Posts Tagged ‘Le Merle’

(no, not the Maroon 5 song)

These were two beers I had on Sunday morning while watching TV and catching up on wedding thank-you notes. Actually, it was Sunday afternoon, but Sunday morning sounds more cozy. And when you get up at 7, but then go back to sleep around 10 and get up again at 11:30, Sunday afternoon still feels kind of like morning to you.

This first one, split with Dan, was Le Merle, a saison from North Coast Brewing Co. in Fort Bragg, CA.

“Le Merle” translates to “the blackbird,” and Michael Jackson (no, not that Michael Jackson; Michael Jackson the famous beer writer) apparently described it as “More than a serious beer – it is outstanding….Dizzying, appetizing, refreshing.” For some reason I think of blackbirds being associated with fall, with picking off the grains and buds of corn from the harvest, with cawing at you from a bare tree branch as you bake a pumpkin pie. So I wasn’t sure what the association with a saison, typically a springtime beer, was. But, blackbirds make me think of farms in general, so maybe the association lies in the rustic, farmhouse-style nature of the beer. Or maybe it’s that “dizzying” quality that Michael Jackson described, the lush flavor unlocked by a rush of carbonation, that reminds us of the dizzying swoop of the blackbird.

And, since I haven’t done a “brew haiku” in awhile, here’s a picture, and a poem:

Swooping, dizzying
the husks, his caws a rush of
lemon, bright in cold.

This was an incredibly citrusy saison! So much bright, acidic lemony-ness cutting through the rustic funk of thick yeast. Definitely felt like the sun shining down on the dry late-fall stalks in the cold, in the clear air.

So that was beer #1. Now let me tell you about beer #2. I’m not going to pretend here that I’m better than everyone else and never end up with a hangover some Sunday mornings. There’s just no need to pretend that, while it’s not a frequent occurrence, it never happens. So when it does, what’s your first instinct when trying to think of a hair-of-the-dog drink that will ease the pain a little bit? Probably a bloody mary. All those good vitamins from the tomato juice, the spice clearing out your head, the vodka numbing it a little until you can hydrate properly. But, if you are like me, you have no ice maker, and have a tiny freezer, so you rarely have ice. And the thought of a bloody mary without ice is disgusting.

So enter: the michelada.

To make a michelada:

1. Pour a lager

2. Drizzle worchestire sauce

3. Drop a few tablespoons of lime juice, or squeeze some fresh lime directly in there

4. Dump in a palm full of salt

5. Add other spices as desired

6. Realize you should’ve salted the rim but decided to turn your lager into a michelada after you poured it

7. Consume. Hydrate. Eat some mac & cheese. Watch some guilty pleasure TV. Write some thank-you notes.


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