We all know France for its great wines, but I have to say, the craft brewing scene is also growing in France, with some great beers as result :-).
I was in north of France end of July to visit some very good friends of mine and there my friends showed me in a local supermarket the beers they are producing in that region. The town was called Hardelot-sur-Plage, close to Boulogne-sur-Mer. And waw, what a super nice selection they had! The beers that immediately jumped out with their labels, were those from Brasserie des 2 Caps (http://www.2caps.fr/en/la-brasserie.html).
This brewery is situated in the ‘Côte d’Opale’ in between the 2 cliffs called ‘Cap blanc nez’ and ‘Cap gris nez’, meaning the white and grey cliff respectively. It is a beautiful area with spectacular views, on a clear day even all the way to UK.
The brewery is using malt and hops farmed in the surrounding area, very environmently friendly :-). They have around 6 different beer types, and I tasted the D-day beer:
This beer was a very nice positive experience. The flavor is fruity (banana like), definitely fermented with a Belgian type Blond Ale yeast. A little sweet aftertaste with a balanced bitterness. Almost a typical Belgian Blond, but then brewed in north of France. I can definitely recommend this beer. On Ratebeer, the beer got rated a 3.2, but I have given it a 3.7
The name is of course inspired by D-day, taking place at the coast nearby on the 6th of June 1944. A super nice tribute to this great day!
Interesting news from Ratebeer that last week released a series of Ratebeers Best 2014.
I was especially interested in the ‘Top 100 beers in the world’ series.
Only 18% of those beers originate from Europe, while 3% comes from Canada and the bulk 79% from USA.
This clearly indicates the predominance of American beers that are liked on Ratebeer. Strange that no Asian or Australian beers make it to the top though.
If we look a little closer to which beers are chosen in Europe as best beers, I am very proud to be a Belgian :-). Yep, 12 out of the 18 beers are Belgian, with Westveleteren 12 (XII) ranked first with the highest rating score. The most intruiging Belgian beers that made it to the top are, however, the series of De Struise Brouwers. Not less than 4 of the 12 Belgian beers are beers from this brewery! And according to the brewer, the brewery would have already gone down if he did not send an example beer to Ølbutikken in Denmark in 2004 to taste the beer. Exactly, that kick-started the succes of the De Struise Brouwers on an international level. Great to know :-), now I am also proud to live in Denmark, that by the way ranks as the second best country when it comes to top beers. 3 of the 18 European Top beers listed, are coming from Denmark, and from only two brewers: Mikkeller and To øl. And that makes sense, those are two of the leading brewers in the Danish brewery scene.
If you are curious who the other ones are, I listed them according to the rating score (weighted average):