It has been quite a productive day in Lille. Having made early progress by tracking down the Leffe Triple, I inevitably found myself drawn towards L’Abbaye des Saveurs, a specialist local beer shop. Laden with rare yet remarkably inexpensive beers that you may soon be reading about, it was off to Les 3 Brasseurs for more drinking beer on a pavement in the rain.
And finally an eagerly anticipated highlight of the trip: La Capsule. A local institution, owned by the proprietors of L’Abbaye des Saveurs, this is where you end up when you type “best beer café in Lille” into Google, because nobody’s arguing.
La Capsule is tucked away down cobbled mediaeval streets and is open, quite frankly, when they feel like it. The tap lineup on the day was formidable: local specialities sat alongside Belgian gems from breweries such as Dupont and De La Senne and—somewhat unexpectedly—a couple of Scottish ales.
That barely left time to even look at the bottle menu, let alone the special menu, crammed with vintage Geuzes, aged Trappist ales and so forth. All in what is basically just a really nice little bar. I started with a L’Angelus au Froment from Brasserie Lepers.
This is technically a substitution, since the Annoeullin Pastor Ale doesn’t appear to have existed for quite some years. It’s a pretty obvious drop-in, though, identical in style and also brewed by the Lepers family. Information is scarce, but I suspect this may even be the same brewery, having simply moved a bit and changed its name. And the names of all of its beers.
L’Angelus is our third example of a Bière de Garde, the style of beer almost synonymous with the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region in which we’re currently sat.
Darker in colour than the 3 Monts, L’Angelus is noticeably sweeter and even a little sticky, whilst staying just the right side of cloying. There are noticeable honey notes and perhaps a little wheat. I don’t know if Belgian yeast is used, but this one seems more reminiscent of a Belgian blonde or amber beer, as opposed to displaying that lagery dryness that the 3 Monts had in spades.
I suspect this one would not work quite so well as a table beer as we found the 3 Monts did, instead being ideal for taking your time over and sipping in smallish quantities in a pleasant bar.
Which is terribly convenient, really. I remember enjoying this one a great deal, whilst managing a scandalously negligent smattering of useful tasting notes. I’m not sure that matters: sometimes it’s better to just enjoy a beer and the experience surrounding it. Stay tuned to see what else I found at La Capsule.
Facts and Figures
|Brasserie Lepers, La Chapelle-d’Armentières, France
|Bières de Garde
|La Capsule, Rue des Trois Molettes, Lille, France