Monday, August 08, 2011

Beer travel: Late July 2011

I was up in Maine for my annual Hermit Island vacation last week and I flanked the trip with stops at two of my favorite beer bars: Lions Pride in Brunswick and Novare Res Bier Cafe in Portland.

I stopped in at Lions on Friday afternoon on the way up and sampled a a couple of sours: St Louis Gueze Fond Traditional and Rodenbach Grand Cru.  I'd had the Gueze before but the Grand Cru was a whole new taste experience.

Sours are not your average beers.  If you didn't know better you could could almost mistake a Gueze for glass of white wine.  The Rodenbach Grand Cru however was more like a glass of malt vinegar.  It takes some getting used to but its quite delicious.  It's not going to replace IPA as my go-to summer beer but I'm very intrigued by it's potential for food pairing.

While also at Lions I split a bottle of Fantôme Saison with a nice guy sitting at the bar.  It was so interesting.  Great funkyness on the nose.  For a beer not brewed with fruit it tastes an awful lot like strawberries. 

I didn't hit Novare till I was on my way home after a week on the beach.  It was great to sit down and have somebody serve me a beer again.  Honestly, after a week of PBRs out of the can I'd have been happy with simple Harpoon or Smutty but the Novare selection was stellar and offered lots of beers I've either not had or not had much of: Allagash Fluxus 11, Musketeer Troubadour Magma, De Dolle Boskeun and Bavik Petrus Oud Bruin

A couple of fellow patron turned out to be from the Boston based indie band "Static of The Gods".  Nice folks.  I hadn't heard of them before but I'm a fan of fuzzy guitars and the down-tempo, shoe-gaze so I've been listening to them all week.  Now that I know their music I feel like I missed a great opportunity by not having more insightful questions to ask them.  Maybe next time.

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