First published in BEER July 2007 as part of a piece on French beer. For more French beers see previous post.
NOTE: This brewery may since have closed.
ABV: 6.5 per cent
Origin: Saint-Amand-les-Eaux, Nord, France
The village of Saint-Amand, in a regional park southeast of Lille, was the location for the 1994 film adaptation of Emile Zola’s novel Germinal. When shooting wrapped, director Claude Berri and stars including Gérard Depardieu decided to give something back to the local community by founding a small brewery.
That brewery has had a bumpy history since, sold on due to financial difficulties in 1998, put into liquidation and then resurrected in 2005. But it’s also produced some interesting beers that depart from the traditional model, including this very distinctive bottle conditioned ale which makes a feature of speciality malts.
Deep golden in colour with a thick persistent white head, it has a sappy, herbal aroma with a slightly perfumed cedary note. A sweetish, woody palate once again brings to mind Belgian styles, but with a good hoppy bite. Finally there’s a drying, chewy, slightly wheaty finish with a roasty note and spiced orange emerging.
For more French beers, see next post.
Read more about this beer at ratebeer.com: http://www.ratebeer.com/beer/saint-amand-germinal-ambree/13492/