Tuesday, January 21, 2014

After Work Beer Review- Brooklyn IPA

I don't always drink at work, but when I do- it's never .... really the same ....thing. Last time it was Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and this time, my money counting co-worker has joined me on film to discuss what makes the India Pale Ale such a novelty in France with some

Brooklyn IPA

"This might be a little crazy but this is a beer I would consider eating with."


The multi lingual self craft beer convert, Roberto points out that French hardly ever (mostly never) drink beer with meals. New and exciting ways to enjoy hoppy beer!

Check out the Brooklyn Brewing page for details about where you can find a pint or two. It's pretty average stuff but bounds above general commercial goo. I had some gentlemen in the bar tonight who hail from Brooklyn and were excited to see the beer (not the price). They might love their city but they shadow current American drinking culture:

"I love Brooklyn lager! But it's the pale ales that everyone goes for so we don't really drink it much."

-Brooklyn native #1


"I drink Sierra Nevada. It's cool to see our beer all the way over here though. Do French people go wild for this stuff or what?"

-Brooklyn native #2

Brooklyn East India Pale AleThe answer is mostly no. To say that they go wild is totally wrong but they do like the idea of "American beer," which is why they also enjoy drinking Duff, even though it's made in Germany. (More on that later). Most can distinctly taste the difference and when not drawn to "le moins cher" or "the more cheap" beer they are delighted with Brooklyn lager.

We aren't sampling the lager in this video because I also, am not a lager fan. Instead we wrap our brains around the Brooklyn IPA and what the average French person thinks of beer.

The "American style" Pub

O'Connell's is your average dive type late night bar. The people that come in range from 18 year old kids who like tequila shots (or the cheapest thing possible) to business men who don't blink at paying extra for good scotch. There are students, locals, lovers and vacationers. We get em all! And we sell a wide range of beers to accommodate.

Considered an "American style" pub, O'Connell's is slowly expanding it's base set of regulars by adding time old American traditions. Including: bi monthly beer pong tournaments, ladies night, burgers with home made fries and a general sense of "anything goes."

Pub = America. In Paris. We sell Guinness but we aren't an Irish Pub, we don't have Jameson.

More to come about O'Connells and their beers! The future of top secret, but I can say that I won't be doing my own editing this time. Heehehee.

A bientôt!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Session #83- Against the Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien grain

[caption id="attachment_1560" align="alignleft" width="263"]session The Session, a.k.a. Beer Blogging Friday, is an opportunity once a month for beer bloggers from around the world to get together and write from their own unique perspective on a single topic. Each month, a different beer blogger hosts the Session, chooses a topic and creates a round-up listing all of the participants, along with a short pithy critique of each entry.[/caption]

January is all about resolutions and Rebecca over at The Bake and Brew has suggested that we all take a long hard look at the reasoning behind our beer preferences.
"How much is our taste or opinion of a craft beer affected by what friends and the craft beer community at large thinks?"

The Session #83

Against the Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien Grain

Or, why beer reviews are messing with my mind.

I recently did a tasting review of Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien in which I spill one of the world's most talked about Swiss beers all over the floor and compare it to fermenting socks.

No matter what my Ridiculous Co-host said, I was (drunk and) unable to find the redeeming complexity that made that beer so highly rated on the rate sites.

Screen Shot 2014-01-05 at 10.23.37 PM Screen Shot 2014-01-05 at 10.22.17 PM

I don't care much about what the rate sites say because they don't always agree, but I do watch a lot of beertubers, read a lot of beer blogs, and

all my beer geek friends say it's the best beer ever...

What we now know, in hindsight of the filming, is that in my headstrong determination to enjoy the beer, even though I was more interested in singing christmas songs, was due to the fact that some where I had got the idea in my head that this beer was, "advanced."

Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien is one of those beers that one does not drink, one must experience.

You don't go springing this baby on a newbie craft beer drinker, oh nooo, waste of your time (and money, lots of money), this beer takes years of palate exercising. When a newbie does insist on sampling a bit, their nose gets all wrinkly and face mushes up, and thats when we are all supposed to lean back in our leather arm chairs and chuckle, "how cute, the new one can't appreciate the complexity of this fine heavenly liquid."

giphy me

Like Glen from Ithinkaboutbeer Beerisyourfriend mentioned, I had a fear of missing out. I wanted to understand what everyone was gushing about! It was the last bottle in the store- so rare and unique. Not everyone could appreciate it (or afford it). And, although we had already been drinking heavily on big christmas brews, I could not resist those renowned accolades and self inflicted peer pressures from luring me in.

I learned my lesson:

1. You can have too much of a good thing.

2. You may not be able to recognize said good thing.

3. Just because it's rare, expensive, and all your friends say it's the best thing ever does not mean you should get drunk and make a beertube review.

And some might add

4. A beer made with great attention deserves great attention.

But I haven't tried the beer again since this episode, so I still might think it a big ball of sweet & sour, tangy old socks. In a bad way.

Beer reviewing websites, as others have pointed out this month, are not the end-all word of what is top most in the world of beer. We'd have to first agree on what is the best beer style in the world. Literally impossible, because beer trends change daily, by region (according to google).

Read beer reviews, watch beer tube, get involved in discussions about what you like and why because you are more complex and well aged than any beer out there. No one can taste your taste.

This year's beer resolution: do more beer reviews! For you.


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

"They're just trying to kill you with hops"- Neal Stephenson

There are times in a beer geek's life when they do just what their stereotype designates: they geek-out about beer.

For me, I geek out when I find craft beer culture leaked into mainstream mediums. And, I also geek out when my other geeky interests display a bit of beer knowledge.

This is my second time reading a Neal Stephenson book and the second time I've been thrown into fits of delight by a subtle tipping of the hat to the relevance of beer in the future.

Legendary Sci-fi writer Mr. Neal Stephenson might not be a home brewer or, even have much love for hops-

[caption id="attachment_2313" align="alignnone" width="517"]Screen Shot 2013-12-20 at 2.57.04 PM Slate[/caption]

but he does go out of his way to make gentle suggestions that good beer is part of the world around him.
"...she squeezed a wedge of lemon into her wheat beer and took a sip."
"The only thing I believe at the moment is that my legs are wet, this stout is good, and I like your perfume."

-experts from Diamond Age

Diamond Age was written in 1995 while Mr. Stephenson was living in Seattle, Washington so things like stormy weather stouts and hefeweizen with a lemon in it were likely a normal aspect of his daily life.

There have been suggestions on beer collaborations with the author, but nothing seems to have some it as of yet. Which shows that I am not the only one mixing my nerdy infatuations.


"Like my current pet peeve is—and here we're definitely talking about First-World problems—over-hopping of craft beer. Hops are a very aromatic, bitter compound and I suspect that they're being used by incompetent brewers to cover up defects in the taste of their produce. I've been trying this experiment lately: If you go into a microbrewery type of place and ask them for their "least-hopped" beer, they either can't even answer the question or they seem pretty seriously taken aback. They're just trying to kill you with hops."

Bookish interview Feb. 2013

Rather or not death by unpalatably hoppy beer is in the future of man kind's beer adventures, one thing is for sure, Neal Stephenson is a beer geek (who gets quoted saying beer snobbish things).

Beer will be in our future as surely as it has been in our past.


Sunday, January 5, 2014

Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien all over the floor

The following recent beer review contains heavy amounts of the fuck word and excessive sloppy consumption of highly rated beers.


In fact, the beer that me and my Ridiculous Co-Host x-rated reviewed on this winter evening is so world class rated that it is often considered to be better than the best. (although not everyone agrees as to what the best is.) Too bad much of the prize winning brew ended up on the floor and, as skin moisturizer.

BFM (Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes)- Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien

Switzerland, Bière de Garde 11.00%

[caption id="attachment_2346" align="aligncenter" width="481"]DSC_2135 Picked this beauty up at A la bière comme à la bière[/caption]

There is nothing unusual with the amount of drunk going on in this week's video, I do feel that bold, complex beers like Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien should be consumed when the palate is more... how shall we say.... primed. Perhaps with less... saturation. 

That being said, I'd like to make a point to try this beer again in the future and better analyze the reasoning behind the greatness. What is all the hype? It made me want to vomit. Could have been the Bon Veux, Biere d'hiver and Rouge Double Chocolate Stout I had earlier in the evening trying to leave the stomach party through the front door. Is Saint Bon-Chien is a party crasher? Or the best beer since open fermentation revival?

Until next time, enjoy the antics.

"She smell's like Cantillon."