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@hillfarmstead Biere de Norma BATCH 3: Garde’ing That Northern France Swagger By Way of Vermont

You might remember waaaayyyyy back in 2012, I reviewed the first batch of norma, that 180 bottle pre-Ann baller

AND THEN

I opened a batch 2 Normaa and was all pussy hurt because it wasn’t as lactic or tasty as b1. It toed the traditional BdG style guidelines and that isn’t necessarily my go to stroke material for that realm of beers.

BUT THEN FUCKING BATCH THREE CAME OUT

That top-down lighting makes everything look turbid.

That top-down lighting makes everything look turbid.

So what the fuck is happening with old Norma these days? Well it is much of a Goldilocks approach, more tart than b2, but more akin to traditional Biere de Gardes than that puckering b1. If b1 is cuddling up close to the AWA section and b2 was laying in bed with Northern French BdG’s, then b3 is somewhere in between, hanging down from the top bunk breathing hard and making both feel uncomfortable.

I still prefer batch 1, but this is a vast improvement over b2, and one of the most unique entries in the HF catalog of top tier saisons. It is not quite the acidic american wild that most bitch tickers favor these days, but it isn’t the earthy metallic biere de garde you might be expecting. Awesome cherry, red grape and merlot oak interplay with a beer that is highly drinkable without fucking your gumline like a Flanders Red. One of the best examples in the underserved BdG realm, certainly.

This is an old style but Vermont is keepin it sexy.

This is an old style but Vermont is keepin it sexy.

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Drie Fountenein Schaerksbaek Kriek, Just Try Pronouncing That Without Sounding Like a Beer DBag (BDB)

You’ve been to the bottle shop. You’ve seen this Belgian treat for $39.99 and you’ve always wondered if you’re worth it. Let’s pop your Sch. cherry in today’s review. You are worth it to me.

Get ready for some face melting, and I don’t mean from cat dander.

Drie Fountenein Schaerksbaek Kriek
6% abv, kriek, no shit.

A: It glows a transparent crimson hue with magenta notes at the edges. The middle carbonation is unparalleled. It looks like a red champagne, but more refined and people actually buy this. No lacing, no stickiness, just cherry sticky shurikens cast pell mell.

Poured a radioactive cherry beer, my face was like-

S: There is an intense drying of cherry skins and cabernet tannins. It feels a bit vaporous but fulfilling. It smells really dirty, like a cherry locker room, where they engage in all their tawdry cherry muskiness. You know the type, the movies are under your bed as we speak.

T: It just infiltrates and the cherry is clearly the hostage in this drying, hostile currant raid. It is incredibly crisp and it empties the vault of your palate and smashes the glass case within your bitter zones and imparts a mild hopiness that is almost imperceptible to the incredible acidity left behind. It hurts my tum tum, but it tastes like burning in a good way.

Feel that acidity light up your chest, embrace the GI problems.

M: It feels like I am being worked over by the cherry mafia, It is crisp and amazing for a moment, then I feel my gum line recede when the incredible acidic flavors impart their magic. It is worth it. Each swallow is crisp like champagne and beckons for more.

D: This is incredibly drinkable if you have a fortitude for incredibly tart hectoring. I could merk bomber after bomber, but I am not of the everyman opinion. Most will give this an offputting vinegar rating and complain about the tartness while I am shooting it all over my chest like a victorious Nascar entrant. That’s how I roll in the kriek.

Feed lambics to 95 lbs girls, observe results.

Narrative: “I love this Farmer’s Market, but I LOVE YOUR CHERRIES MOST OF ALL FARMER JOB!” he smiled wryly and handed the customer her 2 lbs of organic cherries. “I would KILL for these cherries on the east coast!” She turned on her heel and Farmer Job exhaled “she doesn’t know old boy, take a breather, relax.” He pushed past the back curtain into his back lab. The truth was that his entire cherry empire was fueled on the blood of felled cherry trees. He looked at their mangled forms, bleeding out, their saccharine juices imparting life to his super cherries. “Soon, soon my grafts will impart tartness beyond belief.” “BUT HOW MANY TREES MUST GIVE THEIR LIVES FOR YOU GOALS!” an apparition called from his potted apothecary. Farmer Job fell to his knees not unlike the character whom his name is unabashedly derived. “OH GARDENING TENANTS! WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME SO!” At that moment, the most succulent cherry blossom opened in his face. It was at those times that Farmer Job was the weakest, that there was one set of footprints in the cherry soil that the super cherries carried him.