I've been drinking a lot of beer lately. I've always liked beer. One of my favorite London blogs is Stonch's Beer Blog. (Now called Jeffo's Beer Blog, but same deal.) But my newly renewed beer obsession started in Lille. Yes, I was one of those bloggers/blaggers invited to take a foodie day trip to Lille on the Eurostar as part of Eurostar's "Little Break, Big Difference" campaign. And you know…it was great. Many thanks to the absolutely fantastic team at We Are Social for pulling off such a well-organized foodie day out.
I waited to write about my little break in Lille and all the fabulous beer in Lille because, well, it's not so exciting (for me) when everyone writes about the same thing at the same time. (Although kudos to Cheese & Biscuits for taking on the cheese angle. That was fantastic.) Also, I've been a little planes-trains-and-automobiles-busy as of late so it took me longer than normal to get my thoughts together.
But here I am. You have my complete attention. And hopefully I have yours. Because really, you should catch the next Eurostar to Lille and have your own little break. And then you should run around Devon drinking beer like I did. Because it's nice there.
So in Lille, we visited (amongst other places) La Capsule, a little beer bar, where we sat in their very dark and cool cellar, sipping beer and eating cheese.
25 Rue des 3 Molettes
At La Capsule, we met the very charming Aymeric, who is the president of the French version of CAMRA. It's called ATPUB. Aymeric was explaining how most French beer isn't exported and in fact
very rarely makes it outside the small villages where it's brewed. I
included the list of beers we tried below…all from Northern France. I liked the first one best
myself–Page 24–it was lovingly golden and slightly clovey. (Might have been the chicory.) A close runner up was #4, which was really complex and
interesting–you could definitely taste it changing in the glass over
time; very wine-like, really.
1st Beer – Page 24
A La Chlcoree
Brasserie: St Germain
2nd Beer – La Bavaisienne
Biere de garde – pur malt
3rd Beer Etoile due Nord
Biere Blonde houblonnee
Brasserie: Du Caou
The afternoon at La Capsule made me want to pick up French again and then head to France for a beer festival. If you know of any, please let me know.
So…as I mentioned…after Lille, I became slightly obsessed with beer. Small brewery beer. Hand pumps. Stuff I'd never seen before. I've even been considering joining CAMRA. Is that weird?
When I visited my friend Joanne in Devon last weekend (more to come on that later), she indulged my latest obsession and took me to a bunch of Devonshire pubs, just so I could take photos of their hand pumps.
At the first pub we dropped into, I tried the very caramel-y and toasty Otter Ale. It was very drinkable. I was happy.
At the Diggers Rest somewhere in Devon, I had the Butcombe Blond. Although I really wanted to try the "Proper Job," for the name alone. This was clean, citrusy and grassy. A summer beer. And hey, there's another Otter there. The Bitter this time. I didn't try it.
At our last stop–somewhere in Topsham–I had a 1/2 of Tangle Foot. This was a tangle of flavors…biscuity and strawlike tastes, but yet a little fruity and flowery. It worked, sort of. But I think I liked the Butcombe best. I think.
It all just got me thinking…I need to get out of town more. And I need to drink more beer. I also need to run more to counterbalance all this, but I presume you're not here for the exercise tips. But if you want to cheer me on, I'm running the ladies -only Nike Human Race on October 24th in Victoria Park. Afterwards, I'm going to do something utterly unladylike and drink some beer somewhere with handpumps. Got any suggestions?