Saturday, 14 March 2009

Luxembourg's secret is out...

Luxembourg is not famous for its beer, perhaps, but those in the know will have come across the eminently quaffable Bofferding, marketed as 'the secret of Luxembourg'. Its ad campaign (see below) is tremendous - and could teach UK brewers a thing or two; though it shows how deep even Bofferding's pockets are that they could get Saatchi & Saatchi to do it.

Bofferding is ubiquitous there - a pale session lager that is extremely clean finishing. Nothing special about it, but it is fine at what it does. The urbane and sophisticated young Luxembourger heads for the city, scoots for the relaxed Grund district and hops from bar to bar until the wallet is emptied or capacity reached (this being Luxembourg, of course, the former is unlikely to occur before the latter).

My favourite bar in the Grund is Aula Cafe (pictured) - where glasses of Bofferding can be seen off with a potent honey eau de vie secured from a local farm. It's small, shadowy and filled with relaxed young things; some so young they're ordering wine and coke - a peculiar concoction also loved in Spain, for some reason. The walls may once have been white - who knows? - but neither paint nor paper is necessary when smoke adheres to every surface and provides a dull, satisfying beige hue. When someone is drunk enough to believe they could be the next Duke Ellington, a key from the barman will unlock the piano and music spues out.

There are better Luxembourgish beers - Battin has a wonderful caramel look and is full of superb lagery malt and hop. Simon Pils and Simon Regal are fine efforts indeed (though Simon Presitge - with added Luxembourgish sparkling wine - is to be avoided at all costs).

But to shun Bofferding would be ridiculous. From teens who should know better to bankers who should definitely know better, a glass of this unifying brew is usually what's drunk. And that's not a bad thing.

No comments: