Beer Experience in France

So I’d like to share some of my awesome beer/food experiences from my resent trip to Europe.  This edition covers the France portion of the trip.  While I enjoyed many-ah wine and cheese experiences, I still had some great brews.

First on the list was the Leffe 9.   I happened to walk in to the local supermarche in Paris and I was delighted to find some good beers on the beer shelf (mind you it was dwarfed in comparison to all of the wine racks – most wines ranging from $4-8 bucks).  The Leffe 9 was enjoyed after a long day at the Musee d’Orsay (impressionist art) with La Big Mac.  Did you know that you can buy beer at McDonalds?  Although you can’t substitute it in a combo for the same price, bummer.  The beer was surprisingly clean and not of the intense flavour of the Brun.  It was much stronger, being 9% alc., with a nice taste.  Admittedly I did not have the correct chalice or drank it at the right temperature.  But it was a nice treat to enjoy with Le Big Mac.  Also, you get ‘Pomme Frite’ sauce with your fries, which is like a spicy mayo.

The next beer was enjoyed in Lille, France @ Cafe Leffe.  Cafe Leffe!  Cafe Leffe!!  Do I need say more.  Why isn’t there one of these places in Ontario.  I enjoyed a nice Ruby Cafe Leffe, framboise flavour, typical Leffe body.  It was bittersweet and only enraged my appetite for some delicious food.

From Cafe Leffe! to a small quaint hole-in-the-wall restaurant in a dark alley.  With boar and beast heads on the wall, copper pots and pans hanging, wild and wonderful pictures and artwork of all different sizes, at a candle-lit table I enjoyed a St. Landelin.  Not knowing what this beer was I gladly received a golden abbey ale in a sniffer glass.  Caramel flavours with coriander and bitter orange ring to compliment a wonderful hearty gingerbread beef stew.  Must return here in the future to drink in more of the ambiance.

While discovering the northwest of Brittany France in the walled city of St. Malo I enjoyed an AMAZING cheese covered omelet toasted bread meat sandwich.  Refer to the picture for confirmation of amazing-ness.  You will see a tall Paulaner tankard, but it is filled with an English abbey ale that I do not remember well.  Must not have been very special, but I am told that a lot of English visitors come to St. Malo, due to its close proximity to England, to take advantage of France’s cheaper beer and liquor rates.  The French also complain about the English being very loud and annoying people when they drink.  I myself was too busy enjoying the amazing omelet sandwich miracle.

After a nice day at the Palace of Versailles, we went to the other palace across the street – El Rancho.  I enjoyed a long-awaited non-strictly-cheese-meal in a chili nachos platter.   This was especially delicious since they used Doritos for the nachos.  What a fantastic idea.  Accompanying this meal was a Desperados Cerveza, 5.9% tequilla flavour beer.  I actually really enjoyed this beer.  It was refreshing, light yet powerfully strong with a great flavour of bitterness of the tequilla.  With a lime it was more like a margarita beer.  Its too bad that The Beer Store stopped carrying this beer a while ago, as I would love to enjoy this beverage with summer BBQ.

Lastly, to say goodbye to Paris and Europe, I celebrated a wonderful trip with a Westvleteren 8 in its official hand-blown glass chalice.  Can I describe the moment?  No.  Was the beer good?  Your damn right it was.  Its too complex to describe, honestly.

Leffe 9

Leffe Ruby

St. Landelin

English abbey ale in Paulaner tankard


Westvleteren 8


2 Responses

  1. That’s awesome. What an experience. We need to make this Belgium trip happen so I can make a post that has so many pictures I need to use thumbnails.

    How does the 9 and the Ruby compare to the Radieuse? I can’t wait to have one of those this Christmas.

  2. I’m trying to figure out what a cheap trip to Belgium, an Germany for food, would cost.

    The Radieuse from what I remember was like an amazing Chimay Red, really good. The Ruby is like a framboise version of the Blonde, also really good but in my opinion the Rad is better. I’d take them both if I could.

    All that is left is to try the Leffe Tripel, which I have never seen – not even in Belgium. Although I wasn’t looking too hard for it.

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