Converting a French Wine drinker to the Church of Craft Beer
A Jedi beer tasting and
a French love hotel
Construction work always takes longer than estimated, Starbuck's employees always secretly want to tell customers to fuck off and love hotels are always better with craft beer.
Paris only has one love hotel- it recently opened.
Japan has many love hotels- which can be creepy.
You are now thinking, "what is the difference between a love hotel and a sex hotel?"
The answer today is good beer.
I'll start at the beginning.
I know this French artist that is, like all Parisian born adults, a wine expert. He walks like Hunter S. Thomason, chain smokes casually and wears a long black velvet coat. His pores ooze Parisian down to his shiny black shoes. Of course on days off from the office he wears denim on denim and sports his moped helmet like a handbag. He would never be seen our doors without a scarf, speaks perfect english and -luck for me- has a sense of drinking adventure.
Since we don't like use names here at TastingNitch lets give him some characterizing descriptive words; he is a constant gentleman, at teasing jokester, he likes to say "dude" a lot and often sports a full mustache. Since The Dude is taken and mustaches scare me, lets go with the Teasing Gentleman.
The Teasing Gentleman is a musical artist who doesn't believe in wearing santa hats for the holidays and has lost entire weeks chasing the dragon in asian opium dens. In short, he's been around. EXCEPT been around a member of the beer culture cloister who is on a mission to impregnate the minds of all craft beer virgins.
Nothing excites a beer geek more than an eager and willing beer virgin. Lets go arm in arm toward the other side of alcoholic liquids.
Welcome to the IPA SIDE
[caption id="attachment_1955" align="alignright" width="300"] BeerFreaks are beer geek masters class A[/caption]
Thus, the Teasing Gentleman will be my Padawan and I his (possibly too young to be a Jedi knight) teacher.
"There is a whole vocabulary about beer I didn't know existed." -TG
I made plans to meet the the Teasing Gentleman at the cave of the Obi-wan Kenobi of French Craft beer and got lost in the process of arrival. Or rather, I never lose myself but have trouble finding where my self had intended to future.
These are not the beers you're looking for...
I remembered that the location was close by a Starbucks so I hussled into a passing Starbucks to ask for information about their other locations. Complicated by the two or maybe three other Starbucks within walking range the server man wanted to speak his poor English while I wanted to get direct answers in French. I left with a half pen, half marker map on a recipe paper that left me with more confusion then before, and a sense of having been fucked with.
Extremely late I arrived at the meeting location, only to realize that I had been moved by the hand of Ninkasi. My absence had given the new comer a chance to explore the Jedi's cave alone with just the master and, his own intrigue.
He proudly presented me with his plastic bag of beer discovery and recounted how the Obi-wan of French beer's kind and friendly knowledge sharing had been so interesting and helpful. Including how the man had written on the bottles in what order the beers were to be drank in:
1. My Beer Company's Pale Ale Levallois
2. St.Rieul's Ambrée
3. Brasserie Correzienne's Imperial Stout Boris Goudenov
4. Abraxas's Lichtenhainer Weisse
We found a cathedral to sit at and practice our beer church ritual. The stone stairs are free seating and great people watching. Buzzing, drilling and scraping construction of the entire left side of the city quarter had become standard background noise after the march from metro to the cave to the monument so we weren't inclined to speak over a moderately confidential tone.
Time for the pouring.
Plastic cups cause more agitation on the incoming brew and thus will result in a larger head action, quel dommage, but not all beer tasting sessions can be gold gilded glasses and proper pour temperatures. Daily lessons.
[caption id="attachment_1968" align="alignright" width="224"] My Beer Company[/caption]
1. My Beer Company's Pale Ale- Levallois
Nitch: Aw yes, classic and well balanced pale ale with heavy handed hop use and French artistic flair.
TG: Aw yes, those hop things again. (We had tried a Brooklyn Brewery pale ale at one of our wine tastings, the door had been opened then.)
[caption id="attachment_1967" align="alignleft" width="224"] St. Rieul[/caption]
and 2. St.Rieul's Ambrée
Nitch: Big bready/yeasty smells followed with that spiced belgian body and a light mouth coating.
TG: This is kinda normal, more what artisinal beer tastes like- Belgian.
We then decide to change location as the church itself had began to be assaulted by the back from lunch construction workers.
Here enters the love hotel! Why not, eh- what better place to dip into stouts and smoked sours than a place where people go to be unseen and adventurous. The establishment allows you to bring in your own drinks unlike sex hotels where it is business only. In fact, the entire city of paris has less then one strip club so your nude view options are either at a touristy cancan dance in Pigelle or with a hooker on the clock. (More on Pigelle in a future post!)
WARNING: You have to walk through a sex shop to get to the Love Hotel. The shop sell's Eiffel tower dildos- I know what I'm getting all my friends for christmas.
After the tour we got back to business/pleasure/prayer.
[caption id="attachment_1966" align="alignright" width="224"] Brasserie Correzienne[/caption]
3. Brasserie Correzienne's Imperial Stout- Boris Goudenov
Nitch: Oh how the alcohol burns the lips. Heavy chocolate and coffee notes on the noise with a boozy burn that cuts through the mildly creamy body. I'm going to do this one again- alone.
TG: No comment
4. Abraxas's Lichtenhainer Weisse
Nitch: Sour but smokey and light in body. Wheat carries the palate through in a light way that is confusing with the brett yeast and smoked malts. A complete roller coaster ride of a beer. Me likie!
TG: Too strange and funky. Sour but smokey? Why would I drink this? I was warned that this might be too far out of my range and I concede- I've gone too far.
The change has begun
As we walk out of the hotel, smoking a post experience cigarette TG comments that he has discovered that there is more to this beer thing then he had expected. I am pleased and proud to be his confessor, I too will have a cigarette.
He must go home and see what his equally wine fairing femme will make of it all and I have tasting notes to blog up.
My beer education work here is not done, but justly began.
We have an appointment next week, where TG will be shown the locations where other "beer geeks" as I refer to myself as, reside. I'm not the only beer Jedi and he wants know who what the rest of the clan is like. I tried to explain the importance of beards to him but he is a gentleman and gentleman doesn't dress like hobos.
May the froth be with you