Mmm, what a glorious combination. On Friday I met with Matt Dolman of 2guysdrink.com at the much beloved and famous North County watering hole, Churchill’s Pub. This San Marcos locale is known not just in southern California, but all over the country for having one of the best draft and bottle list known to beerkind. Hence the cheer inspired title of this post.
And if you mix Cantillon into the pot? Well, you’ve got yourself one helllll of a Friday afternoon. A gigantic THANK YOU to Matt for graciously supplying the the liquid gems of Cantillon for our lunch.
Before we dove in, we started with a few aperitifs, if you will. The always solid De Ranke XX Bitter, and my new glorious breakfast Saison (if that makes sense!), the Green Flash/Elysian collaboration The Red Queen.
De Ranke XX Bitter (Belgian IPA) 6.2% ABV: Beautiful floral aromas on the nose, particularly of white flower and frangipani, and light honey. This beer floats on the air of Spring, like my Mamaw’s blossoming English garden. A light, and easy mouthfeel with a nice bitter hop finish. Refreshing and palate-stimulating.
Green Flash Brewing Co./Elysian Brewing Co. “The Red Queen” (Saison) 6.5% ABV: Mmmm, I like this beer. Absolutely lovely, complex nose. Upon first sniff, I get a distinct Grenache note, with that bright red fruit and pepper notes classic to the grape. As it warms the aromas transform to carmelized apple and crème brûlée. What a nose! Come to find out, my smeller doth not deceive me. They used 2 different types of apples and peppercorns in the production. Score one for Laurie’s sniffer!
This beer would pair beautifully with a breakfast of apple pancakes or savory crepes, pork, and bread pudding. Fantastic job guys. Only wish I had access to this beer….
St. Louis Gueuze Fond Tradition: 5% ABV: Freshly tapped by Dave, the fantastic beverage coordinator at Churchill’s. A mild, lighter gueuze. Aromas of apple cider vinegar and herb on the nose. Easy palate with a bit more puckering on the finish than the nose indicates. Overall, a pleasant sipper for a relaxed afternoon at the pub. Possibly a good intro gueuze for those venturing into sourland.
Cantillon Bruocsella 1900 Grand Cru (unblended Lambic) 5% ABV: When first poured, you don’t even need to be near the glass to smell it! As Matt filled our glasses, I was sitting across the table and got the nose. Wet hay, wet trodden earth, and barnyard. But, if this makes sense, clean barnyard. Meaning no manure or overly horsey, sweaty saddle aromas, but simply, hay and earth.
The finish is dry and tannic, with a wonderfully interesting blend of dried flower and rose petal. There is an dustiness to the finish, that reminds me of Chablis in white wine, and Spanish Rioja, Petite Sirah, and Rutherford Cabernets in red wine. Nice!
Cantillon Lou Pepe Kriek 2007 (Fruit Lambic) 5% ABV: Bottled in 2009. What a gorgeous, gorgeous color. Vibrant pink-red with a what I must describe as happy pink frothy foam. At least it made ME happy to look at it. Roses, red flower petals and fresh herbs dance like the flowers in Alice in Wonderland around the glass and into your nose. This is a beautiful beer, in every way. As Matt perfectly stated, “To me, it sets the bar on Krieks.” Indeed.
Great times with great folks and great beers. Happy Friday!