The following is a guest post from University of Memphis journalism student Joe Fairbanks, aka Fairbeezy.
Brewery: Brasserie Fischer
Style: Euro Dark Ale
FairBeezy Rating: 3.5 of 5
I discovered Fischer Tradition Amber completely by accident. I was in New York for my girlfriend’s 22nd birthday, we had been sightseeing and shopping and it was SCORCHING. They decided on a French restaurant for lunch. Coming from the “I can get a Budweiser anywhere” school of thought, the waiter’s offer of a new kind of brew made my ears perk.
I have to confess, I had never considered that French beer (or “Freedom Beer”, with Independence Day coming up) even existed. The waiter’s proclamation that his home country creates the finest wines and gourmet cheeses in the world did nothing to quell this American beer loyalist‘s anxiety. However, a quick Google search revealed that the Brasserie Fischer tradition began in 1821 in the Alsace region because of the clear, pure water. The company is now owned and run by macrobrewer Heineken, but the original recipe is still intact.
The first thing that struck me about the beer was the bottle. It was old-school for sure – a wire-frame top with a rubber cork. The minimalist paper label is wrapped around the neck. The brewery logo is forged into the body of the glass bottle, which is contoured like an hourglass. I liked it enough that I thought about taking it home, but Delta’s bag handlers cannot be trusted with such a fragile prize.
The beer, at first taste, appears to have a skunky flavor, like it has been exposed to too much light. It has a rich brown/copper color and a thick head. After the first sip, the beer goes into a slightly sweet, cidery taste. There was not a lot of malt taste in it, so it lacked balance, but wasn’t bitter like I expected.
The only real drawback to this beer is the aftertaste, which is sour, and required a glass of water to
cleanse the palate. It went beautifully with a bite of the $17, cheese-covered ham sandwich my sister’s boyfriend was enjoying.
Overall, it’s a pretty solid choice. It certainly isn’t democracy, existentialism or crepes, and I probably wouldn’t pick it over a Shiner Bock, but in the right setting it is nice and can be found in most any French establishment. It can be bought online at liquormart.com.