fraîcheur (bière)

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by Kelly B, Oct 19, 2007.

  1. Kelly B

    Kelly B Senior Member

    USA English
    Think quickly! I'm looking for your first impression of this fragment: fraîcheur de la bière...

    Do you think first of its coolness/coldness (temperature), or its freshness (how recently it has been made, whether it has been stored properly....)?

    I've got a bunch of fragments that use the word, some of which really seem to emphasize the idea that it's cold, while others seem to emphasize the idea that it's fresh. What's your first impression, or how would you use the word yourself?

  2. xtrasystole

    xtrasystole Senior Member

    To me, the expression refers to the beer's temperature only.
  3. Padraig Senior Member

    Hiberno-English, Irish Gaelic
    Same here.

    Coolness rather than coldness.
  4. Xanthius

    Xanthius Senior Member

    I'm not native, but I would think of its temperature myself.
  5. wildan1

    wildan1 Moderando ma non troppo (French-English, CC Mod)

    OK, but that leaves me confused, just like Kelly B.

    If la fraîcheur de la bière refers to its being chilled, how then would you say "the beer's freshness"? (i.e., it was just made and it's not old and stale)
  6. Nil-the-Frogg

    Nil-the-Frogg Senior Member

    Français (France)
    Well, I actually think of both. :rolleyes:
  7. xtrasystole

    xtrasystole Senior Member


    In the first place, I would say that we happen to speak much less often about a beer's freshness than about its coolness/coldness. So, 'la bière n'est pas fraîche' / 'la bière n'est pas assez fraîche' nearly always refers to its temperature.

    However, if I had to speak about a beer's freshness, I would use other unequivocal constructions like 'une bière fraîchement brassée', 'une bière fraîchement tirée'.

    At any rate, the terms 'fraîcheur' / 'frais', can sound deliciously paradoxical, as in
    "J'ai fait du café frais. Tu en veux ? Il est tout chaud"

    "Je viens d'acheter du pain frais à la boulangerie. Il est tout chaud"
  8. wildan1

    wildan1 Moderando ma non troppo (French-English, CC Mod)

    Thanks for the explanations, xtrasystole. Hmm, maybe this is cultural.

    From an AE perspective, beer is always served cold (unlike the UK). So the "default" temperature is cold. You would only talk about that aspect if (gasp) someone served you warm or lukewarm beer. BTW, it's a shock for Americans the first time they drink beer in a British pub!

    However, people do care about how fresh their beer is. And of course, "fresh" only means "recent" in AE. There is no double meaning to the word, unlike French and even BE (BE "fresh" weather = AE chilly weather)
  9. xtrasystole

    xtrasystole Senior Member

    Thanks for your explanations too, wildan. This is probably the most interesting thread of today :)
  10. wildan1

    wildan1 Moderando ma non troppo (French-English, CC Mod)

    Friday night and just home from work here--Time to "pop a frosty" (open a nice, cold beer)!

  11. Kelly B

    Kelly B Senior Member

    USA English
    Santé, Wildan1, messieurs -dames...

    That's pretty much what I expected, but confirmation is very helpful; it was further complicated by the fact that beer drinkers from Québec are influenced by American cultural expectations for a fresh, cold beer and the fact that they, like Nil-the-Frogg, can conveniently combine that thought into a single word. I'm a little jealous.
  12. tilt

    tilt Senior Member

    Nord-Isère, France
    French French
    Nil is right, it could means both, but I don't remember I had to care about beer freshness one day.
    So the expression makes me think of coolness only.
  13. Cath.S.

    Cath.S. Senior Member

    Bretagne, France
    français de France
    If the beer weren't fresh (if it were old), I don't think we'd use the word fraîche, we'd say
    elle est éventée / plate,
    not elle n'est pas fraîche.
  14. Nicomon

    Nicomon Senior Member

    Français, Québec ♀
    I agree. To me une bière (bien) fraîche also rings with coolness. And the cooler the better.

    Pour un québécois une bière pas fraîche (tiède, à la température de la pièce) est une bière tablette.

  15. xtrasystole

    xtrasystole Senior Member

    'Frette'? Is that "le frigo"? (fridge)
  16. Nicomon

    Nicomon Senior Member

    Français, Québec ♀
    Antidote tells me that « frette » or rather « fret » is sometimes used in France to refer to the fridge... but I don't know how accurate that is.

    For a Quebecer, frette = very cold as in these examples:
    Donc dans l'ordre... frais, froid, frette. Certains disent une petite frette en parlant d'une bière bien fraîche.
  17. KaRiNe_Fr

    KaRiNe_Fr Senior Member

    France, Provence
    Français, French - France
    Salut Kelly B,

    Je pense aussi plutôt à sa température. Dans mes contrées, c'est important. Une bière peut se réchauffer entre le moment où elle est tirée au comptoir et le moment où elle arrive sur la table de la terrasse du café. L'été, quand il fait bien chaud, ça arrive plus souvent qu'on ne le voudrait. ;)
    « Une p'tite mousse bien fraîche, sinon c'est du pipi d'chat ! »

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