As mentioned in a previous article, I delighted in trying new wheat beers on our holiday in Alsace this year. And whilst bieres blanche are readily available, I suspect that blonde beer is probably more popular in France. A popular blonde in Northern France and certainly one of my favourites is Grimbergen. It's a sweet, not bitter, well-rounded beer. Imagine how pleased I was to discover in a supermarche just as we were about to leave Alsace a new beer to me, Grimbergen Blanche. I purchased a case and looked forward to getting it home to try. I was not disappointed. As I've said before Germany produces the best wheat beers. Most Belgium brews of this ilk tend to be insipid affairs that are best avoided. But the Grimbergen offering is one of note. It is light in colour and floury of taste and texture again it has the characteristic sweetness of a Grimbergen, sherbet like but without the citric tang. You wonder why anyone would want to drink Hoegarten wit when you can have this far superior beer. Grimbergen blanche, check it out.
Last weekend we had a trip to France. It was a quick hop under the channel and a short drive down to the Cote du Picarde/Baie de Somme area. But once we were the other side of the channel we stopped in at Cite Europe – a big shopping complex designed to attract the British shopper rather than the local audience – and headed for the large Carrefour supermarche to stock up on a few goodies. Guess what? Those goodies included Grimbergen Blonde and Blanche – the temptation is to bring back loads but I think I was fairly restrained 1 case of blonde and two of blanche!