Of all the beers I saw during my first trip to Brussels (spring 2010) it was the canned Leffe Blondes that left the lasting impression.
The thought of that bespoke, classy, thick, abbey ale encased in the convenience of can was something of a conceit. However the pic I snapped of a fridge packed full of shining bronze cans remained frequently oogled on my phone long after I returned to the UK. My longing to try a Leffe Blonde from a can grew with each passing month….
It was not until this year’s Xmas trip with my girlfriend to her home town of Avignon that I finally got my mouth on a can of Leffe…
During a trip to a local pet-shop to assess the French Poms-Poms and Bubble-Eyes we were lucky enough divert to a large Auchan to peruse the beer section. My girlfriend’s Dad is obviously a fan of the blog as he bought me two cans of Leffe Blonde and another gift that will be profiled in an upcoming post. Much love to him for that ^^
We enjoyed the first can back at home however this article pertains to the can I enjoyed on the on the way back to the UK via TGV on the last day of 2010.
A quick aside about the TGV – the orange TGV was always the train I dreamed about adding to my model train-set as a kid. It was a mythical, futuristic, orange beast of train and I would still love a ride on one.
These days the old generation of TGV is still in service but unfortinately they have been repainted blue and grey which makes them look very mundane. I did see one of the classic orange models once at Gare de Lyon in 2009 but unfortunately it was not the train we were riding on.
Back to the beer (sort of)…what made this can of Leffe superb was that it was drunk at around 12 noon on the TGV accompanied by two home-made ham sandwiches and a pizza from the local pizzeria (thin-crust, cheesy, crispy, herb-y and an olive in the middle OMFG!). This was definitely my best travelling lunch of the year.
As my Belgian friend had explained a few weeks previously: Leffe has the most professional and effective marketing of any of the ‘Abbey Beers’ as they are backed by the massive InBev brewery.
I guess this is the reason why Leffe has the canned option – it’s easier for retailers to stock, cheaper to produce/package/distribute and there are scales of economy (InBev also can Stella and others beers as well).
There’s an open question of what canning it says about the Leffe brand going forward though…?
What I can confirm is that the taste of the canned Leffe is pretty much as good as the bottled variety – it’s got that same deliciously thick, smooth, syrupy taste. Obviously its feels a little cheaper and it’s a lot harder to get a nose full of the aroma through the tiny whole in the can. Also, it lacks the spectacle and theatre of pouring Leffe from the bottle. However for a perfect travelling picnic on the TGV I don’t think you can do much than a can of Leffe! Let’s hope they bring them to the UK soon.
Leady 247 ^^
(PS. If you haven’t got it already please try out Plants vs Zombies now it’s one of the best games every made. Graphics and music are simply fabulous and gameplay is FROM THE GODS).