Alsace: Europe's Great Forgotten Beer Culture

Discussion in 'Article Comments' started by BeerAdvocate, Jan 28, 2019.

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  1. BeerAdvocate

    BeerAdvocate Founders (17,575) Aug 23, 1996 Massachusetts

    Alsace is France’s brewing powerhouse: Around 60 percent of the beer drunk in the country is brewed here, and the vast majority of its hops are grown here, too. Now the region is enjoying a revival.

    Read the full article: Alsace: Europe's Great Forgotten Beer Culture
     
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  2. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (2,338) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
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    Good article on a long neglected subject.
     
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  3. eppCOS

    eppCOS Meyvn (1,033) Jun 27, 2015 Colorado
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    We loved our visit to Alsace this past summer of '18, including an awesome little brewery on the way in to Riquewihr - including some hoppy brews that stood up. great story.
     
  4. rgordon

    rgordon Savant (984) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    That is a really great piece. As a crossroads of Franco/German enmity for longer than we really know, Alsace is truly unique and the food, wine, beer, and people are and have been great for longer than we really know. I love the wines. It's French and German. To see that the Alsatians are really leading the way into the convergence of these fermented beverages is no surprise to me at all. Meteor sounds like a marketing gold mine. Maybe, finally, more people will begin to know the fabulous wines of Alsace as these hybrid beer/wine efforts move forward..
     
  5. Claude-Irishman

    Claude-Irishman Crusader (780) Jun 4, 2015 New Jersey
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    I used to love Fischer beer. It used to show a a toddler sitting on a keg drinking. My first introduction to superior beer. About 1980.
     
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  6. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,657) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
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    Sounds like a wonderful place to visit.

    I used to love their beers as well. I was actually a huge fan of the Bitter, although everyone else thought I was nuts- between the skunk, old bottles and seriously high bitterness, I guess I could see that point of view. But...if you got a fresh closed case it was altogether different. Still bitter as all hell, though. :wink:

    Man, it would be nice if they could re-create it these days.
     
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  7. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (4,006) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Even without beer Strasbourg is a good place to have on your list of places to visit if possible. The unique mix of French and German cultural influences gives it a "flavor" all it's own and that I've not seen/found anywhere else.
     
    #7 drtth, Jan 29, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2019
  8. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,193) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    The original fusion cuisine!?!:wink:

    Cheers!
     
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  9. Beginner2

    Beginner2 Poo-Bah (2,983) Feb 14, 2016 Illinois
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    Will--
    Thanks for the research. I've only had two Alsatian beers, but look forward to seeing more. However, I would have liked to know more about how Alsatian beers pair with their kitchen. As we know, the biere de garde goes famously with many dishes. I'm wondering if the Alsatian preponderance of Pils goes better with food than, say, their German counterparts across the border.
     
  10. rtrasr

    rtrasr Disciple (312) Feb 16, 2009 Arkansas

    We were in Strasbourg last month and drank some Fischer Blonde at small cafe. The atmosphere was great, I loved it and the beer too. This is a forgotten and beautiful part of Europe. I want to go back.
     
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  11. rgordon

    rgordon Savant (984) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    When I was in Alsace many years ago for the first time, I would drink a few Kronenbourg first. Then we would eat and drink the great wines of Alsace; the beautifully dry rieslings, pinot blancs, gewurztraminers, occasional pinot noirs, and a formidable range of great dessert wines. I want to go back,,,,
     
  12. WesMantooth

    WesMantooth Poo-Bah (2,897) Jan 8, 2014 Ohio
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    Probably my favorite glass. My brother has a 6’ inflatable bottle. I just have a bunch that I drank.
    [​IMG]
    Germany is still #1 on my things to do bucket list, and since my ancestors migrated into France, Alsace takes a spot.
    I never really looked into it, but assumed that they stopped distributing here when I couldn’t find any Fischer beers over the last 5 years or so. Didn’t know they closed it down. Although I swear I bought some (not ancient inventory) post 2011. My grandfather actually drank the tall green bottle in Germany and brought it back for me. It’s probably been almost 10 years though.
     
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  13. sublimesipping

    sublimesipping Disciple (332) Mar 13, 2004 Pennsylvania

    Great article about an under-reported gem of a cultural region here stateside. Best locale on our Rhine cruise fall 2016. I want to go back- great folks there uniquely and proudly their own and the history- good food, drink great wine and good getting better beer. Get a bike take a hike get lost. And please also go to Strasbourg!
     
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  14. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (1,871) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
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    Heineken USA's now-defunct secondary US import division called "Star Imports" handled Fischer beer. When Heineken closed Star down, some of those brands were moved to Total Beverage Solution in SC. They'd know what happened next.
    [​IMG]
    That US "stubby" Fischer bottle, is, AFAIK, unrelated. It's an old discount brand that bounced around to various breweries known for such brands, like Queen City in MD, the related (?) Duncan Brewing (later known as Florida Brewing, which was briefly owned by Heileman) in FL, Eastern in NJ, etc. In the late 80's Florida brewed Fischer as a store brand for Winn-Dixie. The brand was somewhat infamous for it's Old German Style Ale:
    [​IMG]
     
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  15. WesMantooth

    WesMantooth Poo-Bah (2,897) Jan 8, 2014 Ohio
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    Good eye. I will have to look, but either that stubby bottle (still full by the way) or a can I have too has FL on it somewhere I believe.
     
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  16. Prince_Casual

    Prince_Casual Disciple (337) Nov 3, 2012 District of Columbia
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    I know most people are interested in USA brewing news, but to me BA is the best when it harkens back to the Michael Jackson days, learning the history and styles of the European classics. The beer market in American has bastardized everything, but this is a great article that you'd never see in Buzzfeed or WSJ. Beer specific that's more specialized than newspaper editor would be able to come up with.

    And as an add one, Alsace is a beautiful place. They have taken a beating over the last 200yrs+, but great food and culture, and of course the wine!

    In the old world, regions are typically wine, if it is temperate enough, or beer, if it was too cold, distilling being it's own thing although somewhat more concentrated in beer areas. Sonoma CA, of all places, is one of the premier places I think of as having world class wines, and world class beers, with their own styles even. Of course people in France might say the wines aren't world class in Sonoma. Around and around we go!
     
  17. SSGCujo

    SSGCujo Devotee (468) Jul 12, 2016 Wisconsin
    Society

    I went to Strasbourg when I was stationed in Germany. I went to the Cathedral, but never drank any Alsatian beers. Back then, I was more interested in German styles. I've tried other French beers. I'll look for these beers.
     
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  18. Hodgson

    Hodgson Initiate (135) Nov 17, 2014 Ontario (Canada)

    Great to see Michel Debus still active with his own shop too. A legend in French brewing. He must be at least 90!
     
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  19. Precisiondigital

    Precisiondigital Initiate (127) Dec 27, 2018 Maryland

    Are there any ones from this region that made it back to america???
     
  20. Fisher_with_a_C

    Fisher_with_a_C Initiate (23) Jul 15, 2019 Wisconsin

    Thanks for the awesome article, Will! Nice to shine a little light on such a magical little area of our planet. While in college I spent the 1978-79 school year there as a foreign exchange student attending classes at the Université. Though German beers always seemed better, I spent many evenings imbibing the local beers. I remember distinctly that there were five major brands coming out of the Alsatian/Strasbourgeois breweries but my memory is failing me! I don't remember Meteor being one of them (nor the local presence of Heineken): Anchor, Fischer, Kronenbourg, and Karlsbräu, and something like Castel or Kasteel. Ii can find nothing on the then-ubiquitous Anchor (Ancre?) beer company. I have to admit, however, that my classmates were more fond of the beers across the river (the Rhein, that is) and would brave the walk across the International bridge to Kehl just to pick up a six-pack of the local German beer!
     
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