Reviews, Commentary and Opinions on Midwest Craft Beer and Microbreweries


Beer Reviews

La Femme Amére

Tyranena Brewing Company
Lake Mills, WI

Style: India Pale Ale (IPA)

Eddie’s Rating:
one beerone beerone beerone beerone beer   (Recommended)

Yet another Belgian-IPA hybrid, this one from Lake Mills, Wisconsin’s Tyranena, La Femme Amére (the bitter woman for those of you non-frog speaking folks out there) named so because this is a “Wisconsin Belgique-style India pale ale” based on Tyranena’s “original” IPA, Bitter Woman.

(Frankly, I think using the French translation of the beer name was a bit of a cop-out, since it would’ve been cooler to use the Flemish term for “bitter woman.” Then again, there aren’t any free Flemish-to-English translation sites out there on the interwebs.)

A short, fizzy head disappears within a few seconds on top of a crystal clear, yellowish red pour. Two big aromas twist out of my trusty Tripel Karmeliet tulip glass, dueling back and forth: spicy Belgian yeast phenols and citrusy American hops. Weird, it seems I can only pick one of them out at a time, without any melding of the two going on.

The sip starts with a surprisingly heavy body alongside a shot of bitterness. Sugar-tinged spiciness cuts some of the harshness out of that bitterness, paving the way for a medium-length, flowery finish.

Although La Femme Amére is certainly tasty, the Bitter Woman bitterness and Belgian yeast character don’t play all that well together, as it seemed each flavor was trying to win over the tastebuds instead of working together to create a new taste altogether. Definitely worth a try to see if it’s more up your alley, and even though I plan on grabbing another couple four packs for the fridge, there are (admittedly only a handful) more interesting Belgian IPA brews out there.

Reviewed by Eddie Glick on June 30, 2010.
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