Style: Sour beer / wine hybrid
Brewery: Gallia Paris
Gallia Brewery began in 1890 in Paris and grew in size to produce 150,000 HL a year by 1932. Due to the effects of World War 2 and increased competition, the brewery was abandoned in 1962. In 2009 the legendary brand was restarted again, with a bar following in 2017. This is a blend of wine and beer which they refer to as “vière”. More than 3 tons of Pinot Noir grapes were destemmed and pressed, with the fresh juice enriched little by little with a beer must composed of malted barley and wheat. Native grape yeasts then ferment this mixture of fruits and cereals into the final product. Hanna paired this vière with El Mismo 2021, which is produced by Louis-Antoine Luyt in Chile and is made using Pais grapes. The thought was that the red berry tones of the vière would work well with the light red Chilean notes, and it was indeed a very good match of flavours!
This was dull maroon in colour with virtually no head forming when poured. The aroma was a big sour cherry, redcurrant and strawberry blend that was extremely enjoyable. There was a light spiced edge to the aroma too. The taste was delicious, with massive fresh strawberry notes bursting onto the tongue along with plum, sweet cherry and raspberry. These slowly faded into a deep blackcurrant notes that lingered. The carbonation helps to elevate the flavours well on the palate. There was a delicate pepper aftertaste at the back of the throat to round off every mouthful. With a medium body, it coated the mouth well and left a slight tannin like dryness to the lips. The alcohol was hidden extremely well, but a slight warmth helped to encapsulate the whole experience nicely.
I was a bit dubious about this before I opened it as I’ve tried some wine and beer blends before, but this must be the best I’ve ever tried. The bold, fruity flavours bought the senses alive and I enjoyed every sip. This was a real surprise, and I’m so happy I bought it a few bottles of this a couple of years ago when it was released. My only regret is that I didn’t buy more!