Thursday, July 8, 2010

France - Biere De Garde

It's time for France, a country that offers up nearly endless brasseries to choose from to feature.  I haven't featured any French beers in this corner of the internet, but I've tried and reviewed plenty, including staples like Kronenbourg and Fischer Amber as well as some of the lesser-known brews like Gavroche and the Brasserie Thiriez Biere De Noel.  For this one though, rather than feature a specific beer, I figured I'd feature a style of beer that originated in France, the Biere De Garde.
This translates into "keeping beer" as it was meant to be cellared for several seasons before drinking.  Before the days of temperature control yeast would react differently in the summertime so the beers would be brewed in the winter and spring to be cellared and drank during the hotter months.  The style is characterized as a blend between French and Belgian beers, but really the line between some of those styles is quite blurred.  The bieres de garde are intended to have a noble hop profile, but well balanced with malts on the aroma and tongue.  There are usually hints of fruit and spices as well, and they tend to be stronger than average in the alcohol content.  I have enjoyed the few from this style that I've tried so far, including Gavroche, which should be able to be found in Baton Rouge stores.

So next time you see 'Biere De Garde' on the label, don't be afraid to give it a try... you're probably going to like what you find, because unlike their 2010 World Cup campaign, the French got this one right.



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