Beer sellers: Cave à bulles
Origin: Trumilly, Oise (Picardie), France
The single frog on the label of these impressive beers from northern France refers to a sweet little parable about standing out from the crowd and refusing to bow to authority. The eponymous 7th century cleric St Rieul, after whom the farm on which the brewery is based is named, was the first bishop of nearby Senlis and later bishop of Rheims. There’s a legend that once, when his open air preaching was interrupted by the croaking of frogs, he commanded them to fall silent, and all obeyed — except one. The enterprise was founded in 1998 by Thomas Vandôme and Thomas de Villeroche as the first brewery in the département in modern times.
The bottle conditioned brune is one of their award winners, with three Concours Général Agricole medals to its name, most recently a silver in 2011. You might expect a Belgian-style brown but it’s marketed to “lovers of stout”, containing four roasted speciality malts besides pale malt, and four hop varieties.
It’s a dark ruby beer with a thick, bubbly yellowy fawn head and a spicy aroma with roasted notes that turns rather rummy after a while in the glass. There are sacky hops and yeast on a dry, slightly mouth numbing palate, with plenty of fruit, caramel, a slightly soapy note and winey acidity. A long ashy finish has fruit and smooth chocolate malt, still sltly sharp and turning very dry. Enough to shut the frog up?
Read more about this beer at ratebeer.com: http://www.ratebeer.com/beer/saint-rieul-brune/84667/