Now I know what Raymond Blanc* likes in the way of beer- and it’s to his eternal credit that it’s not too shabby, either…
(*Raymond Blanc or “Ray White” as my wife and I prefer to call him…DON’T ever get us started on Michel Roux/Michael Rooks, either…)
I enjoyed this beer at Ray’s cake shop in Burford: Eve had one of those Groupon voucher doo-dahs that entitled us to “afternoon tea”. I was heartily glad to learn that Ray considers that afternoon tea can be improved by the addition of a free glass of wine…these crazy continental types, eh? However, I was even more gladdened to find out that I was able to eschew the aforementioned glass of wine for a bottle of beer from the menu…alright: THE bottle of beer from the menu.
I didn’t get to see the bottle, which meant I was able to appraise it objectively – albeit through several mouthfuls of cake.
It was an opaque and beautiful vision of a Biere de Garde…a species of beer that I’m not overly familiar with but now wish I was more. In the glass it was yeastily cloudy, and bore forth a very appetizing fruity, phenolic, yeast-led aroma.
In the taste was a melange (hark at me, I’ll be having a bloody “bain“, next) of fruity, yeasty goodness….very much along the lines of yeast-in-suspension Saisons and Weizens that I’ve sampled in the past; spicy, peppery fruity yeast-induced themes helped to make the whole thing a very enjoyable departure from the normal hop-mad styles I enjoy.
The Brasserie des Source* is apparently not that far from where Ray claims to have grown up – but between you and me we all know that he’s a carpet-fitter’s son from Cowley who discovered that he could cook and put on a passable Accent de Francais.
Only joking, Ray mate. Well done on your beer selection. Folks, it’s worth the trip to Ray’s cake shop for his cakes and impeccable taste in beer. Eve’s wine was alright too..and they gave us free bread for Jacob, which was very appreciated…
Ray’s Cake Shop: http://www.maisonblanc.co.uk/Portals/Restaurant/?info=TXc9PStG
Brasseries de Source: http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brasserie_des_Sources (It’s the most I can find…and it’s in French, so – like a good French cheese – you can really get the spirit of it under your fingernails)
(*after writing all of this I now discover that Brasserie de Sources was opened by Gerard Depardieu; just think of all the additional wisecracks about Cyrano de Bergerac, noses and weeing-into-bottles-on-a-airplane I could have crammed into this article…tchoh!)