Worthwhile French Beers: Strasbourg Edition

22 02 2009

One of the four "Carré d'Or" streets in Strasbourg

Like I mentioned last week, Nick and I spent a weekend in Strasbourg, the largest city in Alsace.  Alsace is France’s most important beer-producing region, and by “important” I mean that in terms of volume.  Kronenbourg and Fischer, two of the country’s largest breweries, are based in Alsace, the former being the biggest-selling brewer in France.  We tried unsuccessfully to get a tour of the Kronenbourg brewery, located just outside Strasbourg, but we were probably better off hunting down the local microbreweries anyway.

The bar at La Lanterne

Copper tanks at La Lanterne

Finding La Lanterne was a bit of a challenge.  The place is tucked away on a side street of a side street, and from the outside looks like a complete dive.  Inside, though, it’s inviting, and the beer is freshly brewed on the premises.  It was a real treat to sit in a brewpub and sip a tasty beer while enjoying the ambiance.

The Kohler-Rehm Brewery, on the other hand, is centrally located with a grandiose façade that belies the generic interior.

Two beers from Kohler-Rehm

We stopped in on the way to the train station for a couple of quick pints to fortify us for the ride home.  Since we didn’t have as much time as we would have liked to sample their wares, we bought a six pack which included three bottles of La Storig blonde and three of La Métisse amber.  The blonde has a subtle citrus aroma mingled with the scent of bitter hops.  It drinks light and finishes crisp, a nice balance of bitterness and acidity coupled with just a hint of sweetness.  The amber smells sweet and malty, and Nick swears that it contains cara pils malt.  I found the flavor to have a certain mustiness to it, though it’s not unpleasant.  All of Kohler Rehm’s beers are unfiltered and aged on lees.  Looking up the names of the beers revealed no entry for “storig” in my dictionary, but “métisse” apparently means “person of mixed race.”  I don’t know if that’s offensive or not, but I think maybe I should put up a disclaimer, something like: the beers featured on Croque-Camille do not necessarily reflect the views of its author.

That said, while I don’t tend to champion macrobrews, I’m far from above drinking them from time to time.

I haven't seen a pitcher of beer in at least a year!

Upon arriving in Strasbourg, we dropped our bags off at our hotel and headed for lunch at Flam’s.  Flam’s is a chain that serves all-you-can-eat flammekueche, and is by far the most American dining experience I’ve had since arriving in France.  The service is quick and efficient, and they serve pitchers of beer!  We couldn’t resist.  I mean, cheap beer and pizza?  It’s a classic in any part of the world.

Originally published on Croque-Camille.




2 responses

23 02 2009

I really want to visit Alsace one day. I have a very close family friends originally from there. They like to make food that remind them of their village.

24 02 2009

Elra – When you do, you will have a great time. The scenery is beautiful and the food is delicious!

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