Larine Grand Belgie: Mystery Beer

I don’t know what attracted me to this one.  Could it be the screwtop plastic bottle?  16.9 oz. for 99 cents?  Whatever it was, it seems to have an unusual backstory, which I’m not sure I’ve figured out.  The label goes like this in descriptive bibli/beerbliography:  3.75″ high x 3″ wide oval with gilt border contains repeating olive branch pattern.  LARINE in white on black field beneath gilt crown-wearing, , googly-eyed, smiling beer barrel barley sheath logo | Red banner on sligh arc across label with GRAN in white, gold rules above and below | Belgie, in black, yellow and black script | PREMIUM BELGIUM BEER on arc | ALC. 5.0% BY VOL. 1 PINT .9 FL OZ.  (that was for you, Ed Valauskas)  The back label was covered by a sticker that mentions the sole US importer is the spirit group and that the beer was made my Martens in Belgium, don’t operate machinery and drink beer, etc.  When I removed that label, I found it had been adhered to a label printed in cyrillic charachters, none of which I can understand.  Why did this beer go from Belgium to Bulgaria (my guess – the store I purchased if from is run by Bulgarians and they do have a decent selection of beers from slavic nations) to Darien, Illinois?

Anyway, it was pretty good.  Medium gold in color, Grand has a sufficient tannish head and lively carbonation.  The bouquet is well balanced.  Nice texture, medium-bodied, smooth and sweet with a hint of berry and then a dry finish.  Plenty of lacing, too.  There’s a lot more to it than Stella, that’s for sure.

Next time you’re in the Bulgarian market, look for M1

 The back label, cyrillic, in reverse

The back label, cyrillic, in reverse

Garamd Latrine Ben-Gay, or whatever the hell it is.

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