French craft beers are all but unknown in the United States, said Greg Kitsock in The Washington Post. Yet France’s variety of micro-climates has given rise to 150 micro-breweries offering everything from quaffable blond ales to exotic brews made with Muscat grapes, honey, and secret ingredients. Here’s an unusual trio worth searching out.
La Verte Brasserie du Mont Blanc
Packaged in clear glass “to showcase the unusual pale-green hue,” this beer made in the foothills of the Alps is flavored with an Alpine herb called genepi. The same herb, related to wormwood, is used in green chartreuse and absinthe. The taste is “similar to that of anise but perhaps a little sweeter and subtler.”
Biere aux Noix
Made with walnuts from the Dauphine region of southeast France, this amber ale “has a dry, nutty flavor with a slightly astringent finish.”
Grand Cru Brasserie Saint-Rieul
This formidable, Belgian-style ale is 9 percent alcohol. Yet its rich flavor, orange-blossom aroma, and a honeyish sweetness mask the alcohol well.