable technically.

 

 

No. 183 – Sapporo Premium Beer

No. 183 – Sapporo Premium Beer

The disappointment of finding a beer you haven’t tasted in one of your favourite bars and then finding out that they no longer do it and just haven’t updated their menus…

Fortunately, I found a few tins of it in a dépanneur not to far from my place.

I tasted this beer many years ago and thought that it was ok, but nothing special.  This time however it was actually quite nice, for a lager.  It’s a nice colour with an aroma that’s a little hoppy as one would expect.  Taste-wise it is a smooth lager, which I think I prefer to other lagers I’ve drank regularly in the past such as Harp and Carlsberg – a long time in the past, before I discovered red ales and stouts.

It’s good, it’s worth the price, it is exactly what it says on the tin, I’d drink it again and I’d recommend it.  I’m going to be generous and give it an extra Yes as I can say all these things about many lagers, but I like this one a little more.

6/11