Archive for August, 2014

Craft Beer Edition!

August 14, 2014

Richmond wine culture craft beer


There is a brand new beverage making the rounds here in Richmond, a beverage that is referred to as Craft Beer! “What is Craft Beer?” you might ask, “Is it different from the regular beer that comes in pitchers and cardboard suitcases?”

Craft Beer is about what’s in the glass, it teaches us history, geography, and culture one chug at a time.  Craft Beer is made by small, independent producers that utilize the finest purchased available ingredients. Craft Beer offers a multitude of flavors and styles that give the beer lover’s taste buds something to freak out about!  Enjoying Craft Beer allows the drinker to participate in something more important than themselves, America, community, camaraderie.


Recently I was invited to take part in a group tasting with like minded people who spend a lot of time together.  We were all asked to contribute some personal favorites to see how the different styles stacked up against one another.  This was a contest after all!  All styles of Craft Beer were there: Sweet Stouts, Session IPAs, Robust Porters, Ambers, Browns, Light Pales, Belgian-Styles, English Styles, Belgo-American styles, Barrel Aged, Hybrids!  Unconventional Brews with unorthodox additions, things like: chocolate, coffee, jalapeño, ginger bread, oolong tea, myrrh, marijuana, curry paste, salmon roe…the list goes on!

Here is a recap of the bottles I brought and my personal tasting notes with some additional Beer Whispering thoughts…

la perlette

Pascal Pibaleau “La Perlette”  11% ABV 25.36 oz.

1. Appearance

     *Color-SRM (Standard Reference Method): 15 SRM/dk. Amber with flashes of copper

     *Head: prickly bubbles, light and dance like (waltz?)

     *Carbonation Levels: natural, persistent

2. Aroma: clean, raspberry, clam shells

3. Flavor: coriander, orange peel zest

4. Mouthfeel: bright acidity, tart, refreshing

5. Overall Impressions: racy, perfect for picnics and horse shoes

Beer Whispering thoughts: Ancient fruitiness of a Belgian style, but not Belgian, something from a tradition,                                                                       honest and pure.  A fresh version of an old soul.  Misty virgin.


Bisson “Glera” Frizzante  11% ABV 25.36 oz.

1. Appearance

     *Color-SRM (Standard Reference Method): 3 SRM/straw

     *Head:  slight fizz, soft bubbles

     *Carbonation Levels: natural,  mermaid whispers

2. Aroma: clean, seaside lemon peel, Davy Jones Locker

3. Flavor:  mineral, plush peach, easy going, langoustine broth

4. Mouthfeel: soft acidity, broad citrus fruits

5. Overall Impressions: charming, honest,  incredibly refreshing

Beer Whispering thoughts:  Even the old man by the sea is capable of love.  While dreaming of an underwater affair he understood the mutual consent of pirate sodomy.

la roue qu tourne

Marie Thibault-Cabrit  “La roue qui tourne”  11% ABV 25.36 oz.

1. Appearance

     *Color-SRM (Standard Reference Method): 4 SRM/gold

     *Head:  firm, bubble pops, converting to fine mousse

     *Carbonation Levels: natural,  like a breeze from a doe and her fawn racing by

2. Aroma: clean, yeast, bread and biscuits, herbs, stone fruits

3. Flavor:  mineral, feltham beauty and magnum bonum apples, freestone peaches

4. Mouthfeel: bracing acidity, 40 second finish

5. Overall Impressions: wide ranging and rolling, adventurous yet versatile, dewy morning in a fairy forest

Beer Whispering thoughts:  People still use hotmail?



nouveau nez

La Grange Tiphaine “Le Nouveau Nez”  11% ABV 25.36 oz.

1. Appearance

     *Color-SRM (Standard Reference Method): 6SRM/deep gold

     *Head:  softly fizzy, unsweetened cotton candy texture

     *Carbonation Levels: natural,  old school propeller plane

2. Aroma: clean, fresh flowers, blackberries, golden raisin

3. Flavor:  mineral, subtly citrus, iron and earth,

4. Mouthfeel: full flavored but light and ethereal

5. Overall Impressions: unpretentious, easy and breezy, perfect as an apéritif or with chèvre cheeses

Beer Whispering thoughts:  “Are you going to finish that?  I might be done evaluating, should we talk about something else?”


Le Coste “Litrozzo”   11% ABV 33.8 oz.

1. Appearance

     *Color-SRM (Standard Reference Method): 9SRM/pale amber

     *Head:  scum, tangled filaments

     *Carbonation Levels: slight re-fermentation

2. Aroma: chalk, walnuts, dried apricots, little brettanomyces

3. Flavor:  basque cider, fresh valley stream, wheat beer, saison ale

4. Mouthfeel: volatile acidity, prickly, vibrant

5. Overall Impressions: strange, off-putting but fascinating, kept returning for more, best along salami and such, un-fined and un-filtered, sludgy

Beer Whispering thoughts:  Like a true craft beer, this one is also made in someones bathtub.  Untouched and un-messed with until time for bottling.


Next up, I visit a public Speakeasy to sample cocktails!



Pascal Pibaleau “La Perlette”  $18. A Vinotas Selection. Purchased at Saison Market.     

Bisson “Glera” Frizzante  $18. Imported by Rosenthal Wine Merchants. Purchased at Ellwood Thompson’s.

Marie Thibault-Cabrit  “La roue qui tourne” $24. Imported by Williams Corner Wine. Purchased at Barrel Thief. 

La Grange Tiphaine “Le Nouveau Nez”  $19. Imported by Potomac Selections.  Purchased at Ellwood Thompson’s.

Le Coste “Litrozzo” $19. Imported by Louis/Dressner Selections.  Purchased at J. Emerson Fine Wine.