Monday, March 31, 2008

DRINKIN’ CANADIAN IN THE AMERICAN SOUTH

They sent me to Atlanta again last week. Last time I went to Atlanta for work, I did a mad scramble to figure out where I was going to drink a beer, and ended up at the Suicide Girls’ favorite sports bar, THE VORTEX. You can read about that here. This time it was a no-brainer: The Vortex again (hey, it was near my hotel). I was in the mood for UNIBROUE beers, to be honest, and was hoping they had a few. UNIBROUE is becoming something of an obsession for me – this Quebec-based brewer makes some of the most amazing Belgian-style ales in the world, and I love that I can buy them even at the corner liquor store – they’re (almost) everywhere! My favorites right now are LA FIN DU MONDE and MAUDITE, but I still haven’t worked my way through the lineup yet, so we’ll see. That’s what this visit to The Vortex was designed to do – see if other Unibroues could reach that hallowed standard (and to relax and work off my dinner with a couple o' beers).

I decided to go with Unibroue’s DON DE DIEU to get things started. This is a “triple wheat” beer, like a real souped-up Belgianized hefeweizen, and to be frank, I wasn’t that into it. Funky and tart, there was a lot of lingering bitterness on the tongue, like a lemon/honey syrup of sorts. This is a big one, too – 9% ABV, so you need to have your big boy clothes on to enjoy it. It wasn’t a bad beer, just not my thing I guess, or at least not up to this brewer’s standards. 6/10. Thankfully I pulled the trigger on their EPHEMERE next. I’d resisted this one for a while, given that it’s their “apple beer”. Well damn me and hang me, this one’s great! Light-bodied, hazy golden color, and very crisp. Tastes of, you know – APPLES. Good ones. Not a cloying taste by any means, and it does not dominate the flavor of this beer, which will now go into my Unibroue rotation. Excellent stuff. 8/10. I then headed into tornado-struck downtown Atlanta and the sanctity of my hotel, thankful that modern distribution can bring these Francophone beers to the land of Sherman, Jefferson Davis and Molly Hatchet.

3 comments:

Bryan said...

Jay, next time you're in Atlanta, do yourself a favor and get out! Well, I do like the Vortex, but take the East/West train line approx. 20 minutes east to Decatur and go to one of the country's best beer bars, Brick Store Pub. I would've never believed it either 'til I stepped foot in there...over, and over, and over again. No, this isn't a paid advert ;-) It really is that good

Anonymous said...

I'd also suggest the Sweetwater 420. A solid pale ale.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, look at Brick Store Pub's website (brickstorepub.com) and see what all they offer. It's fantastic!