Wet Wednesday - From Across the Pond Version

This is a first for me, a Wet Wednesday post. I wish it was due to a more momentous libation, but it just so happens I'd like to tell you about one of my favorite beers to drink. Good ol' Kronenbourg 1664, one of the few non-vine beverages out there that can legitimately claim to be good and French.

I recently returned to Kronenbourg's homeland, after spending 3 years in San Francisco frantically searching the microbrew/imported shelves whenever I wanted a pull from a 1664. My, how times have changed. If you are a French bar and you don't have Kro on tap, then - mon ami - you just aren't trying hard enough. The stuff is everywhere...and did I mention it's ON TAP?? In the City, a Kronenbourg was an occasion (usually shared with my fellow Franco-beer-ophiles Matt and Paul). Here? It's a Tuesday night in Montparnasse. And you know what? I'm not sure that one is better than the other.

Over there, I savored the crispness and clean finish, always wondering when I'd next be willing to commit to a 6-pack (they were only sold in 6-packs). Here, I still appreciate that it doesn't leave a wheaty or hoppy aftertaste later that night or the next morning. And I love that it can be the go-to choice no matter where I go. Reconnecting with my Frenchness has been as much about defaulting to 1664 as it has been about looking forward to 5 weeks of guaranteed vacation and protesting in solidarity (if not philosophical support) of those condemning the raising of the retirement age to 62.

Vive la France. And Vive Kronenbourg 1664 on tap.


  1. Raising the retirement age TO 62? What is it currently at? Social Security (back here in the good ol' U.S. of A.) is in trouble in a big part because people are living much longer and Social Security was not set up to be capable of supporting much of the population 20 years, much less 30 or 40 years. I might fly over just to join the anti-protesters.

    Now that I have that out of the way. How would you describe Kronenbourg 1664 to someone who has never tried it? Could you compare it to Stella Artois or Heineken?

  2. We need a whole series of "From Across the Pond" versions.

  3. The retirement age is currently at 60, with full benefits allowed at 65. The law causing controversy will raise the minimum retirement age to 62, with full benefits allowed at 67. The argument I keep close to my chest in political discussions is the same as yours: the French are living longer than they were when these laws were first passed (even than in 1983, when the retirement age came to its current point). They are living significantly longer than their counterparts in the US, putting an unanticipated strain on the pension system.

    But anyway...I'm much more familiar with Stella (which became my draft of choice by the time I left the US) than I am with Heineken (can't remember the last time I had one). I would say Kro drinks like the younger, less mature brother of Stella. Stella has a depth that I think is missing from 1664, but they are both very easy to drink. Anticipate at least 2 or 3 for your normal soccer match.

  4. K-64 (as I think it should be called from here on out) didn't do much for me when I was there this past summer. It wasn't bad, but it didn't knock it out of the park either. It was just there.

  5. I want to say that is my general opinion of Stella Artois...just there.