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RoseeAn illustrious tropical bloomer, Hibiscus flowers can be showstoppers. Their gorgeous colored petals however are for more than marveling over; used for paper, teas, medicine and, as I learned last week, to lend amazing flavor to beer.

I uncrowned a bottle of Rosée d’Hibiscus from Brasserie Dieu du Ciel, pouring out a beautiful glass of fluorescent amber ale. Its floral upbringing was evident immediately on the perfume, with soft aromas of fresh picked flower petals in a game of She loves me… she loves me not, fruit and minerals wrapping up the bouquet. It was dry on the palate and homed in with wine-like intensity when it came to the round mouth-feel and persistent flavor profile dripping of red berries, spice, flowers and fresh bread—bringing me back to Beerlandia.

This beer walked a fine line, appealing to all my wine-liking sensibilities but subtly reminding me that I was enjoying ale. The Rosée d’Hibiscus was unlike any beer that I’ve ever tasted, with its fruit-and-flower-forward nature and dry, long finish that should seduce most wine drinkers. A strongly recommended buy for the summertime!

Blanche du

A surfeit of microbreweries in Southern California would be an easy explanation for my developing interest in beer, but that would be incorrect. Not excited by the hopped out IPA’s that have seen many of my peers swooning over San Diego, rather a wine drinker first, I look to the Old World (Northern European style) to fill my glass.

One of the first beers that made me a convert was a Belgian white beer—never mind the producer, the recipe leans heavily on wheat enhanced by liberal dashes of coriander with bitter orange peel—the main seasonings—producing a crisp and harmonious beverage. Enticing from the first sip.

That style has been mimicked with great success and I don’t have to leave North America to find a great Continental domestic example, like the bottle of Blanche du Paradis that I recently enjoyed from Dieu Du Ciel Brewery in Quebec.

Tradition-minded and balanced from the start, the white beer showed lovely carbonation and a deep golden hue.  With an expressive perfume that flashed a peel’s worth of citrus, Indian spice and a slice of ontbijtkoek (breakfast cake), producing an aroma worth eating! Medium-bodied but full in character on the tongue, the blanche flaunted an ethereal medium-plus finish of orange zest, toasted cereal, delicate spice and baked bread.

Impressive! From a wine buyer’s perch this is relatively inexpensive (four dollars). No matter the price, I can confidently say is that it was satisfying and worth tasting again.

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Wine of the Month

Roumier Morey St. Denis 'Clos de la Bussiere' 2008

Eatery of the Month

aguachile

Jesse's Camarones Restaurant

Musical Accompaniment

Glenn Kotche’s ‘Ping Pong Fumble Thaw’  by The Brooklyn Rider Almanac