by Hop Nation USA's Adam
Lavery Brewing of Erie, Pennsylvania has created a beer that truly has me confused. Lavery’s Imperial French-Style Ale is a conundrum of a beer. The first thing that struck me was the nose of the beer versus the actual taste. To be honest, I have no idea what a French-Style ale is. Quite frankly, after drinking this beer, I still don’t know.
Upon popping open the 12 ounce bottle and pouring its contents into my trusty glass, I was 141 2/3
percent sure that this was going to be a tart offering by the olfactory attack this brew made. As a fan of
sours and goses, I had a mental image of the beer that lay ahead. Wrong. The first sip was a total
change in direction, with a citrusy and almost piney taste that was enjoyable, if unexpected. I guess the
best way I could describe this is if there was a combination of a hazy IPA with a Belgian trippel. In spite
of the 82 IBUs, the hops are not a bitter, over-riding addition, but rather a compliment to the rest of the
While I was trying to figure this beer, out, I had a chance to check over some of the vitals for this enigma
in a bottle. Lavery has not only created a beer that will make you think, but one that will ensure that
you’re sitting down after just one or two. This sneaky little beer will turn anyone that drinks it into a
babbling francophone in no time with its 11.5% ABV. I say sneaky because, despite its all over the place-
ness, this beer is quite drinkable. That may be in part because you have to keep trying it again and again
trying to figure what’s going on. Very clever, Lavery. I’m going to have to buy a six pack of this just to
pin your beer down.
All in all, if you like a complex beer, and don’t have anywhere to be for a while, grab an Imperial French-
Style Ale from Lavery Brewing and try and figure it out for yourself. And if you do, drop me a line and
tell me what’s going on. I still can’t figure this damn thing out.