Thursday, 16 December 2010

An Alpine Adventure

I was invited to speak at a conference in Switzerland on Monday, and in the brief 22 hours I spent in that country, I managed to try two Swiss beers, both as I waited for my plane at Geneva airport on my way home.

Regular readers of this blog may note some similarity between this situation and an incident at London’s St Pancras last week... My attitude is I shouldn’t miss an opportunity to try a new beer.

When I saw the bottle of Calanda at the airport self-serve restaurant, I figured it was going to be a plain mass-market lager, but I gave it a shot anyway, because I thought it might go well with the stir fry I was having. Turns out, it was worse than that: heavy and syrupy, below average even for a dull lager. The label promised, “bière normale”. If only. (The stir fry wasn’t so great either, in case you’re wondering.)

Luckily, my second beer offered something different: flavour. Ittinger Amber pours copper coloured and has a taste bordering on an alt, with a light mouthfeel, mild caramel and a gentle nuttiness, all with a dash of bitterness to round it off. I’d get this one again.

I leave you, then, with three short videos. No, there’s no beer in them; only trains. Switzerland has railways across some of the craziest, and most beautiful, terrain anywhere. As my conference was up in the mountain-side village of Caux (above Montreux), I got to take not only the express along the lake, but also one of the cog railway services that ascends at an absurd angle. If you’re a train freak as well as a beer geek -- or even if you just want to see some amazing scenery -- have a look at these clips: two on the mountain and one along the water.





1 comment:

  1. The Calanda is no really good beer.... you should try the Sonnenbraeu Beer if you come to the Northeast of Switzerland one day...

    I'm just goin through your reviews as I really like Belgian beer....

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