Sunday, 13 September 2009

3 Monts

Just returned from a fantastic weekend in Lille, France, where -- among other things -- we explored the local bières de Garde. These are traditional beers of northern France, and you can easily see the overlap with Belgian beer. It’s part of a cultural continuum of brewing that has been disregarding formal frontiers since long before Schengen.

I bought a number of various brands, all in 750ml bottles as seems to be the custom, but the first one we tried was 3 Monts. It’s brewed just up the road at Saint Sylvestre Cappel, also in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region, of which Lille is the capital. I was feeling pretty ill in the afternoon, but a good beer and some starch at the baked potato restaurant near our hotel seemed to do the trick.

3 Monts is an outstanding beer. It is basically a strong ale, but it’s drier than average. There’s no syrupy taste like you get with some ales. Instead, it is sharp and clean, with a nice bitter hop finish. Tiny bubble carbonation with some lavender notes that remind me of Deus. But at two or three euros a bottle at the hypermarket, 3 Monts trumps it. 8.5% alcohol, by the way.

And, 3 Monts gets the thumbs up from Fiona as well. 750ml between two rounds off a day nicely.

I’d add 3 Monts to my top ten list, but my list is for Belgian beers. Dare I include it?

3 comments:

  1. Ah, Trois Monts is an excellent beer. We used to be able to get it in Prague back in the day. Not anymore.

    We're living in a post-Schengen Europe, so I say forget the border. Put it in the top ten list!

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  2. A Belgian who wishes to remain nameless has just emailed me the following:

    =====

    Go ahead Andrew, U may include 3 Monts in your top ten Belgian beers list. Pas de Calais is practically Belgian.

    Given, they eat french fries with mayonnaise and speack French with a funny accent.
    Given they brew extraordinary beers, I trust your word, they must be Belgians.

    Trivia. Dany Boon, Pas De Calais born filmmaker was awarded a prize for improving Belgium's image abroad after his film Bienevnue chez les Chtis set in Pas De Calais.

    I'm telling you, it's all the same country. We should probably annex them...

    =====

    Thems fightin' words...

    a

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