St. Amand French
August 10, 2005
- The French are renowned
for their refined tastes in art, food and wine among
other things. We faced some barriers when attempting
to procure a representative for this refined country
and were becoming discouraged until we stumbled upon
a bottle of St.
Amand French Country Ale.
According to bottle label
propaganda, there were once over 2,000 country farms
in the northern part of France that produced finely-crafted
beer. This number has dwindled to less than 20 farms,
and this beer comes from one of them.
St. Amand French Country
Ale arrives in America contained in a large, Belgian-styled
corked bottle. This immediately calls for the beer snifter
treatment, since this is obviously a refined product.
When opened, it airs sweetly and pours smoothly with
a scant head. The color is a touch on the murky golden
side, which matches well with the farmland impression
of the product.
The taste is a nice blend
of hopeful hops and barley, much in the Belgian style
of brewing. Unfortunately, the finish of this brew reveals
the lesser quality of the ingredients, which aren't
quite on par with their Belgian neighbors. In fairness,
whose are? Whether it is a matter of process or ingredients,
the beer falls short of the expectations raised by the
A bottle of this by yourself
will do you fine, but splitting it with a friend won't
quite deliver the goods. Although it has 6% alcohol
inside, the amount of brew just isn't enough to really
set your night. This beer may be just what you need
to accompany your meal of meat or pork, though, with
it's blending punctuating your main course in a fair
Perhaps it is unfair to
judge St. Amand French Country Ale by comparing it to
other similarly packaged Belgian beers, but that's the
shelf it's found on. It's cheaper, and for a reason.
Perhaps that's why the other 1,980 farms in northern
France now produce something else.
Amand French Country Ale
For more information
on St. Amand French Country Ale, visit the website
of the brewer at www.lachope.com/casteli.html