What I love most about beer travel is finding the people I am already inevitably connected to. Whenever I meet another craft beer person, we download (in conversation) the beers we prefer and the people we know in common. Then we excitedly go through beers we think the other would like, places we think the other should go, and new beer people for each to meet. And so the beer world tightens.
Meet Bernard- in my mind the beer mayor of Strasbourg.
But first, a quick drive-by shot of my approach. These are some of the kilometer after kilometer beautiful autumn-glowing vineyards of Alsace.
I found Les Berthom on RateBeer, which I use as a first stop whenever I plan a beer voyage. The last I checked, only 20% of the people posting reviews of places are American, so I trust the worldly perspective. Les Berthom is a fine beer destination with friendly, helpful staff. The beer list was quite good for France, but didn’t include anything I can’t get in the states. So- upon of texted advice once again of Laurent Mousson, I moved on to 12 Apôtres.
At first I thought I wouldn’t stay. There weren’t seats at the bar. It’s really just for service, which for a woman traveling alone is always a bummer- although common in Europe. I actually asked for directions to another bar- which Bernard gave by drawing a map. (A real beer map! Yes it is in the collection.) I struck out to essentially go around the corner and got caught up in the lovely streets of Strasbourg, the moon, a pretty scarf in a window that I had to have… and ended up back at the douze, as I like to call it.
As has become a well-adored ritual in my life, Bernard then began to tell me about his beer list, the beer I should try given my mission in France (the Perle, described on a full page of the menu as shown here by fellow customer Pierre-Jean), and then the people and places I should look for on the summer trip I’m planning to Bamburg. We discovered the beer people we knew in common. I recommended places in the US. In the business world this is called networking. In my world it’s the fun part!