20 May 2013

Working blue

I do like a bit of blueberry now and then: in a muffin, on a cheesecake, ice cream, pancakes, and even in the odd beer. The very odd beer, sometimes. I found this tall boy in La Chope de Lug in Lyon last year, and though it appears to have a long description for a name, the brewery's website is content to call it Bourganel aux Myrtilles and therefore so shall I. It's one of a range of flavoured beers by Bourganel, a brewery in south-western France, just underneath Lyon itself. If blueberries don't float your boat, honey, nougat, and chestnut are also available. I think I chose the safe option.

From the bottle it pours a very bright red and smells, perhaps unsurprisingly, jammy. What is surprising is that the aromas speak much more of redcurrants and strawberries than blueberries (for a possible explanation, see the first comment below). On tasting you get even more jam, but tart rather than sweet, with the sharp and ever so slightly gritty flavour of raspberry seeds. It takes a while for the sweeter blueberry notes to come through, but they do build gradually, and thankfully there's a whole 75cl to allow that to happen.

If fruit beers aren't your thing then this won't be either, but I found it enjoyable, fun and above all different.


  1. I doubt I could taste the difference, but "Myrtilles" are bilberries (fraochán), not blueberries - same genus, different species.

    It's only worth noting because Bourganel make it a point to use local ingredients, such as the AOC-certified chestnuts of Ardeche, and blueberries are not native to Europe.

    1. Boy is my face blue.

      Thanks for the correction. They're closely related enough for Google Translate to say myrtilles are blueberries.