french Archives – PorchDrinking.com
Although craft beer fans are becoming more keen on pairing beers with their favorite cheeses and meals, I’ve always found that cooking with beer to be a challenge. If you’re not acclimated to the natural bitter flavors of hops and malts, then beer can turn your dish into an overwhelming, unwieldy experience. The upside to this we can now discover new recipes by experimenting with more beer styles. In all my years of cooking, these crowd-pleasing pork rillons may be the perfect vehicle to harness the true flavors of beer.
Hoppy beers are a relatively new arrival in France. A few avant-garde brewers like Daniel Thiriez started experimenting early on, but most breweries continued to make less-than-exciting traditional beer based on the relatively meaningless blonde–ambrée–brune color palette. Happily, a number of new-generation breweries are not afraid to hop things up a bit and put out their own French IPAs.
France has taken its sweet time getting around to craft beer, but the French are finally starting to realize what they’ve been missing out on. Thanks to some passionate brewers in all six corners of the Hexagon, local craft beer is now readily available alongside imported favorites. This Ultimate 6er is a mélange of new and established breweries from around France. It’s not a “best of,” just a peek at the variety of what’s happening out there and some breweries to keep an eye on.
La Brasserie du Mont Salève wears its name well: nestled at the foot of Mont Salève near the Swiss border, this French brewery has been turning out some of France’s most interesting beers since 2010. Head brewer Mickaël Novo likes to experiment with strong flavors, but don’t assume that means strong beers. The Mosaic Black Bitter is an intensely hoppy beer that surprises at a mere 3.5% ABV.
I have to be honest. I bought Préambule based on the label. I thought the bubbles were neat. And while you shouldn’t judge a beer by its label, I did pretty well this time around. But I wouldn’t have been as surprised by this provocative little beer if I had bothered to read what was written instead of fawning over the nice packaging.