Sunday, August 14, 2011

The French Connection

The French are known for their very civilized vacation policies. Pretty much the entire country shuts down for the whole month of August while everyone heads to the countryside, the beaches, or the mountains for les vacances. Assuming that you are not so lucky and are stuck in a hot New York City, why not pretend for a few hours that you are seated in charming café surrounded by hop fields, sipping a cool glass of beer. As we keep saying, the French do make very good beer which is sadly underappreciated in this country. Rattle n Hum will be putting on 10 kegs of some of the finest beers that France has to offer and cooking up some French-inspired food.

There is a reason that Manet did not title this painting The Wine Drinkers

When: Tuesday, 16 August, 4 pm-onwards
Where: Rattle n Hum, 14 E. 33rd St.
What: pay-as-you-go

Les bières:

Brasserie St-Germain Page 24 Réserve Hildegarde Ambrée - an amber bière de garde, the traditional style from the north of France, generously hopped with the local Brewers Gold and Strisselspalt varieties and brewed with locally-sourced malt, 6.9% abv

Brasserie St-Germain Page 24 Réserve Hildegarde Blonde - the blonde version of their bière de garde, 6.9% abv

Brasserie de Bretagne Sant Erwann - Brittany's St. Yves (Sant Erwann in Breton) was a 13th century ecclesiastical judge who was a champion of the poor. This 7-grain, 7% abv blonde ale made with barley, wheat, buckwheat, oats, rye, spelt, and millet is brewed in his honor.

Brasserie de Bretagne Celtika - golden triple, 8.8% abv

Brasserie de Bretagne Gwiniz Du - Gwiniz Du means "black wheat" in Breton and this amber ale is brewed with roasted wheat, giving the beer a hint of spice, 5.4% abv

Jenlain Ambrée - Brasserie Duyck, brewer of Jenlain, is credited with reviving the bière de garde style, a malty farmhouse ale brewed in the cooler months and then stored for consumption in the summer in the days before refrigeration. Their amber version is full of malt sweetness, with notes of caramel and dried fruits, 7.5% abv

Jenlain St-Druon - a blonde bière de garde brewed with a little bit of wheat and 3 varieties of Alsatian hops, 6% abv

Pietra - an amber ale brewed with chestnut flour, from the island of Corsica, 6% abv

Pietra Colomba - a Belgian-style wheat beer, hazy and refreshing, but brewed with the local wild herbes du maquis which give the beer a more herbal note, rather than the typical citrus and spice, 5% abv

Thiriez Extra - Daniel Thiriez brews farmhouse ales in the tiny town of Esquelbecq, close to the Belgian border, and his beers tend to blur the lines between French bières de garde and Belgian saisons. The Extra is a very hoppy, effervescent saison-like beer that is extremely refreshing and easy to drink at only 4.5% abv

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