He is certain that Kronenbourg 1664 is the taste suprême. So certain that instead of simply answering that question by telling everyone, Eric Cantona threw down a challenge to us Brits. If 10,000 of us agreed with him, he promised to attempt to swim the Channel as a salute to our good taste. Once nearly half a million of us had viewed his YouTube announcement – it was inevitable. Le Big Swim was on.
And on 6 August he stepped into the Channel in a skin-tight tailored wetsuit complete with his trademark high collar (only a French- man can exude such style). It was like water off a duck’s back (literally), for ‘ooh ahh’ Cantona was smeared in Michelin-star quality duck fat courtesy of that other lovable French-English celebrity, chef Michel Roux Jnr.
Cantona then swam with all his might to.... a luxury yacht. He completed his challenge by swimming in the yacht’s heated deck-top pool while a three-piece band played the iconic theme tune from Chariots of Fire. And he kept swimming all the way to the White Cliffs with athletic prowess and savoir faire.
But while Cantona might have been swimming lengths rather than going to the extreme length of swimming all 21 miles in the choppy, cold waters of the Channel, he still had to spend several hours in the water; in the drink (so to speak) to prove his point about a drink.
So what is it about Kronenbourg 1664 that inspired Cantona to embark on such an elaborate stunt? For the answer, we have to go back a few centuries. The story begins in 1664 (yes, that’s what the numbers on the side of your pint mean), when master brewer Geronimus Hatt founded the first Kronenbourg brewery in Strasbourg, France.
Today – more than 350 years later – Kronenbourg 1664 is the number one French beer in the world. Its golden hues and delicate bitterness come from selecting the best hops of the Strisselspalt variety, viewed as the caviar of hops for their aromatic qualities.
These ingredients, combined with the knowhow of the master brewers, give Kronenbourg 1664 its distinctive, aromatic taste. Pouring a glass with its fine bubbles, hoppy aromas and rounded flavours is the perfect way to share a bit of French je ne sais quoi.
So that is why Cantona was saluting us Brits for recognising Kronenbourg 1664 as the most suprême tasting beer in the world – in an inimitable way that only he could pull off with such aplomb. Well, we salute him back for entertaining us so brilliantly. But thankfully we do not have to go as far as him to prove the point. Kronenbourgh 1664 is available perfectly chilled in all the best bars – and retail stores – so no need to squeeze into a wetsuit and head for Dover.