“Table beer”, or that time no one wanted to host, I had by some miracle accrued a boxful of Auval’s Bière de table, and Kristen and I redefined tafelbier as: “A beer you would have as a normal weekday dinner beer, or what you drink while doing woodworking. Both are equally valid.” It really worked out beautifully, despite a few odd choices.
Kristen started us off with her recently discovered appreciation of Labatt’s Bleue. Describing how when she started enjoying beers, she was a “prissy bitch” (her words, not mine) who liked microbrews 5$ and up. “Then: WHAM!, Anna came along.” On the one hand I showed her the wonders of a Yakima, and on the other, going through enough moves and a fairly in-depth renovation, the benefits of a cheap, easy-going, close to water, but it won’t grate on you even after the 6th one, and wow it comes it a 32-pack, kind of beer. Kristen reminisced on finishing cleaning up our old apartment, the fridge already gone in the moving truck, and the last remaining Bleues getting progressively warmer, and we reflected on the 4 stages of beer temperature grief.
Val commented “it’s not as bad I remembered”, which is really as much as most of us can say, really.
We also went into a discussion about how tame our teenage dep choices were compared to what the youth were getting up today, with the likes of Four Loco roaming about. Thankfully, and timely, news emerged soon after of regulation coming about to curtail the sale of these soft drink/high alcohol beverages.
Average BRSTº Rating: 2.75
Brasserie Dunham: Bière de Table
Dave was then generous enough to bring the beer Corey would have provided if it weren’t for the convenient excuse of March break; Dunham’s Bière de table. Although some of us thought it finished on a slightly bitter note, Dave thought it was “exceptionally drinkable”. Kristen, to the marked surprise of most of us, thought the brett flavour was too prominent. I thought it tasted more sour than it smelled, and lacked a bit of follow-through. Dave did remark that, to the contrary, the lack of after flavour indicated it had reached its purpose as an after flavour. I was still looking for a little more. Nick thought it didn’t taste like beer, as much as fizzy water.
Average BRSTº Rating: 3.00
Microbrasserie Le Trou du Diable: Aldred
Discussions about Val’s contribution, Trou du Diable’s Aldred, started out with how it reminded of her of “when she was a goth teenager”, although I frankly can’t remember why. Val said it was too hoppy, to Kristen’s agreement and the dismay of the rest of the group. Nick liked that this one actually did have an aftertaste.
Average BRSTº Rating: 2.25
Brasserie Auval: Bière de Table
We then moved on to my stash of Auval’s Bière de table, the main reason we went with this theme for Beerstitution 41.
On way to meet many fellow Beerstitutioneers in Gaspésie to entertain our skiing habit, I took the long way round the peninsula to try and get as many of Auval’s hard to get bottles as I could. After a string of bad luck hitting dépanneurs that were still waiting on delivery of a truck delayed by hard weather, I decided to make my way to the brewery itself – which truly is in the middle of nowhere. Even though it’s only open to visitors in the summertime, Ben was kind enough to show me around, and even give me a bottle when hearing of my bad luck.
When I got to Gaspé and filled up on Pit Caribou, I struck gold when hitting a small grocery store behind the Pit Caribou pub – they had just had a delivery and to my great surprise no limit on bottles one could buy. One assistant even offered to box up all the bottles they had – I couldn’t say no.
Some skiers were happy for the haul, and Dave, Nick and Val all thought I should have started an Auval black market.
Kristen said it was a “good gulp”, we remarked on a little sharpness, and generally thought it was the most “table beer” so far. If you’re looking for something that is easy drinking, won’t overtake your food flavours or palate, and yet is still interesting when going down, this is it.
Average BRSTº Rating: 4.25
Saint-Bock: Bison Mécanique
Nick brought over Saint-Bock’s Bison Mécanique, Savon à l’herbe de bison. A few remarked on the hint of pumpkin spice, and Kristen explained “that’s like, interesting as fuck!” Although this isn’t formally a table beer, Nick said he was trying to pick up a beer that is middle of the road, but a little interesting – which is how he thinks of a table
Average BRSTº Rating: 2.75
Broadway Microbrewery: New England IPA
We finished with Dave’s Broadway Microbrewery’s New England IPA, self-admittedly a “product of his laziness”. He’s been onto New England IPAs lately, the have a “hazy juiciness to them, like a smoothie almost; you really want to chew on it while you drink it”. (Apparently pulp is called “juicy bits” in the U.S., which Kristen thought was “chaaaaaarming”.) It was sweeter than we expected to be, yet still easy drink
Average BRSTº Rating: 3.25
And the winner is…
Brasserie Auval: Bière de Table (this is not shocking)
|Beerstitutioneer||Biggest Surprise||Best Label||Sessionable||Blind Test|
|Kristen||Bison Beer||Dunham||Auval||1st try – Dunham|
|Val||Bison Beer||Aldred||Auval||1st try – Aldred|
|Nick||Broadway N-E IPA||Auval||Auval||FAIL|
|Dave||Bleue||Dunham||Dunham||2nd try – Aldred|
|Anna||Bison Beer||Dunham||Auval||1st try – Bleue|
|WINNER||Bison Beer||Dunham||Auval||The boob mask (see below)|
This small committee took a creative stance to blind tasting, using a recent purchase. It is the most comfortable eye mask we’ve ever tried, however its colour and look couldn’t help us calling it the “eye bra” or the “boob mask”. Available to lend for any blind testing parties.
‘Til next time!
That girl from Beerstitution