Tag Archives: Red Ale

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.

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A selection from Brasseurs de Montréal

A selection from Brasseurs de Montréal

2017-07-23 - Brasseurs de Montreal bottlecap _500beers

A few quick notes for a few beers I tried in July. 

No. 246 – La Québécoise Rebelle

I had this a couple of hours after tasting twelve different beers at the Laval beer festival (here and here) earlier in July.  It’s not generally a good idea to try beer tasting when already quite drunk, but I wasn’t too badly off at this stage so I thought ‘why not?’  I don’t have any notes on this, but from memory it was a decent amber ale.  I gave it the standard 5/11 for being ok, for the price, accuracy, drink-again-ability and recommend-ability.

No. 248 – La Montréalaise Griffintown

I tried this light blonde ale at home a few days after the Rebelle and it got me thinking that maybe the Rebelle deserves another tasting – but I don’t think I’ll bother as it may only get one more Yes, which still wouldn’t put it up there with the best beers.  This is a pretty good blonde ale that made me think more of a lager than a blonde.  I have no notes on this one either except for the score – 6/11, for being good, worth the price, accurate, for drink-again-ability, recommend-ability and an extra Yes for going a block out my way if the mood so took me!

No. 249 – L’Orientale Chi

This is the real treat of the selection.  I’ve been flirting more and more with spicy and sour beers recently and I think that this was the first one that I actually really liked.  The aroma reminded me of green tea – but there are strong hints of ginger and some fruits in there too.   It was very fizzy on the tongue and the spiciness came through in the taste nicely.  Everything about the taste was just right.  It was not too spicy.  It had just enough of a hint of green tea.  It had just the right fizz to be refreshing.  It gets a 7/11 for being good, worth the price, accurate, different, for drink-again-ability, for recommend-ability and for the fact that I would possibly go out of my way to find a bottle.

No. 252 – L’Anglaise London Ruby

This was a little disappointing, I’m always wary of light red ales.  And rightly so in this case.  It had a good aroma to it but the taste, although an obvious red ale, was a little bland.  It made me think of having a watered down beer in a bar.  It gets 3/11, for not being bad, for being cheap enough and for the description (just about).

4 beers down, 154 beers more to post about…

No. 206 – Archibald Chipie

No. 206 Archibald Chipie

Another purchase based on the woman on the bottle or tin…

One more to notch off from my list of Archibald beers.  Apparently, translations for Chipie range from ‘little vixen’ to ‘bitch.’  Anyway, it’s a red pale ale, which looks better poured than the picture shows.  It had quite a strong aroma on pouring but the taste did not follow up.  At 5% it’s not too weak but it tasted quite weak.  Yes, it’s fine.  Yes, worth a couple of dollars.  Yes, it is accurate.  Yes, I’d try it again (if I could find it on draft) and Yes, I’d recommend it, particularly to people who would like to make a step up from lighter beers.  A decent 5/11.

Nos. 122 – 125 – Weekend in Sherbrooke

Nos. 122 – 125 – Weekend in Sherbrooke

It had been a long day.  Up at the crack of dawn to catch the bus to Sherbrooke.  Then two hours of walking around looking for things to photograph, followed by lunch with a friend and some more walking around.  My friend then suggested that we visit a shop she had stumbled across previously to find something to drink.  I didn’t expect much, but when we arrived I could see a ray of light shine down from the heavens and hear angels sing.

That shop is Au Vent du Nord, if you are in the area and searching for beer, I’d recommend it.

No. 122 – Archibald’s Ci-Boire
2017-04-22 - 122 - Archibald Ci-Boire _500beers

Having visited the Archibald Microbrewery in Trois Rivieres the week before and being very impressed by their Veuve Noire and Tite Kriss I chose a couple of their other beers for the evening.  The first, Ci-Boire is a moderately strong IPA at 6% that is pretty good, hoppy with a little hint of orange and refreshing.  I liked it, it was worth the price and had an accurate description.  I would drink it again and recommend trying it.  5/11

No. 123 – Archibald’s Belle Mer
2017-04-22 - 123 - Archibald Belle Mer Blanche _500beers
I’m not sure why I picked this one after Ci-Boire – IPA overload.  It is a very hoppy beer and somewhat heavier than other IPAs I had had before.  I gave it a 4/11 for being accurate, reasonably priced and I’d recommend it to IPA lovers.  The other 1 point is made up of 0.5 for being good and 0.5 for probable drink-again-ability.

This one’s possibly going on my ‘retasting’ list.

No. 124 – Le Trefle Noir’s Chronique

More Le Trefle Noir, and one I had been looking forward to finding.  It’s a traditional red English ale, with a nice deep colour and a balanced taste, bittersweet with hints of caramel and a taste I can only describe as burnt – that’s what my notes say anyway.  It was a fine beer and the highlight of the night.  6/11 – for being good, cheap, accurate and for drink-again-ability, recommend-ability and for the fact that I would (and did) go out of my way to buy it.

No. 125 – Archibald’s Nuit Blanche

2017-04-24 - 125 - Archibald Nuit Blanche poured _500beers

I had this one in the evening after a few hours on the bus and it was nice.  It’s white IPA but made me think more of a lager while drinking it, though the colour and fruity taste all point at white beer.  It’s the best of the three Archibalds I tried this particular weekend and gets a 6/11 for being good, cheap, reasonably accurate and having a little something different about it – I would also drink it again and recommend it.

I also bought Dieu du Ciel’s Dernière Volontés this weekend but I’ve already written about it, check it out here.

I will definitely call by Sherbrooke again before the end of the year to find a few different beers.

 

Glass half empty or half full? Nos. 97 – 99

Glass half empty or half full?

It’s an age-old question. Is the glass half empty or half full? It’s optimism against pessimism. It’s looking forwards against looking back.

2017-03-28 - 97 - La Bonne Aventure Pit Caribou half full _500beers

To me, it’s a bloody generic pint glass with no branding on it whatsoever.

I try beers in one of two situations, either in the comfort of my apartment where I can take photographs all I want, or in bars, where it’s a lottery for two reasons. The first is the pouring – you can get a badly poured pint that is either all head or completely flat.  The second is the glass – you can get a nice glass with the name of the beer on it or even a picture, you can get a blank standard pint glass or worse, you can get a beer in a glass with a different brand’s logo on it.  I’m getting more and more picky about this as the challenge goes on.

Anyway, I had three new beers at Pit Caribou in the Plateau this week.  The place is small but merits a visit.  I will be going back.

No. 97 – La Bonne Aventure Rousse

2017-03-28 - 97 - La Bonne Aventure Pit Caribou _500beers
Continuing my happy hour theme, I chose the cheapest three drinks in the bar (as far as I could see).  Putting my disappointment about getting a generic pint glass aside, I was looking forward to something good from this after having had two of the best beers I’ve tasted so far the night before at McKibbin’s.

This was a little disappointing.  Like the glass, this was a standard red beer with nothing special about it.  It was good, the price was cheap, the description was spot on and I think I’d probably drink it again but I wouldn’t seek it out specially.  That’s about it.  There are other reds which taste exactly like this.                                                                  4/11

No. 98 – La Blonde de l’Anse

2017-03-28 - 98 - La Blonde de l'Anse Pit Caribou 3 _500beers
This blonde ale has something to it.  I’m not sure exactly what but from the first taste, I really liked it.  There’s a sweet aftertaste to it and it’s quite smooth for a blond ale.  I very much recommend trying this one out.  It gets a Yes for being good, a Yes for the price, a Yes for the description, a Yes for having that je ne sais quoi, a Yes for drinking again and a Yes for recommending it.  I’m also giving it a Yes for knowing that I will probably go out of my way to grab a pint or a bottle of this.   Plus the logo is on the glass!                                                                             7/11

 

No. 99 – La Blanche de Pratto

2017-03-28 - 99 - La Blance de Pratto Pit Caribou 2 _500beers
A really good beer and an ok beer so far, so I didn’t know what to expect from the white beer.  It’s a nice colour and quite bubbly for a white.

Taste-wise, it’s fine, a decent white beer which may have been helped by a slice of orange.  This gets the standard Yes for being good (so far only two beers have failed on this one and there were circumstances for that), and also two Yeses for the price and description.  Yes, I would say give it a go and Yes I’d probably drink it again, however I would leave it at five yeses as it didn’t have that something special to make it a really good beer.                     5/11

 

Overall, this was a decent visit – any bar where I find a seven out of eleven must have something to it.  I will definitely be going back to try out a few of their other beers, in particular their stouts.

When I’m Sixty-Four

When I’m Sixty-Four

Taking my queue from George Lucas, I’m starting my story with a four. Sixty-four to be precise, as since 1st January I have tried sixty-four different beers. Unfortunately, I haven’t written about the previous sixty-three yet, but I’ll fill that in over the next month or so and hopefully it will be more interesting than the Star Wars prequels…

No. 64 – L’Euphorique, Irish Red Ale
Microbrasserie Le BockAle

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I found this and several others from Le BockAle at my local supermarket and having just started to organise a St Patrick’s Day pub crawl couldn’t resist a bottle with a shamrock on it.  On first taste, I thought ‘No!’ and swore, however it got better.

Was it good?
Yes, I like red ales and this one grew on me quickly.  It didn’t taste too bitter and left a kind of sweetness in the mouth that was a bit unusual in a good way.  It is also quite smooth and somewhat easy to drink.  So it gets a Yes for ‘was the taste interesting or different?’ too.  A third Yes for the name and description being accurate and a forth Yes for the price, I got it for $5.79, which I think is fine.  A further two Yeses for ‘would I drink it again?’ and ‘would I recommend it to a friend?’

Was it really good?
I would walk an extra couple of blocks to pick up a bottle I think, so a Yes there.  However, a snowstorm would deter me and if a bear had one, I’d let him be.

So 7/11 it is.
If you like red ales give it a go, Cheers!

For those who like the technical stuff, or just like French…
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