Cartridge whales alert:
Council Brewing Co, land of 196 breweries
7% abv, barrel aged Biere de garde
If you just fell into the beer game in the last 9 months, you would probably think that a Biere de garde is a saison with some caramel malts and less acidity. The modern ticker doesn’t have the time to go hunt down a bottle of sans culottes or do some backtracking in the farmhouse game. That’s fine, I know there are sticky hefty adjunct stouts to drop singledigit reviews upon.
For the rest of us, the Biere de garde genre remains a largely underserved style that is constantly evolving, barrel aging making things all the more complex. This entry marks another in a style that is tough to pin down but remains ever intruiging.
The pour is a touch darker than most BdGs than I have seen, the carb billowing out with fury from that bottle conditioned cork. The nose doesn’t exhibit much fruit or acidity for that matter. It has a malty breadiness, a sort of wheat and sourdough, a touch of leather and caramel.
The taste begins with a sort of boring sweetness, fruit preserves and toast, then a dry earthy chanterelle mushroom and raked leaves. Then out of nowhere off of the top ropes, this fruity persimmon acidity saves the match and drops a tart elbow that couples with the earthy aspects nicely.
The mouthfeel is thin and bone dry, you can crush this 750ml while getting the shit kicked out of you by 9 year olds in Hardline.
This royal rumble is unlike any other Biere de gardes and pushes the earthiness envelope in the way that Herfst did back in 2011. Not every BdG can or should taste like Norma, and I welcome breweries trying new things while still staying somehow within the malleable style guidelines. That is one of those intuitive oddities in this genre, like obscenity, you can only identify what a BdG is when you taste it and this is decidedly memorable. The oak and rope makes this perfect for a cool autumn evening and the repease date in sweltering inland San Diego seems anomalous for spring. Silt and dry oak take center stage here without question. Most people will like it less as a result, but if you dig Brett c and that sort of copper finish, you’ll enjoy this riff on beers for saving.
Or go drink a Hennepin and talk blindly about how trading is stupid and unecessary, DRINK LOCAL, RESPECT BEER without qualification, and all that other antiquated ignorant shit. Put a Starter jacket on and complete that mid-90s look.