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VIDEO : Brasseurs du Grand Paris

Yeah, that’s right, Paris brewers make sessionably great beers! Mild, floral hoppy and delicately hoppy sweet Brasseurs du Grand Paris has been making their La Levalloise pale ale since before I set foot in the Paris craft beer scene, and with their new Outland collaboration, they continue to be a staple of the local beer scene.

Come with me once more into the cave of biere as we do things you can’t do at home, bwahahaa. Unless you live in Paris, that is :

Brasseurs du Grand Paris

La Levalloise

Dig this Beer Geek meet that I had with Fabrice fromBrasseurs du Grand Paris and Will from bierevolution when I was first living in Paris

Then check out what I had to say about Brasseurs du Grand Paris (formally My Beer Company) and their Citra-galactic beer when I was living in the remote and far, far away French city of Orleans. Boy was I excited to get ahold of something other than a Trappist beer!

Thumbs up for hoppy local beers and cave oriented beer reviews!!

XOXO

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Dangly Goat Beer

While galavanting around the Scottish landscape, gathering crew members for my #BroDogs4Life team, I convinced Rob over at HopZine to film a video with me. Mostly because I found a beer with a dangly goat on it and I wanted to force him to JUMP CUT ME!!

Check it out.

The Beer :

Ayinger Celebrator Doppelbock

The Bar :

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The Bar, might I add, is one of the coolest joints in town (aside from BrewDog, of coursey) with a walk in cigar humidor, lovely craft beer selection and friendly knowledable staff (who know lots of dirty Scottish jokes!) If you’re in the area, don’t miss it!

Dig into more of my adventures from the BrewDog hosted event in Aberdeen by checking out my recent post on the event. Don’t forget to scroll to the end and listen to Jonny from The Craft Beer Channel serenading his beer.

Who shall I collaborate with next?

XOXO

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#BroDogs 4 Life

You may have seen my recent modeling excursion at Paris Beer Week with #Beerstagram master Clemént.

They weren’t real tattoos.

We are real BroDogs.

Having bonded over pints of Punk and Dead Pony Club (not to mention a tactical nuclear penguin or two), Clemént and I created a tattoo optional bond we refer to as #BroDogs4life.

The Brodog Circle Expands

I met James, a proper English type with a smart jacket and red socks as I was coming off the plane tryng to yawn and blow air out my ears. We were to share a taxi to the BrewDog brewery and James wanted to know if this dislike for Stella was enough to qualify him as a beer geek.

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Over the weekend I had the pleasure of adding to my circle of irl beer geek friends while attending a meet, greet, drink and karaoke (or not) event at BrewDog in Aberdeen, Scotland. First off, let me say that it entire event was paid for by BrewDog, Sarah (of youtube fame) planned the gathering to show off BrewDog’s newest toys to the beertube and blogger crew around the EU and, in full disclosure, they can buy my love all they want.

Do I think BrewDog can get a bit gimmicky? Yeah, but why not be.

Is Equity for Punks a good investment? The perks alone are worth the cash, if you have it.

Does this PR stunt change how I view BrewDog? Not in the least. I’ve always been a fan of BrewDog’s ass in the wind style of doing things and have never had a beer that wasn’t what I was expecting it to be. They are the Stone Brewing of the EU and, as long as they keep making good beer they can be as punky stange as they like.

Me? I came to meet beerubers, drink beer and get out of Paris for a day.

Aberdeen – Home of Dracula’s castle

Amoung political talks of Scotland seceding from Uk and a vicious inability to pop my post flight ear canal, I was welcomed to Aberdeen, Scotland by a dismal wall picture of a stormy wharf with bold white lettering saying : This is Home. Setting expectations on a low level leaves plenty of room for pleasant surprises. Along the wall of welcome signs into the Aberdeen where also other points of touristy interest, including something about a singing cactus, oil fields galore and, much to my surprise, a statement saying I was now near the home of Dracula’s castle.

Turns out that Bram Stoker used one of the local castles as a model for this book Dracula and it isn’t hard to see how the rambling streets of grey stone housing could be used as template for a gothic novel. Aberdeen is seagull infested, smaller than a Parisian suburb and fortified to the teeth, even the grocery stores are made of solid battleship grey slabs of earth which gives the whole place a great authentic Hogwarts type of feel. The university may have been Adolf Hilter’s favorite building of all time, but then he didn’t get to tour BrewDog’s new Brewing facility.

BrewDog’s New Toys

James Watt threw a green vest at me and my English taxi buddy as we were rushed late into the brewery tour.

“What are the vests for?”

“So people know you aren’t the brewer.”

Not much chance of that, seeing as how I couldn’t be mistaken for Stewart Bowman any more than Charlie could be mistaken for Willy Wonka. The six year veteran head brewer of BrewDog was all black metal t-shirt, hop head and bouncing beard as he guided us through the new industrial playground of the beer world’s most hip beer company. There were people buzzing around, looking leisurely busy like oompa-loompas in trendy beanies, glasses and an assortment of finely maintained facial hair. Everyone seemed to have things to scrub and clean or crank and clank as the hiss and whine of the smoothly functioning brewery went about it’s daily business.

Stewart warned us about large scale boil overs which, since its a home brewer’s nightmare must be amplified by hecoliters. He told far off tales of how things used to be before they got everything they dreamed of and their plans for expanding even more in the future while I felt as if any moment one of the huge cylindrical tanks might pop open and we would all be drown in an ocean of beer (it happens). BrewDog’s occupied work punks at one point wheeled out a cannon sized pump machine to begin a hoping process that could only be explained as excessive. After lots of details about yeast strains, beer styles and company motivation we were herded around by Bowman’s jolly booming voice into an elevated glass box of a room and, I thought that the time had come for us to shoot into the clouds and he would then tell us that it was all ours.

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Alas, it was merely the lab and we were to be introduced to BrewDog’s shiny new toy #1 : The Diacetyl machine. (Click here if you don’t know what diacetyl is and why one would want an expensive machine to detect it.) This medical grade device is able to pull apart all sorts of chemical compounds and, as soon as they learn how to work it, they’ll be using it is isolate all the things that make up a beer instead of just testing batches for Diacetyl. Ever-lasting-hopstoppers?

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Shiny new toy #2 was a fully enclosed bottling line that cost more than the economic output of some small countries but was made in Germany and featured a finishing section where the bottles were gently splashed with water, softly blown dry, and then patted on the head by an official bottle inspector. #Fancy This new toy was setting in motion one of BrewDog’s newest developments : Label change !

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Shiny new toy #3 : Slightly embossed, hand designed by some trendy person who uses old school techniques and with the logo dog now sporting a less evil looking eye, the new labels are a welcome upgrade after more than 7 years with the old look.

James went around the group handing out Punk IPA fresh off the bottling line, like it was candy and, sipping at the bottles between questions, like inquisitive children, the tour was moved into the pub for snacks and chats.

I had a lovely talk with a family playing a Star Trek themed board game for family night because the attached brewery pub has board games, people use them and drink fresh beer. Yes, I could live here. There were off duty employees taking their post work pint and munching on an assortment of savory pies, while I began to get in some meet and greets with beer geeks :

Wane Dunne is the Irish Beer Snob

Sten Bentall does the Beer O’clock Show

Isla Mercer from Diary of a Beer Girl 

After a short nap at the hotel, which does NOT have a pool, we were on to see shiny new toy #4 : Musa For James Watt’s new ‘sort of hobby‘ he says,

“others play golf or do DIY, I have decided to relax and occasionally escape the BrewDog mayhem with Musa.”

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Escape we did. Me, and the rest of my newly appointed BroDog buddies filled out the reserved up stairs area, and were artfully served pork and purple laced dishes paired with BrewDog beers of all styles. Sophie Atherton from A FemAle View does not like purple things in her food, but she does know how to say dirty words in French (bwahaha), Martin Dickie is unable to resist a few micro greens and so we created a hashtag to create word awareness #microgreens, Tony the BrewDog distribution manager as pulled in to explain the pairings because James had had a few and the chef finished us off with a view into his grand supply of Scot whiskey. Ask for the Lagavulin, BroDog.

As you may have noticed at this point, I didn’t take pictures of the event, I didn’t tweet anything and neither did I video record. I do have some audio samples of a local barmaid telling dirty jokes and some snippets of Jonny Garret from The Craft Beer Channel singing to his beer, but other than that I came into the event as an enjoyer of beer people. But, if you’d like a really awesome live blogging of the whole thing, check out The Beer Cast’s Rich Taylor with his up to the minute commentary as it all happened!

Me, I got distracted by the local old man karaoke bar next door to Musa. Sir Tom Jones has nearly two pages of songs available – naturally. giphy

If I sound a little down about the whole thing in retrospect it’s because I am the kid back home after summer camp. I love all my places of work and cherish fresh French baguettes to no end but being silly with great beer geeky people in a city that is experiencing unusually beautiful weather is the cookie that ruins christmas dinner. I appreciate BrewDog for setting up the event and showing how down to earth and yet completely Willy Wonka they are. Aberdeen may be called the Concrete City, but it’s a fantastically friendly and heart warming place, full of thick Scottish accents and mountains of local beer love.

I didn’t get to see the art performance that Darren Packman from Beer Sweden enjoyed with Martin later in the evening, but I did purchase a lovely cigar at the local pub to share with Steven Lamond from Beers I’ve Known. I then purchased Rob Derbyshire from HopZine a local dark beer that came with a plastic goat shaped charm and slurringly insisted that we film us reviewing it. Boy, I can’t wait to see if there is anything useful in that clip. Not wanting to give in to the slow trickle of people heading back to the hotel, I shared some deep world views with John Duffy The Beer Nut, and with the help of Chris Hall from The Beer Diary and Sarah BroDog, tried to rescue The Craft Beer Channel‘s Brad Evan from falling asleep.

no sleep

Cheers to all my new BroDogs 4 life, you’ve got a friend in Paris.

Cheers to BrewDog for supporting our craft beer drinking habits and sharing their new toys with us.

A big cheers to Sarah for running us all around in a timely manner!

And now,

Jonny singing love songs to his BrewDog :

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Moonlighting with The Planets Series

You know what excites me more than Seth MacFarlane (of Family Guy fame) backing an authentic and refreshing remake of (all time legend) Carl Sagan’s Cosmos?

Beers with planets on them.

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The Planet Series by Bell’s

Bell’s brewing recently announced their newest speciality series: The Planets.

#Nerd-gasim!

Beginning in August (STARTING TODAY) and being released about every other month until July 2015, the series of seven beers are each inspired by a different piece of music from composer Gustav Holst.

As my friends and followers know, I’m obsessed with the idea of getting craft beer on to the planets before the big companies take over  : Beer on Mars. And encourage any and everyone to sign up for crowd funded planetary explorations.

If all The Planets Series aren’t your thing

then consider taking a Train to Mars! Leaving exclusively from Paris stations, Get Radical’s “Saison du Mars” is hopped with Mosaic, Aramis, Simcoe & fermented with the world famous Thiriez house yeast.

THIRIEZ-train-to-mars-web

Transported by train or by orchestra, nothing can beat a lawn chair in a low light polluted area, soaking up universal wonder like this home made time lapse of the milky way :

May the froth be with you

XOXO

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Beer Tasting Review – Mosaic Black Bitter

Join me in the darkest of Parisian beer caves as I sip out a quick review of a popular local session ale.

Mosaic Black Bitter by Brasserie du Mont Saléve

This black bitter is based off the Strong Bitter style , often referred to Extra Special Bitter, ESB or English Pale Ale.

Balance is important and most examples range from balanced to moderately bitter. While many commercial examples can be described as “hoppy,” do not confuse this style with American pale ale. Strong bitter has more fermentation and malt character than American pale ale and the hop character is nothing like the big, bold hop character you find in many American-type pale ales. Moderate is the key word here and the hop character should be somewhat restrained and balanced, never overshadowing the fermentation and malt character.

BJCP Guideline

While these styles are usually best done using English hops, like East Kent Goldings, Fuggles, Target, Northdown or Challenger, Mont Saléve pops in with what hopunion.com refers to as, “a great aroma variety,” Mosaic, which adds a great pine and citrus note to the nose that keeps the fresh sessionability of this low abv beer a winner for a variety of occasions.

Unless you’re like me and you just want to skip to the stouts.

XOXO

For more on ESB skim through this in depth profile from BYO.com

Also :

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Hop allergy! I’m allergic to bullshit

Allergic to hops?

Because of this allergy I get a little watery eyed when my friend, Cocktail Sauce, reminds me for the 10 thousandth time that she is allergic to hops.

No, she doesn’t want to try the new DIPA I got imported from the states.

And yes, she’ll come hang out. But when we get to the beer shop/reggae bar and I face the ordering selection in triumph, “what shall we order?!” She politely seeks out a cider.

Oh, right… fuckin hop allergy. What did you do in a past life to be cursed so? I mean, gluten free people are one thing but, as Nutwood from Kentucky so eloquently stated, “if it doesn’t have hops, it isn’t beer.

hop in glass

More than just a choking hazard…?

Is there really such a thing as being allergic to hops?

Unfortunately yes. It isn’t bullshit and it isn’t just Asain glow (or mild alcohol allergy), it is a real allergic reaction to hop pollen and it can have some nasty effects. In fact, it turns out you can be allergic to nearly all the essential elements of beer but Cocktail Sauce is 99% sure it’s the hops.

What are the symptoms of hop allergy?

Usually hop allergies are fairly mild. Which is the reason Cocktail Sauce will often ‘try’ the beers I forgetfully bring along as my “I’ll bring the drinks,” party contribution. To which Master Hop Yoda says :

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Master Hop Yoda created by reddit.com/user/TuskenCam

If Cocktail Sauce were to habitually do hop the way that I do she could potentially break out in a skin rash, develop a painful sinus problem coupled with swelling of the mouth and tongue which could possibly lead to anaphylaxis, a life-threatendng whole-body reaction that causes trouble breathing and swells the throat. At which point I would have to call the emergency line (what’s 911 in France?) and inevitably have to put down my beer.

Bummer to the max.

What to do if you’re allergic to hops?

Avoid hops.

Take non-drowsy Benadryl or another antihistamine to relive some of the allergic reaction symptoms.

Try herbed or spiced beers as they are the widest range of styles that omit the hops.

Drink cider. But why drink cider when you could follow this step by step Champagne Cider guide and make that it yourself!

What to do if you aren’t allergic to hops?

happy dance 2

Then check this shit out:

  • 10 hop flavors you should know – Draftmag
  • Oregonians are hop crazy! – Here is the Hood River Hops Fest’s fresh hop beer selection
  • SMaSH Beers for Hops Learnings – BrewDudes do BIAB (brew in a bag)!
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Are we taking beer too serious?!

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With things like Louisiana State residents not being able to purchase cold beer and Budweiser changing Brazilian law, I can’t help but get a little joker faced when I see craft beer people getting petty about beer.

Today I received this message from an unnamed fellow beer blogger:

“Hey, that’s my photo. You’ve copied it from my blog. Please take it down.”

I dig it man. That beer porn is important to you. And if it were a picture of your wife, with all her bubbly glory in a high resolution close up, then yeah sure by all means, give me the “hey, that’s mine!” message. But, your site was cited and commented on, the picture isn’t trade marked and, it isn’t like I’m making big bucks off this blog. I’m not upset. I took the post down. It was a shitty old post that I had completely forgot about. What does grate me is this serious approach to selfishness with beer.

People die every day over beer related disputes.

There are folks out there torturing small fuzzy tree animals to make poop bean infused beer, yuppies are paying $120 bottle for shaved truffle pilsner and Africans are making some serious sociological and economical changes with beer. Yet things like beer name disputes are headline news: Godzilla (Mechagodzilla to be specific) kept from stomping around New Orleans beer cans!

Beer is serious in a lot of ways and a lot of people depend on it. Including yours truly. The business of beer drinking and production incompasses many aspects of human life so how about we start this whole world peace bit with some hand to can to hand.

If nothing else, then give me a high five for extending a link to your beer blog, bro.

physcos

NOTE TO ALL MY READERS :

You have free reign to use anything from my site in any way you effing like so long as you credit me.

Beeririously.

Sharing is caring! If not our actual cans of beer, then at least the beerographic snap shots we post on the internet.

Who’s with me?!

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Been trying new beer lately?

i know you have

I know you have

Kevin Spacey knows. I know. No way of getting around it. Us beer folks have an attraction to beers we’ve never tried before. You know what I mean.

Blame Untappd for handing out badges, or bbc for touting the health benefits, but nothing can keep my hands from turning into bottle magnets with I see an uncategorized brew.

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My friend pulled out these highbrow looking brews she had picked up in Bretagne and, although I immediately deduced from the labeling that they were commercial grade crap, I had to touch them. What are the ingredients? When was it bottled? And, what’s the alcohol content?

One of the main things that keep me trying new beers that I know I’m not going to like is that the alcohol content isn’t worth the palate assault. I’d rather drink shitty wine at a dirty bar than sip on low grade beer. Call me enterprising.

After giving the bottle a full examination, I dropped my beer snob barrier (it’s not like all beers need to sheep shit smoked) and progressed to the tasting.

Also known as, getting drunk.

Nearly all the beers my generous hostess pulled from the cooler were over 7% abv. And since I don’t actually use Untappd, I don’t remember that much about em.

For you, my dear friends and readers, I’ll try to give you some details about the Britt brand beers that I tried (to remember):

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Gwiniz Du is 5.4% abv something or other which is made from the black buckwheat that is used in Bretagne to make black crepes. Which are delicious, so that’s why I remember that, naturally.

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Golden Dremmwel Bio is an organic 7.7% abv belgian style blond which didn’t taste organic at all.

etiquette-celtika

Celtika is an 8.8% abv lager, which has a very metal label. The devilish character on the front resembles the pro/antagonist in one of the best computer games of all time : Dungeon Keeper 2!

There were more I’m fairly sure, or just repeats of these ones but since you’ve seen the alcohol percentages I was swillin on, so I’m sure you can understand my lack of note taking ability. I had to touch them. I had to try them. Now that I have, I won’t likely do it again.

Have you tried any new beers lately? Leave me a comment and I’ll see if I remember having tried it. Or… if I don’t remember.

In other news:

  • Educate yourself! -> About beer in Indiana state, with this half hour long documentary
  • Wish I was there! -> Bar discounts beer as goals are made for Germany vs Brazil match. 50 cent beers anyone?
  • For Shabbat-> Drink a He’Brew
  • It’s the small things -> Rats cause emergency shut down of UK brewery. Oh rats.

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Working with beer quacks @ Le Supercoin

Le Supercoin

in Paris’s 18th district is not only a pretentious people free zone that houses a grand collection of local French beers but it’s also my most recent beery place of employment.

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Coin in French means quack.

Us super beer coin-coins have been gobbling up some of the newest beers from our French super team :

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  • Nouveaux Mondes - Brasserie du Mont Saleve (Rhones-Alpes) 8%  Nose of passion fruits and mango, the smells persists onto the taste with a nice round bitterness. It is all rather sweet and super balanced. Double IPA – 4€ 33cl
  • La 11 - Collabortaion of 11 brewers from Ile de France for Paris Beer Week 5.5% A blonde beer that is super dry but very fruity, herbatous on the taste and delightfully bitter. (each of the 11 brewers added brought a different hop strain to add!) Hoppy pale ale – €4 33cl
  • Orange mécanique – Brasserie Sainte Crucienne 7% A soft fruity and perfumed nose with light hints of floral honey, clove and caramel malts. The taste is agreeable with a fine texture. Agreeing with the smell, honey and caramel malts are present in a nicely balanced, simple beer. Amber ale – €4 33cl
  • Rêve d’étoiles – Brasserie Bendorf (Alsace) 5.8% A dark super hoppy beer with a nofruity nose, rounded taste and a fnishe that is very hoppy.  Black IPA – €4 33cl / €9 75cl
  • Triple Hot – Brasserie Thiriez (Nord-Pas-de-Calais) 5.5% Nice body .. Blonde with a nose of ginger, not sugary but close to a candy, with a little bitter on the f inish and a an after taste of spicey pepper. Hoppy blond – €4 33cl

Among the mass of craft beers are a mix of people. Local’s drinking diablo menthe  (7up with mint syrup) or espressos, FIFA fanatics, friends after work, beery types who prefer long stem glass ware, occasional expats and Claudia.

Photo on 7-5-14 at 8.33 PM #3

Claudia and Me being professional coin-coins

We get the coolest people and the craziest in at Supercoin. Some sit around taking photos of their beer and others order mojitos at midnight (more on my hatred of mojitos in French later). I’ve heard people conversing in nearly every major global language, but yet the feeling of being at a local pub persists.

What Supercoin has over other Parisian beer bars is a real sense of Cheers. Everyone here might not know your name (which is likely a good thing) but they do trust you to pay your tab without leaving a credit card and they aren’t going to cut you off if you drink too much. Come – be drunk – be quacky – mind your own self and have an everyday pub experience with outstanding French artesanal beers.

Check out the website for menu and event updates, like the facebook cuz your cool or follow on twitter to keep in the know!

5pm-2am Tuesday to saturday (last call at 1:30am) – 5pm-midnight Sunday – Closed Monday

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