There has been a lot of discussion in the beer world recently about whether beer can possess “terroir,” all sparked by a fascinating article from Totalcurtis of Pelliclemag, which argues that the industrial processes behind creating beer ingredients remove it further from the sense of place than, say, wine or cider. 🍷 🍎
While I see both sides of the argument, I would argue that even in spite of the relative (and growing) disconnect between local agriculture and the final beer product, a brew can certainly still represent a place and its local intricacies well.
Perhaps, however, this is because I am immersed in the brewing culture of Quebec, which does things so differently from the rest of Canada and even, to some extent, the rest of the world, as a result of its unique history that has fused myriad beer cultures into one. 🌾 ⚜️ 🍺
“Mon Pays, C’est Landbier” from Brasserie Mellon is one such example. While it borrows from German terminology, it is distinctly a “Bière de terroir” that celebrates local ingredients, especially Quebec malts and hops. Throughout, it’s the former that really shines, with notes of lightly caramelized crusty bread on the nose, backed by a delicate grassy touch from the hops. It’s lovely and clean on the palate, going down smoothly with a characterful roundness coming from the malts. 🥖 🌱 😋
While I would have perhaps liked for them to pay as much attention to the producers of the ingredients in their marketing (put their names on the can!) as they did in the brewing process, this is an excellent example of the fact that a beer can represent a place, its agricultural produce, and its unique brewing culture, all in a 355ml can! 👏🏻 💯 🤤
Originally from England, Mike Davis came to Quebec ten years ago to study history. During this time he fell in love with the microbreweries of Quebec, which reminded him of English pubs. Now, he holds a Ph.D in History from McGill University, but works in the beer world as the Brand Ambassador for Microbrasserie 4 Origines.