Thursday, September 10, 2009


I almost did something a few weeks ago that, even while it was happening, left me shocked, puzzled and confused. I made a going-out-of-my-way trip to an incredible beer store we've talked about on this site before called HOP CITY in Atlanta, Georgia, during the course of which I got lost, ended up in some quote-unquote "rough neighborhoods", got stuck in abysmal traffic, and so on. Yet what was puzzling, confusing and shocking was that once I got there, confronted with an immense array of some of the finest ales on the planet, many of which I'd never see again, I......left. I left the store. Empty-handed. Non. No mas. No beer for me. I was experiencing a "crisis of abundance", you see, along with a bit of recent beer overload. Contrasted with the sheer joy I would likely have felt to be in such a store 99 times out of 100, it was - well, a strange and bitter pill to swallow.

Anyway, I wandered next door to the 5 SEASONS BREWERY, had two glasses of their VENUS witbier that we wrote about here, and then, properly fortified and back on the beer dork party train, walked back into the store. I carry this "Beers to Try" list on my BlackBerry of stuff I wanna drink if I ever see it, and on that list was a beer called SAISON D'ERPE-MERE from Belgium's DE GLAZEN TOREN. HOP CITY had it. I bought it. This is the story of that beer.

SAISON D'ERPE-MERE comes wrapped in paper, and since paper is such a rare and much-desired natural resource, the beer retails for $13.99. Naturally I was expecting something pretty special. This is a very spicy saison, with a real bitter bite to it that's somewhat unexpected. My notes say, "Imperial? I'm guessing 7.5% ABV". Swear to god. I didn't look it up. I checked online just now,'s 7.5% alcohol by volume. That's what four years of writing about beer on the interweb will do to/for you. Saison D'Erpe-Mere is a bit bitter on the swallow, and I'm not that into that aspect of it. It has a big fluffy pillow head of foam, and a medium body. Lemon and grapefruit are the main tastes I'm getting out of it. Really juicy, but a little challenging.

Honestly? I admire the craft behind it, but it wasn't the most enjoyable saison I've had even this month. To think of all the wonderful, I'll-never-see-'em-again treats I passed up for this, ay caramba! I'm going with 6/10 on this one.

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