Friday, June 25, 2010

Switzerland - Brasserie Des Franches-Montagnes

Sorry that this one is coming kinda rushed in the late afternoon... but I've been moving offices all day and had no interwebs access!  So... belatedly... here is the World Cup of Beer - on Switzerland.

Switzerland... I've been there.  BEAUTIFUL country!  And they really love their beer.  It's an odd mixture of German (Bavarian) and French influences that molded this country and the beer scene is similar.  You'll see your brasseries listed alongside your braueries and you're going to see French-inspired farmhouse ales alongside German-inspired dunkels and doppelbocks!  In fact, there are entire websites (in English!) devoted to Swiss beer.  I'm blown away, and don't even know where to start.  When I traveled to Switzerland, it was the Summer of 2002 and I was just getting my feet wet when it comes to craft beer.  I definitely enjoyed a few pints in Interlaken and took in the sights, but I really don't remember much about the individual beers I drank.  Most likely... the larger breweries, the pale lagers and euro lagers that you'll find across the continent.
What I'm happy to say is that it appears I missed out!  Beeradvocate has 35 breweries listed for Switzerland, but the Ultimate Switzerland Beer Guide lists well over 100!  One of the highest rated on both sites is called the Brasserie Des Franches-Montagnes.  Obviously this is one of the French-inspired breweries and one look at their beer list and it's obvious their specialty is the 11% abv 'biere de garde' style and in particular barrel-aged beers.  I'm a sucker for barrel-aged beers, so next time I visit Switzerland I'm going to look for these guys!  They also feature two eisbocks at 17% and 19.5% abv!  Obviously these guys are okay with pushing the limits of alcohol in their beer.  Now I really wish I could tell you what these beers taste like, but alas, no such luck yet. 

So... keep up the good work Switzerland!  You may have been knocked out of the real World Cup today, but your beer scene appears to be looking up!



Sources:
The Ultimate Switzerland Beer Guide
BeerAdvocate - Switzerland
Brasserie Des Franches-Montagnes