I just had my first French biere de garde. I don’t often come across styles of beer that I haven’t sampled, so it is really quite a treat to when I do.
The beer was a present from my sister who lives in Abu Dhabi and writes an urban planning blog, but spent the holidays in France with my mom who brought the beer back. So thanks to both of you.
The biere de garde that I tried was Jenlain Ambree and it leaves me wanting more. I’m working from memory because I had this beer last night with some beer-connoiseur friends, but I’d generally describe this style as American ESB hopping and malt balance in an amber beer with fairly high carbonation.
Other resources suggest that there should be some farm-house flavours in bieres de garde, but I didn’t notice any.
Wyeast recommends pretty much every lager yeast for biere de garde style, but they also have a seasonal so I might have to start asking around and the local homebrew shop.
I was with company last night and didn’t think to harvest the yeast. Oh well, maybe I’ll learn from my mistakes.
According to various sources online, the blonde and brune versions of this style that are quite different from the ambree. The brune in particular supposedly uses fewer hops so I’d definitely like to get my hands on some other examples of this style. In the meantime, I think I’ll try making my own version of the ambree.