Author Archives: Rob Nesbit

About Rob Nesbit

Beer drinker and all round annoyance. Likes drinking, football, cricket and having a good time.

FC Aarau, Swiss football away days 2.

Aarau is a small town of about 20,000 people, and is the capital of the northern Swiss canton of Aargau. The town is also the capital of the district of Aarau. It is German-speaking, or Schweizer Deutsch as I should really say, and predominantly Protestant. Aarau is situated on the River Aare (where it got its name!) and at the southern foot of the Jura mountains and to the west of Zürich.

Life here goes way back, to prehistory in fact, as the ruins of a settlement from the Bronze Age (about 1000 BC) were found in the town. The Romans also passed through, but the first mention of the town was in 1248 as “Arowe” in the Middle Ages. The town developed over time and on the 2nd of March 1798 the town was actually declared the capital of the Helvetic Republic, a precursor to a unified Switzerland, and home to Switzerland’s first Houses of Parliament. But it didn’t last too long as a few months later the capital was moved to Lucerne.

We move onto Napoleon who in 1803, ordered that the cantons of Aargau, Baden and Fricktal amalgamate, with Aarau as the new capital of the enlarged canton of Aargau, and this is pretty much what we have today.

Aarau is mostly well known for is its painted gables and beautiful eaves, a special feature of the old town of Aarau, from which the town is often regarded as the “town of beautiful Gables”, as good as you can find anywhere else in Switzerland. The old town, Laurenzenvorstadt, government building, cantonal library, state archive and art museum are all listed as heritage sites of national significance, all dating back to the 16th century when the town underwent considerable extension. On the other hand The “Schlössli” (small Castle), the Rore Tower and the upper gate tower have remained nearly unchanged since the 13th century, with the castle the oldest building left standing in the city, circa 1200.

One notable resident of the town was a Albert Einstein who attended a local high school for a while.

Other interesting things about Aarau is that there is a shoe museum in the city, in 2005 the city held the Swiss National Yodelling Festival and as Aarau has an unemployment rate of about 2.35% (with most working for the government, typical!) statistically it has the most jobs per capita of any Swiss city,  (thanks to Wiki for that last one!)

But perhaps the most interesting thing I found about the city is that it has a horse racing track. I didn’t even know the Swiss were into that kind of thing! Apparently its meant to be one of the nicest tracks in the whole of Europe and has been on the go since 1921, but is it any good for racing on? Who knows, but I know as we are in Switzerland you definitely dont want to be backing fucking losers that is for sure……..

Getting to the town is relatively easy as it is well connected by train to Basel (about 40 minutes) and to Zurich it takes about 30 minutes by train. A little later by car for both destinations, but still within the hour.

Overall Aarau is a nice enough place, lovely street and those cool gables that they are oh so proud of, overall it is a bit quiet and not a whole lot going on, but I liked the Church tower that was a nice marker in the town centre. Not a bad place to visit for a day out,but not enough bars to keep me happy here. 

Pub watch

Penny Farthing Pub

Address: Bahnhofstrasse 57, 5000 Aarau


The Penny Farthing Pub is a traditional British Pub situated not too far from the main train station, easily found as you make your way from the station into the city. 

First pub of the day, a short walk from the train station where I got my train from Basel to Aarau which only took me about 30 minutes or so. 

Thought it was closed as the doors looked slammed shut, but joy they were open. Early about 12. or so, but still a few other souls in the bar. The bar has a good selection of beers from the UK and Ireland, and some interesting Scottish whiskies as well. Ordered a Brooklyn Brewery lager, a first timer for me, which was on tap, and poured by a friendly bar lady. Pint looked good but wasn’t impressed with it, nothing to the quality of the pint poured but found it hard to drink. Not a Brooklyn fan I guess. 

The decor has some references to the Penny Farthing bicycle of the 1870’s with photos and an actual bike itself on one of the walls, which was pretty cool to see. Of course the pub was also decked out with a dart board and plenty of TV screens for sports for the more modern customer!

I liked this bar, good friendly service, nice decor, nice long bar, and good atmosphere for that time of the day. Overall a good pub to start the day.  


Mr. Pickwick Pub

Address: Graben 6, 5000 Aarau


There are a few of these Mr Pickwick Pubs dotted around Switzerland. They are quintessential British style pubs.

Have some decent fare on tap here, but I ordered some Valaisanne Zwickelbier (bière de cave), a lager from Sion. I had never tried it before but on the recommendation of the barman I went for it. I tell you he wasn’t wrong, it was delicious, so good in fact that I had ordered another one straight after the first, this breaking my one pint one pub rule. Heck there were fuck all pubs in the town anyway!!

Pub had the usual decor to be expected from a British style bar, service was decent enough and in a very relaxed style, bar staff were a bit chatty

Didn’t detect any “British” style atmosphere here, but it was a comfy place to have a few beers and they went down fairly well too, so no complaints! And they charged my phone!

Place was busy enough for the middle of the day. 

As I couldn’t find a whole lot of bars in the town I did return here again later in the day. Second time round a different bar man, friendly, said he never met an Irish man in the bar before…..but i doubt that’s true.  Just had the usual Feldschlossen beer lager, which was fine, nice and refreshing and cold. 

Liked this bar, quiet and a good place to while away a few hours. Comfy and good pints



Address: Pelzgasse 25, 5000 Aarau

An interesting one this, easy to pass as it is has very small frontage. Bierstübli, the smallest bar in Aarau, is in the heart of the town, a tiny bar with some very rustic settings inside. Altogether I counted about 8 seats and four bar stools in this box of a bar! 

You have to be careful of the time as this place doesn’t open until 2.00 most days, so for me when I arrived at 1 I had to walk around the block a few times to kill time!

The bar is very old fashioned, there are numerous old beer jugs on display, models of Swiss warriors from the Second World War on the ceiling and all bills are paid from a cashier from the 60’s, all the while an old wooden clock slowly ticks in the corner of the bar.

As its a small bar I guess it can be easy to meet new friends, but alas at just after opening time, midday, I was the only customer! Also the bar man smoking from a pipe, was wondering why this strange looking foreigner with a bad haircut and a smirk was in his bar. This was most definitely a local bar for local people. 

Anyway these days you will find less and less of these kind of places in Switzerland as modern bars aiming to make the big bucks entice all the crowds and custom. 

The bar is well stocked in beers though, selling 15 different types of beer. I went for a Cardinal Rousse, a 5.2% ale from Sion, which was fine and a Boxer Old, a pale lager from Yverdon-les-Bains (west Switzerland) another 5.2% beer, again a fine beer. On an empty stomach these beers definitely did the business. Good that you can get beers that otherwise you might not try.

As it was myself and the bar man in a very quiet and small environment, i decided to lighten the mood by picking a few tunes on the Jukebox, all 1950’s to early 1960’s stuff…….I struggled to find something good but I did…..Chuck Berry for example, early Beatles stuff, Elvis (cant beat a bit of Elvis!)

Truth be told I liked this place, if only to try out some new beers and it was nice to reflect on life in a quiet bar while humming along to the King on the jukebox, guess I most really be getting old!


Address: Schlossplatz 1, 5000 Aarau


Not finding many bars in the town for my beer crawl I got desperate and ventured into OscarOne, a hip looking Lounge, CockTail and Wine Bar. I say desperate as these are really not establishments I feel comfortable in! I’m not hip or cool enough for these kind of places, I’m an ordinary fella who has simple pleasures……football and beer, not really into strobe lighting, fancy cocktails and showing off my new designer gear, if I had any!

Took a long time to get served, a long time. Which was funny as there really wasn’t anyone else at the bar. Sure the place was busy but I was the only one sitting up at the bar. The two staff were doing the age old art of looking busy without actually doing anything, you know…. moving around here and there, the long walk, a wipe here and wipe there, pick up a few glasses, etc. Having said that though the service was friendly all the same. 

Anyway, got served eventually, got a Franziskaner Weissbier, which was pretty difficult to stomach, but that;s just me, as I’m not a great fan of Weissbiers.

The route to the toilet is a real hazard, a very steep spiral staircase to the basement, in a darkly lit bar it was a bit too steep and I’m sure if this was Ireland it would definitely be popular for those that like to partake in frivolous insurance claims! 

Had a nice interior, quite high class, all nicely decorated and stylish, and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves, a good crowd in for a mid day Saturday, albeit a bit quiet, but you know it didn’t do anything for me, so overall OscarOne didn’t impress me too much. 


FC Aarau

Arena/Stadium: Brügglifeld stadium 

Location: Brügglifeldweg in Aarau

Capacity: 9,249

Manager: Marco Schällibaum

Founded: 1902

Leagues: Swiss Challenge League

Club home page



Nicknames: “The Unabstandable” (“that can not be relegated”)

FC Aarau is a Swiss football club, based in the small town of Aarau. They play in the Swiss second tier in the Challenge League, relegated last season from the top division.  

FC Aarau were formed on the 26th May 1902 by workers from a local brewery, and within ten years they won the Swiss Championship in 1911/12, repeating it again in 1913/14. It wasn’t until the 1992/93 season that they won the Swiss National League again, a break of 79 years. 

In 1985 Aarau won the Swiss Cup for the first time, coached by Ottmar Hitzfeld, yes that Ottmar Hitzfield, two time CL winner with Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund. There for 4 seasons it was here that he first tasted success as a manager.

FC Aarau have got the nickname ‘Die Unabsteigbaren’ which in English means ‘those that cannot be relegated.’, as they were seen as a lucky team that could not be demoted, in the top league since 1981, with one exception (relegated in 2010), and generally escaping relegation by the skin of their teeth on a few occasions. They were relegated though last season 2016/2017. I guess they need to get a new nickname so…. 

But the biggest challenge the club faced was in 2002 when the club was in serious financial debt, but thanks to the help of the fans who put their hands in their pockets buying 4,500 shares that were made available by the club helped stave off liquidation. The sale made 1,510,000 Swiss Francs (roughly 1.4 Million Euro) for the club and a holding company, FC Aarau Ltd, was set up to run the club.

They have played in European competition on 5 different occasions, but never getting past the first round of the various competitions they entered.  They did however give the mighty AC Milan a good run for their money in the Champions League, only going out 1-0 on aggregate to the same team that eventually went on to win the competition by hammering Barcelona 4-0 in the final. Not bad! 

FC Aarau play in the Brügglifeld stadium, which has a capacity of 9’249, and have been doing this for more than 90 years (opened in 1924). The stadium is an old style ground and somewhat unique in this era of modern shiny soulless stadia, the stands are close to the pitch, with most of the ground uncovered terracing, and a ground in which the fans can easily make their feelings known to the players, small and compact. 

The club play in all white, and take the Aarau city coat of arms of a Black Eagle as their club logo 

To the game

FC Aarau 4 – 2 FC Le Mont LS 

18.02.2017  Stadium Brügglifeld
5 ‘Geoffrey Treand
34’ Sandro Burki
38’Damir Mehidic
53 ‘Helios Sessolo (Le M)
65’ Zoran Josipovic
87’Patrick Bengondo (Le M)

Attendance: 2’749

Good game with a cracking atmosphere. I must say I enjoyed my time seeing FC Aarau. 

Another Swiss game, another early goal for me. This time after just 5 minutes. Geoffrey Tréand with a long range shot from outside the box placing it nicely past the goalkeeper. Nice strike, good start.  Two more goals followed and by half time FC Aarau were well in control. 

Le Mont got one back in the 53rd minute but Aarau replied in the 65th minute to put the game to bed. 

Good game, FC Aarau had little problem putting Le Mont to the sword, good atmosphere in the old ground and despite the weather and wet conditions it was a good day out.

Overall the day was good, good pubs, decent beers, a nice place to stroll around and a good old style ground with a cracking atmosphere. Yes, might be back for another game in the future. 


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Alpirsbacher Klosterbräu Klosterstoff

Alpirsbacher Klosterbräu Klosterstoff

Alpirsbacher Klosterbräu Klosterstoff

Brewed by Alpirsbacher Klosterbräu
Style: Märzen / Oktoberfest 
Alpirsbach, Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Alpirsbacher Klosterbräu is a brewing company in a small town called Alpirsbach in the Black Forest region of Germany

Alpirsbacher Klosterbräu KlosterstoffThe company was founded in 1877 by Johann Gottfried Glauner who reactivated the former monastery brewery. In 1880 the company was passed onto his son, Carl Albert Glauner and in 1906 the company was renamed to Alpirsbacher Klosterbräu. The company was and is continuously held by the Glauner family that is now in its fourth generation of ownership.

The company has an annual turnover of 22 million euros (2014), and its big seller, its “spezial” lager, won the prestigious World Beer Award in 2013. Read my review of that beer here

Other beers they produce have also won prestigious awards. Its Pils getting a silver in the World Beer Cup in 2014, and its Wheat crystal, Monastery Starkbier and Monastic substance all picking up awards in the World Beer Awards

Review: 0.33l flip top bottle of Alpirsbacher Klosterbräu Klosterstoff Märzenbier: ABV: 5.9% 

Alpirsbacher Klosterbräu KlosterstoffBottle with a cool flip top, lets open the beer from the Black Forest. 

On pour got a lovely crystal clear golden colour and a nice white head that appeared. 

Nice bit of carbo, bubbling away.

Head does thin out but maintains and the colour does fade a little, not as sparkling on pour.

Got a lovely initial smell of malts, all really pleasant on the nose but faint. But I also detected some hot spicy aromas which was interesting!

Alpirsbacher Klosterbräu KlosterstoffNice big mouthfuls. Tasted wheat, grain, malts, altogether not a bad taste at all and very smooth.

Very smooth, must be the good waters from the streams near the Black Forest, I guess! 

Good creamy mouthfuls, soft on the tongue.

A Good beer that was lovely and smooth.

Not particularly hoppy, to me at least. Easy to drink, refreshing, and very well balanced. It is not going to set the world alight, but I liked it. 

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Bush Blonde, when looks are not important!

Bush Blonde, when looks are not important!

Bush Blonde

Brewed by Dubuisson
Style: Belgian Strong Ale
Pipaix, Hainaut,Belgium

Bush Blonde, when looks are not important! Bush, a Belgian beer brand and the flagship product of the Dubuisson Brewery, located in Pipaix, a village near the Belgian town of Leuze-en-Hainaut in the Walloon Region of the country. 

An Independent brewery, using locally sourced yeast and fresh water from its own deep wells, with the hops and barley coming from the Czech Republic. 

In 1933, one year after Alfred and Amédée inherited their parents’ brewery, they decided to compete with the English who occupied a leading position on the market of strong beers. That is how the brothers created the Bush beer, with its 12% alcohol content. To compete they gave their beer an English sounding name. Dubuisson bière would be translated into English as Bush beer. However, in the United States, the beer is sold under the name “Scaldis” (the Latin name of the river Scheldt that flows through western Belgium).

Bush Blonde, when looks are not important! It’s Amber Bush, created in 1933, is one of the oldest “special” Belgian beers and the most popular, and strongest, among Bush beers. Other selections include Bush Blonde, Christmas Bush and Luxury Bush.

Bush beers are sold all in the UK and all over Western Europe, North America, Japan, Brazil and South Africa, and they have won a variety of different awards down through the years: World Gold Medal Selection in Amsterdam in 1992,  gold medal and first place at the World Championship of Chicago in 1988, Gold medal at the World Beer Championships in Chicago in 2012. 

Review: 33cl bottle of Bush Blonde: ABV: 10.5%

The Bush Blonde, on the go since 1988, and introduced by Hugues Dubuisson on the 65th anniversary of the Bush Ambrée launched by his grandfather, Alfred. Considered to be one of the strongest beers from Belgium coming in at an alcoholic volume of 10.5%

Bush Blonde, when looks are not important! A lot, and I mean a lot, of gas on the pour, a bit of a mess truth been told. Full of carbonation, resulting in a massive head and a beer that took a long time to settle.

It also was very murky looking, a lot of sediment in the bottom of the glass floating around, which looked a bit worrying and not at all appetizing. 

Head does die eventually to leave a small but decent looking head that maintains, and an orange looking beer. Minimal lacing.

Overall, it looks terrible! One of the worst I have seen. 

On the nose get a strong citrus and fruity smell.

Taste: initial taste, it was fucking horrible, a harsh alcohol taste, but once it settles down and I settled down myself from the shock, it is actually not too bad. Smooth enough for a 10% beer
Can feel the alcohol alright but quaffable enough and not overpowering, not hoppy

Bush Blonde, when looks are not important! Smooth enough, all things considering (all the carbonation)
Not hoppy. No bitter tastes. Yeah not bad
A lot of sweet malts, some sweet fruits,  and yeast. 

Overall this beer tastes a million times better than it looks, and after you get over the initial hit of all the strong smells and taste, it eventually is a beer to savour. 

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La Goudale Biere, a slow burner

La Goudale Biere, a slow burner

La Goudale Biere

Brewed by Les Brasseurs De Gayant
Style: Strong pale ale
Douai, France

La Goudale Biere, a slow burner Brewed in Douai, a small city in the north of France by the Gayant Brewers.

La Goudale, a blonde beer, is made with a recipe dating back to the middle ages, and also uses specially flavored hops carefully chosen from Flanders, has been brewed since 1994.

The Goudale got its name from the 14th century, where all good beers were called “Goudale” (Good Ale). 

The brewery have many brands such as Amadeus, Tequieros, La bière du Démon, St Landelin but their main product is La Goudale.

La Goudale is sold widely in supermarkets in the North of France and has won numerous awards down through the years, most notably gold at the World Beer Challenge in Portugal, 2014. 

Review: 50cl Can of La Goudale Biere: ABV: 7.2% 

La Goudale Biere, a slow burner Coming in a very interesting shiny can that had a lot of distinctive black lettering. Stands out, even if its not obvious what exactly it all means!

On appearance got a hazy amber orange colour that produced a pretty large frothy white head, which does die over time but maintains overall, albeit small. Some lacing. Nothing special to look at.

Smells of caramel and the usual blond aroma of yeasts, sweet malts, grains and with a bit of citrus, nothing special.

No hanging around with this beer, on initial taste you can immediately get the alcohol, straight in with an aggressive taste………lots of yeast and citrus lightning up the taste-buds!

La Goudale Biere, a slow burner But no real discernible after taste. All in the front taste.

Not nice, too harsh on the palate. Very bitter. Fuck me, its hard. Disgusting even!

Second can much more manageable. Deep tasting hops. Sweet Malts
Tastes much better. A slow burner.

Creamy bodied
In the end I kind of liked it, don’t know if the alcohol kicks in and the initial shock with the first can but it was ok, albeit the second can, similar to a Belgian strong pale ale.

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Pelforth Brune

Pelforth Brune

Pelforth Brune

Brewed by Pelforth (Heineken)
Style: Brown Ale
Mons-en-Baroeul, France

Pelforth is a French brewery from Mons-en-Barœul, not far from the city of Lille and the Belgian border, in the North of France.

Pelforth BruneFirst established in the early 1900’s by three brewers from Lille, Louis Boucquey, Armand Deflandre and Raoul Bonduel, it was originally called Pelican after a popular dance at the time, the image of the animal still adorning the bottles of today. In 1972 the name was changed to Pelforth and in 1988 the small brewery was bought by the Dutch brewing giant, Heineken. 

Pelforth now produce over twenty varieties of beers, including seasonal ones, but it’s their Pelforth Blonde and Pelforth Brown (Brune) that are their big sellers, both widely available all over France. 

A recent re brand, initiated by Heineken, has seen the traditional pelican symbol on its red label replaced by a more up to date pelican style, and highlighting the various tastes of the beer rather than that its just another dark bitter beer, hopefully appealing more to the fairer sex. 

Review: big 65cl bottle of Pelforth Brune: ABV: 6.5% 

Pelforth BruneComing in a pretty nice looking 65cl bottle with a swing cap

The appearance was of a nice enough dark brown colour with ruby red highlights that had a head which reduced dramatically in size. 

Some decent lacing but overall nothing special to look at.

For the aroma I got a sweet initial smell of caramel malts but overall not a whole lot on the nose, very faint and not a lot going on.

On Taste got a very smooth drink, very easy to drink, nice mouthfuls, very smooth.

Pelforth BruneNot strong tasting, but did gets hints of caramel and plums and other fruits, but overall, truth be told, I struggled to get any real taste, some malts…….not much else, and no presence of hops.

Dark chocolate as well. A Coca cola style taste, lots of malts but no alcohol. 

Very smooth, pleasant and nice to drink, but for me it doesn’t taste at all like a beer but more a strong version of coke with added sugar. Bland and disappointing all things considering.

Some critics have compared this to an English ale, particularly Newcastle Brown Ale, while some even have found a likeness to porter. For me I just cant see these comparisons at all, yeah perhaps in appearance but definitely not in taste. The Pelforth Brune, for me, is just too sweet, far too sugary, too smooth and flavourless, and nothing at all like an English ale or porter. Disappointing. 

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Kühles Blondes, based in Vienna

Kühles Blondes, based in Vienna

Kühles Blondes

Brewed by Ottakringer Brauerei AG 
Style: Pale Lager
Wien, Austria

The Ottakringer brewery is a large brewery based in the Ottakring District, Vienna,  Austria. 

Founded in 1837 by Heinrich Plank originally under the name the Plank brewery. It wasn’t until the 1850’s when two cousins took over, Ignaz and Jakob Kuffner, that the operation really began to expand . The two built the small plant into a large brewery.  In no time the brewery became successful.

Kühles Blondes, based in ViennaBut bad news arrived in the form of the World War and the annexation of Austria by Nazi Germany. Moriz von Kuffner, Ignaz’s son, was forced to sell his business because of his Jewish background. It was sold for a rather low price of 14 million Austrian schillings (about 36 million Euros at today’s values) to Gustav Harmer, who was also forced out of the business for two years after the war. After the liberation by the Allies, the brewery was temporarily managed by the Russians, before the Harmer family managed to legally prove their purchase. The heirs of Moriz von Kuffner, were also compensated for their loss,

In 1986, the Ottakringer Brewery was listed on the stock exchange, and presently the parent company, Getränkeindustrie Holding AG, owns 70.31% of Ottakringer Brauerei AG. 

Today the brewery is still going strong, and are a major sponsor of the Austrian football team SK Rapid Wien for many years now.

Review: 0.51 cl Can of Kühles Blondes: ABV: 5% 

Kühles Blondes, based in ViennaBought cheap in Aldi. Comes in a striking yellow can, which has some interesting lettering, looks like it could be a fruit drink. 

The appearance is one of a very clear, golden yellow colour, bubbling away with some pretty good carbonation. Produced a nice big frothy head, which did die a bit but overall maintains throughout. Had some very light lacing. Altogether, not a bad looking beer.

The aroma is of a nice light beery smell, getting the yeast. Also getting a faint smell of citrus and malts.

Kühles Blondes, based in ViennaFor the taste I got very nice mouthfuls, of light grains and sweet malts.

Smooth and clean to drink and pleasant enough. Very smooth in fact, I found it very nice and easy to quaff.

But I didn’t find any discernible or interesting tastes though, and couldn’t find the alcohol. 

Clean malts for sure, but no hops noticeable in the taste

Nice for a session, as they go down well, but very light, low bitterness, and no real bite to it. 

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La Chouffe

La Chouffe, a small time brewery done good.

La Chouffe

Brewed by Brasserie d’Achouffe/Duvel Moortgat Brewery
Style: Belgian Blond Ale
Achouffe, Wibrin-Houffalize, Belgium

La Chouffe is a Belgian strong golden ale, produced by the Brasserie d’Achouffe located in Achouffe, a small village in the municipality of Houffalize, in Wallonia, Belgium.

La ChouffeThe brewery was founded in 1982 by Pierre Gobron and Christian Bauweraerts, two brothers-in-law, as a hobby. In September 2006, the brewery was bought by the brewery group Duvel Moortgat, this move helping the small brewery to enlarge and also to export to new destinations. 

Brasserie d’Achouffe now produces several different beers, and exports far beyond its borders,  72 countries and counting, but it is its Blonde that is the star attraction, accounting for over 80% of its output. 

The brand is famous for its gnome that adore its bottles, a little gnome with his little red hat, looking all cute and sprity. Legend has it that it was a gnome just like this that passed on the special recipe to the brothers in law inspiring them to get started. 

Review: 330 ml Bottle of La Chouffe: ABV: 8% 

La Chouffe is an unfiltered blond beer that re-ferments both in the barrel and from the bottle. 

On pour got a big frothy white head that retained, with a golden appearance that later settled down to an orange hazy cloudy hue. Some small carbonation and some thin lacing. Not bad looking. 

Very fruity aroma which I found very nice, lemon, orange, banana, a variety of fruits on the nose.

La ChouffeAlso found the fresh coriander on the nose

Smells good, sweet malts on nose too.

Smelled quite strong, with the Belgian yeast also apparent, but overall it was a nice, pleasant smell and well balanced.

Ok, it is another one of these strong tasting Belgian Ales that I find difficult to appreciate. Strong Has a lot of fruit flavours in it, lime, bananas, peaches, apples……and the coriander that seems to be prominent throughout. 

Found it quite similar to the Delirium Tremens which I reviewed not too long ago. Not quite the same style of beer I know, but unlike that beer, I found this one much more palatable on the stomach and taste buds. 

Bitter aftertaste, very bitter. Not bad though, grows on you with the gentle floral hops 

A bit of a slow burner, and quite tasty, albeit strong in the alcohol. I definitely do feel the alcohol kicking away. Yeasty! But having said that it is not too overbearing with the alcohol, manageable. 

After the second bottle, I think it isn’t too bad, not great, but ok, a nice crisp taste, but would like to try a few more to give a more definite review. 

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Grimbergen Blonde, burned but not destroyed

Grimbergen Blonde

Brewed by Brouwerijen Alken-Maes (Heineken)/at Kronenbourg (Carlsberg)
Style: Belgian Pale Ale/Blonde Ale
Alken, Belgium

Grimbergen is the brand name of a variety of Belgian abbey beers. Originally brewed by Norbertine monks in the Abbey of Grimbergen since the 12th century, it is now brewed by two different breweries in Belgium and in France. Brouwerij Alken-Maes Brewery located in Alken, north of Brussels, Belgium, and the Kronenbourg Brewery in Strasbourg, France. 

The abbey was well known for giving shelter for pilgrims and lost souls and also providing nice home-brewed beer to warm peoples spirits. The recipe used by the brewery today is apparently the same recipe used all those years back, over 900 years old and counting! 

In 1958 Brouwerij Maes contacted the monks at the abbey with a proposition. For some support with the restoration of the Abbey, in return Maes, under the brandname “Grimbergen”, could sell their special centuries old beer.

To further feck things up big nasty Heineken took over Alken-Maes in 2008. As part of the takeover the brand name Grimbergen was transferred to Carlsberg Group, but Heineken was given a long-term license to use the brand name in Belgium. As a result of this messing around, Alken-Maes brews the beer for the Belgian market, while Carlsberg is responsible for the marketing outside Belgium of the beers that it brews under the Grimbergen name at its Kronenbourg Brewery located in France. So in essence you can find two Grimbergens, just depending on which side of the border you are. I am not sure if they taste similar or not, but I’d wager they do.

The beer has the mythological Phoenix as its symbol, and when you know the story it is not hard to see why. Grimbergen Abbey, founded way back in 1128, was destroyed by fire many times, but from the ashes the abbey was rebuilt again and again, and is still standing today. Burned but not destroyed (“‘Ardel Nec Consumitur”) is the motto of the legendary beer. 

Review: 33cl Brown Bottle of Grimbergen Blonde: ABV: 6.7% 

The appearance was of a clear golden colour with a big frothy white head

Good sized head, with good retention and very good lacing. Not a bad looking beer.

Nice beery smell, very nice. Smells of clove, fruits, Belgian yeast. Smells fantastic in fact. 

Taste is quite strong but not bad, very manageable

Very nice and pleasant creamy mouthfuls. Very quaffable. Like it.
Creamy taste.

Fantastic tasting beer with a lot of nice flavours. Very creamy. Very crisp and refreshing mouthfuls

I like this very much. Easy to drink. Good tasting. Lots of tastes and all well balanced, of sweet malts, of barley, of wheat, of Belgian yeast, citric fruits. Get all the usual tastes working together here, perfectly balanced with both sweet and sour tastes combining well. 

One of those beers after a long day you can relax with, very refreshing, excellent
6.7%, not too overbearing. As good a beer as I have had in a while…..

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Oettinger Export. The cheap beer with added value

Oettinger Export. The cheap beer with added value.

Oettinger Export

Brewed by Oettinger Brauerei GmbH
Style: Dortmunder/Helles
Oettingen, Bavaria, Germany

Oettinger is Germany’s best selling beer brand since the early 1990’s, made by Oettinger Brauerei headquartered in the small town of Oettingen, in Bavaria, Germany

They also have breweries located in Gotha, Mönchengladbach and Braunschweig.

Oettinger Export. The cheap beer with added valueNicknamed “Oetti”, the brewery is well known for producing vast amounts of cheap beer which can be easily got in all the major supermarket chains.  Basically it is a German version of “stack em high sell em cheap”, and for people with only coppers in their pockets and students, well….. this is the perfect beer. They dont do draft and its rare to find in a pub. But in case you are worried, all of the Oettinger beers are brewed in accordance to the “Reinheitsgebot”, the German purity law of 1516, the standard used to maintain good quality beer in Germany.

Oettinger uses several ways to keep beer prices low: It does not advertise, it delivers directly to the stores and shops, and has a highly automated brewing process that uses as few employees as possible to brew vast amounts of beer.

Oettinger Export. The cheap beer with added valueAll this has made the brand a runaway success, easily becoming Germany’s go to beer for getting pissed on the cheap. It is also exported as far away as Australia and closer to home in Austria, Switzerland, Spain and Italy. 

The family-owned company was founded in the picturesque Bavarian town of Oettingen, way back in 1731, as it says on the can, but the brewery really began to change when it was taken over in 1956 by Otto and Günther Kollmar. These two set up a direct marketing strategy aimed at the price conscious consumer and in the era of supermarkets in the 70’s they had the perfect distribution network to flood the German market with their produce. 

Review: 50 cl Can of Oettinger Export: ABV: 5.4%

The cheap beer with added value. 

On pour a lot of carbonation producing a very clear golden colour.  A big bubbly white head appears which does die a death pretty fast to leave a small flat head. No lacing. Appearance is ok, nothing special. 

Oettinger Export. The cheap beer with added valueHas a good beery smell, a bit faint but good all the same, yeasty, grainy….

Bit of a biting metallic taste, but goes and once you get over that the beer is quite enjoyable 

Can taste the malts, the grains and the yeast

All in the front taste, nothing remarkable in the back end which is a little bit dry.

Not bad. Smooth and filling, getting nice big creamy mouthfuls. 

Strong bitter hoppy taste might not be suitable for everyone, but it doesn’t hang around and I found it bearable.

Beery. I like it. Sessionable enough though, especially for the price. The beer to price ratio in this beer is excellent, Cheap beer equals good session

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St Gotthard Original Swiss Lager

St Gotthard Original Swiss Lager

St. Gotthard Lager

Brewed by Ramseier Suisse
Style: Pale Lager
Hochdorf, Switzerland

St Gotthard Original Swiss LagerBrewed by Ramseier Suisse, one of the major beverage producers in Switzerland, was formerly made by Unidrink Getränke. Brewed in Hochdorf, a small town in the canton of Lucerne, St Gothard Lager is brewed for Aldi Suisse. 

Review: 50cl Can of St. Gotthard Lager: ABV: 4.8%

A Swiss Aldi special

Very, very clear golden colour with a massive frothy head on pour. All looks pretty good, head nestles nicely on top. Does die as expected for a cheap lager. Slight lacing.

Smells good, of faint malts, and the yeast 

St Gotthard Original Swiss LagerTaste is not too bad, some very nice mouthfuls. Malts mostly. And that’s as much as you are going to taste really.

Very easy to drink, a very smooth beer

A bit metallic in the end.

Good but a bit acidic/stringent in the aftertaste

It is ok as lagers go, smooth and not bad for the cheap price from Aldi

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