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Old 03-16-2012, 05:09 PM   #11
shoreman
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Biere de Garde seems to be a very misunderstood style - it's basically a malty lager with a little cellar character from corked bottles - not "Belgian" phenols at all.

If you can get Jenlain in your area check it out.

Also check out Phil Markowski's book - Farmhouse ales - bet book out there on the style.
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Old 03-27-2012, 09:25 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shoreman
Biere de Garde seems to be a very misunderstood style - it's basically a malty lager with a little cellar character from corked bottles - not "Belgian" phenols at all.

If you can get Jenlain in your area check it out.

Also check out Phil Markowski's book - Farmhouse ales - bet book out there on the style.
I've only had one Jenlain Biere de Garde (Jenlain Or) which definitely has some Belgian phenolic character (and a pleasant mineral-ly quality), as have the half a dozen different St. Sylvestre ones I've had. Granted, it is far more subdued than just about anything else from Belgian (and having read the book you mentioned, I know many breweries just use lager yeasts borrowed from larger nearby breweries), but I think it's inaccurate to suggest it's non-existent. In addition, breweries seem just as likely to ferment warm with lager yeasts as they are to ferment cool with ale yeasts - both of which are responsible for a subtle-yet-unquestionably-present yeast character (primarily phenolic IME) - so calling it "basically a malty lager" is definitely oversimplifying it (to put it nicely). It's undoubtedly a malt-forward style, but if one wants to avoid grouping it with other ales, even labeling it as a hybrid does a lot more to help people understand Bieres de Garde.

I read a lot about the style before ever having tried one, and the recipes I put together based on my research went for a pretty neutral yeast character, as everything I read, even the best sources, and said similar to you. It was a big "d'oh" moment when I finally got my hands on the examples of the style - I'm usually pretty close to real examples even if it's just based on a ton of reading, but not this time. It's become clear though that educated comments about the BdG's neutral yeast character are merely talking about it in a relative sense. To ignore it entirely is just as bad as overstating it, IMO.
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Old 03-27-2012, 02:47 PM   #13
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Sounds good - I'm just going on personal experience - alot of people I talk to think that BDGarde has Belgian yeast character - but it really doesn't. White Labs European Ale and corked 750s would probably be the situation for a home brewer.
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Old 08-24-2012, 11:28 PM   #14
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I know this is a bit of an older thread, but our homebrew club did a 55 gallon batch of this style, and it is $#@ing phenomenal. The one I just drank is VERY young for this style (brewed 7/12/12, bottled 8/10/12), but after knocking out some of my 'to-brew' list, I'm going to experiment with this style quite a bit. Oddly, we used a commercial yeast from a local belgian-inspired brewer (Brewer's Art) that they use for, amongst others, their signature dubbel beer (Resurrection). Ours was closest to the 'ambre' color, as we had about 10% munich (asked our club prez for the recipe, and will post).

The hallertau gives it a nice moderately spicy character, but this beer is huge and complex on malt....while all the while having a subtle lingering bitterness that comes through in a bone dry finish. Again, this beer, though not HUGE in alcohol (~7.1%) will likely benefit from 6-12 months of cellaring.

I think one of the keys to this beer was the fermentation schedule Jamil recommended in his recipe. 66 (I think) until it slows, then raise it 1 degree per day until it reaches 72. It will be interesting to taste some of the other members' batches who didn't control temp. Resurrection yeast, while obviously not the same as french ale/BDG yeast, supposedly had very similar characteristics, providing some herbal notes at lower fermentation temperatures in lieu of esters, its a monster attenuator, and flocculated very well, even in 1.5 weeks.

In any event, if anyone has any references on this style, I would love to read more about it (I must take credit as it was my idea to brew this for our club). Very balanced, interesting, drinkable beer that really suits my tastes (and, according to Garrett Oliver, one of the best beers with food, next to his favorite, saison, of course). I'm lobbying to brew the recipe again and do a vertical tasting in a year.

It would be a great style to experiment with Brett/Pedio, or wood aging. The only commercial examples I've had have been Flying Dog's Garde Dog (which doesn't seem to be a great rep of the style, according to the Almighty BeerAdvocate), and Biere de Mars by New Belgium. I thought the latter was great, though some say it fits more in the 'wild ale' category.

Personally, I'm going to try to make a blonde version of the style, with a bit of a cleaner malt character (maybe some victory or other bready pale malts) that allow the herbal notes to jump out a little more.

Vive la biere-
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Old 10-09-2012, 05:24 PM   #15
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Edit: biere de mars is actually a separate style, though not recognized as a separate style in BJCP. This was the last beer they brewed before the warm season started (mars=march en francais).
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:44 PM   #16
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I just won a 2nd place with this recipe. I also soured 5 gallons of this beer that is tasting fantastic in the carboy right now. In addition to that I did 1 gallon on 100% Brett Drie, whoa that is a beautiful beer.

Great recipe!
Thanks. Here's what I did for my 11 gallons of this beer.
http://dankbrewingcompany.blogspot.c...e-bier-de.html
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:45 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nppeders View Post
I just won a 2nd place with this recipe. I also soured 5 gallons of this beer that is tasting fantastic in the carboy right now. In addition to that I did 1 gallon on 100% Brett Drie, whoa that is a beautiful beer.

Great recipe!
Thanks. Here's what I did for my 11 gallons of this beer.
http://dankbrewingcompany.blogspot.c...e-bier-de.html
The judges noted that the hops bitterness was a little high for the style, but that's just being nit picky.
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Old 12-06-2012, 04:15 AM   #18
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Any beer porn? I'd be curious to see the color of a truly blonde bdg...
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Old 04-22-2015, 04:31 PM   #19
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Subscribed. Thinking of brewing a Biere de Garde soon. It seems to be a very rare style. I've only had one, made by Schlafly, so it may not have been an accurate representation, but damn it was good. I am on the hunt for others. The descriptions of this style I have read sound delicious
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