La Première Bière Is on Tap at Maude’s
The first beer on tap is in at Maude’s and quite fittingly it’s a French beer, KRONENBOURG 1664. It’s the first of many on-tap beers at Maude’s, and it affirms the French/American vibe that Maude’s effortlessly oozes.
While you may be inclined to write off KRONENBOURG 1664 as populous, the beer has quite a rich history and pour. Created in 1664 for the Brasserie Kronenbourg, according to the official site, KRONENBOURG 1664 is a slow beer due to two key factors: the Strisselspalt hop and, not surprisingly, the country of France. “The unique recipe of KRONENBOURG 1664 is distinguished by the use of the aromatic Strisselspalt hop — the ‘caviar of hops’, which sets it apart from other beers, giving it a long, slow, satisfying taste,” claims the KRONENBOURG 1664 website.
So what exactly is a hop and how does it flavor a beer, you wisely ask? Hops are female flower clusters of the hop species, and a small genus of flowering plants. Hops have been consciously grown in European gardens since the 8th or 9th century. Their use in beer as a bittering agent, however, only dates from the 11th century. Before the cultivation of hops, brewers, (mainly monks) used a variety of bitter herbs and flowers to balance beer taste. But with the discovery of hops, a whole new consistency in flavor could be achieved. Hops are invaluable for their ability to temper the sweetness that easily dominates beer due to malt and yeast. They also protect the developing beer from unwanted microorganisms that might cause spoilage.
The Strisselpalt hop is a unique variety of French hops, coming from North Eastern France’s Alsace region. “The Strisselpalt hop produces an aromatic flavour that lasts longer on the tongue,” according to the official KRONENBOURG 1664 site. These hops have a medium intensity aroma that is moderate but hoppy.
The site further boasts, “to get the unique, slow taste, you have to take your time. Which is why it’s grown and harvested in Strasbourg, Eastern France, a region renowned for its slower pace of life.”
In a gesture of cooperation and perhaps gratitude, KRONENBOURG 1664 was launched in the UK in 1952 to mark The Queen’s accession to the throne, a joyous post-war occasion for much of Europe. Now 3963 miles and 59 years apart, it will be launching another only slightly smaller legacy— Maude’s.