“Bwhat de What”, you ask? Bière de garde is a French farmhouse ale (or saison). Literally, it means “beer for keeping”, or beer you would cellar for a time before drinking.Rather than continue producing saisons that are dry as a bone and so light and quaffable you wanna stick a straw in it, we’re moving to more fall-like beer in our brewing rotation. While bière de garde is traditionally drunk in the summer, I’ve always felt it’s dry, complex maltiness was most enjoyable with crisp air and fading sunlight. We’ve sat on this guy for a month and a half and he’s primed and ready to go.
We used a pilsner malt base along with munich malts and some rich caramel malts to bring a little raisiny toastiness to the backbone. If any of you are familiar with Fantȏme, you will recognize a very unique yeast characteristic in our bière de garde. While nobody professionally admits that the strain we used comes from their brewery, they do say it comes from Soy, Belgium, and well, Fantȏme is the only brewery there. Though bière de garde is French and not Belgian, it is northern French, and this yeast is perfect for this beer. It makes a little room for initial malt sweetness, but dries out well on the finish and brings subtle wine-like esters, no Belgian spiciness, with a touch of cellary funk (not to be confused with celery funk, which isn’t a thing, though maybe it should be a style of music). With mild alcoholic heat of an 8.2% beer, this number is perfect for an early fall evening. If you like the more subtle, graceful sour beers, this one might toot your horn. While it isn’t soured, per se, this is a far cry from our dry and hoppy beers. Come and try it out!