Tasting the Unibroue Ephemere Cassis

August 26, 2010

One of my favorite brewing styles is Belgian. And one of the most beautiful things about Belgian brewing is that these days, you don’t need to be a Belgian to brew like one. Unibroue, located in Chambly Quebec, has been brewing Belgian Style beers since 1990. Unibroue prides themselves on using only the finest natural ingredients, absolutely no preservatives, only partially filtering and bottle conditioning the majority of their beers.

Among their lineup of unique and exciting beers is the Ephemere Cassis,  a wheat beer brewed with blackcurrant. Blackcurrant is a berry native to central and norther Europe, as well as Asia with a tart, mildly sweet deep raspberry like flavor. The Ephermere Cassis is really a thing of beauty. It is crisp and refreshing, sweet yet dry, and exceptionally quenching. It is a treat every time I open a bottle, and people are always stunned by its color and appearance – “I had no idea that beer could look like that!”

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Quick Tastes of the Schneider Weisse Original Hefe-Weisenbier

July 28, 2010

It quenches your palate on the hottest and stickiest days with absolute ease. It tickles your taste buds and erupts with excitement when it hits your tongue. Its flavors are distinct and unforgettable, its appearance and stature is legendary, and it is still one of my best friends. The Schneider Weisse Original Hefe-Weisenbier is truly a breathtaking beer, and is worth some focus – it really will bring you amazing sensations like no other beer in the world can.

How is it possible that a German Wheat beer can accomplish all of this? How can this beer be so stunning and awe inspiring? Hundreds of years of tradition, a focus on quality and purity, and a deep passion for beer has produced this remarkable Weizenbier. And the world should be thankful; it is widely available anywhere good beer is sold, and is a regular at the LBCO. My ability to walk into almost any LCBO and always find a bottle of this beer is a blessing from the beer gods. Seriously, I love this beer! Read the rest of this entry »

The Modern Gentleman on Wheat Beers

July 23, 2010

Although most of us have known for quite some time now that any variety of a Wheat Beer can be the most perfect refreshing treat in the summer, and even a soothing and smooth quencher in the winter, many people are still confused, and rightly so, by the variety of names that accompany wheat beers. In this weeks article for The Modern Gentleman I overview the Wheat Beer in general, and break down some of the key considerations and character differences between weissbiers, witbiers, and white beers.

Tasting the Schneider Weisse Original Hefe-Weizenbier

July 15, 2010

Every year the Schneider Weisse Original Hefe-Weizenbier rings in awards for brewing excellence, heritage, beer craftsmanship, and just straight up great beer. Without a doubt the Schneider Weisse brewery is among the oldest and most preeminent modern breweries in the world. And there is good reason for it. Founded by George Schneider the First in 1872, G. Schneider & Sohn is a Bavarian brewery producing some of the worlds most delectable beers.

All of their beers are top fermented wheat beer, and two of them are bottle conditioned; the Aventinus, and their flagship, which is readily available now world wide, the Original Hefe Weizen-Bier. It was one of the first beers to introduce me into the world of wheat beers and remains a constant fixture in my fridge. The Schneider Weisse is so perfect for so many scenarios, and is so delicious that I always need to have one at the ready, just in case.

There are a lot of wheat beers available these days, however very few if any are able to capture the clean, fresh and sunshine flavors and aromas that the Schneider Weisse encompasses. Its balance, elegance, distinct and sensual characteristics along with a perfect mouthfeel make it a winning choice every time. Seriously, this beer is amazing.  Read the rest of this entry »

Quick Tastes of the St. Ambroise Apricot Wheat Ale

June 25, 2010

Its hot and steamy outside, the thought of movement is tiring, and nothing would treat you better than a cold, delicious, lightly sweet and supremely refreshing beer. Hell, you’d even settle for a lemonade! Luckily though, such a beer does exist, so you can forget about the juice. From Quebec, McAuslan’s St. Ambroise Apricot Wheat Ale is just that, a wheat beer brewed with the essence of apricot. Mmmm.

Apricot really has a beautiful mellow sweet flavor that lends itself perfectly to beer. It is not sugary sweet, nor is it tart or aggressive. It is just calm enough to play along with the beer rather than dominate it. Honestly this beer treats me so well every time I reach for one. And it is those sunny, dry mouth, hot-as-hell out moments where I will reach for one with a huge smile on my face. Read the rest of this entry »

Tasting the Bruery Orchard White

May 31, 2010

Summer is finally here in a full on blast of heat and sun! These days we have many beer options to choose from to quench our thirst and refresh our palates. There is one mainstay though that has never left the foreground of summer beer perfection; the Belgian Witbier. These wheat beers have long been brewed with a large amount wheat, sometimes oats, and always a blend of spices.

The Bruery’s Orchard White is no exception. It is an unfiltered, Belgian-style Witbier spiced with coriander, citrus peel and lavender. Rolled oats are also used to aid a smooth and creamy effervescent texture.  True to its heritage, it is the perfect beer for the summer – I recently enjoyed it with some good friends on a hot and sunny day by the beach. How can you go wrong with a combination like that!

Thankfully it is actually made available all year, and does prove its worth in all seasons. Many breweries are producing wheat beers now – even the commercial guys have began to. But for me, it will always be the aromatic and full flavored authentic style wheat beers that hold a place in my heart. Read the rest of this entry »

Tasting the Ithica White Gold

May 22, 2010

A couple weeks ago a beer by Ithaca Beer Co. stole my heart. The Old Habit, a Strong Rye Ale partially fermented in Rye barrels really took my breath away. It is from Ithica’s Excelsior line of beers, and there are more! Last week I pulled the next one out of my collection; the White Gold.

White Gold is a Belgian inspired ale brewed with American barley and hops, French wheat malts, and is fermented with Belgian, English and wild yeast. Ithica claims it to be a Rustic Pale What Ale. Well, it definitely sounds like it. And based on my experience with the Old Habit, I am going to trust them.

Just like all the beers in their Excelsior line, I love the overall branding: the label is very unassuming, but classy and informative; the cap is sealed by a light rubber sleeve, and the wine shaped 750ml bottle exudes great presence.   Read the rest of this entry »