by Trevor Prosser
(Beer Delegate, AB, Canada)
Le Flacon d'Alsace beer: vive le difference!
Le Flacon d'Alsace beer
My latest adventure through the beer store glass door left me pondering selection for several minutes. What should I have? What needs a review?
I looked desperately past the Canadians and Kokanees for something different. Finally, on my third pass, I found it. A little French beer called Le Flacon d'Alsace (The Alsatian Flask) from Boris.
Now, when I say little, I mean it. These tiny 250ml bottles were literally hiding in plain sight. But the packaging suggested a subversive little brew, so home we went.
Now, I'm sure many would insert a joke here about their rebellious packaging coming from France, but I'll skip it. Sure, the labels would appeal to a college-aged Che Guevara shirt-wearing English major with minors in philosophy and art. Sure, you'll probably never see this beer served at anything but a snobby beer bar that prides itself in stocking every known brand, and having the right glasses to serve them all.
But all of that aside, I have to say that this rebellious little bier, at 5.5%, has a refreshing sort of Heineken crispness with a distictive French smack behind it that is a fair swipe better than the oft-metallic bitter twang of some European pale ales. It does have a certain aspect that reminds you of a decently dry white wine, but it's fleeting.
While its size is more suited to a quick sip than a full meal accompaniment, it wouldn't be out of place as an apres-lawn mowing refreshment, enjoyed on a sunny back porch. Of course, Boris would rather you drink this bier in a small, dank apartment in downtown Paris as you and your fellow anarchists plot world domination, but to each their own.
On each bottle is written this: "My values are those of a generation that has taken control of its existence and future. I pledge allegiance to only one flag: my own." To me, this is a bit more than a simple beer can claim to represent. I know they're trying to be different, but they're trying too hard.
They have a good little beer on their hands - it's different, but not alarmingly so. In fact, I think Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy put it better in Adam's Rib (1949):
Hepburn: Well, maybe there is a difference, but it's a little difference.
Tracy: Well, you know as the French say...
Hepburn: What do they say?
Tracy: Vive la difference!
Hepburn: Which means?
Tracy: Which means hurrah for that little difference.
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