Do You Know Cervoise?

“Yggdrasill” is a pretty funny name for a beer. The word is of Viking origin, meaning “ash tree” — the Tree of Life worshipped by the ancient northern European culture that has left many traces in Normandy, where this beer comes from. The Northmaen Ferme Brasserie de La Chapelle (La Chapelle-Saint-Ouen, France) produces beers of classical styles, and is notable for also producing old French cervoise.

Etymologically, cervoise means fermented beverage (in today’s Spanish, beer is cerveza). It was consumed during Antiquity and the Middle Ages. It uses what’s called a “Gruit” — an herb mixture, with no hops at all. Of course, the herb used categorically determines the particular flavour and taste of the varieties in the range.

This particular beer (5% ABV) is infused with ash-tree bark (the brewery also produces cervoise with hemp and nettle). There are savors of citrus, yeast, caramel and honey, but the bottle I opened was really acidic, to the point of deforming any valid opinion. The one thing I clearly tasted is that this beer is really juicy.