Brewery: Two Roads Brewing Co
Style: Biere de Garde
People ask me all the time about beer. IPAs, Stouts, Porters, Scotch Ales, Pale Ales, Saisons...
The question is, have you ever heard of a style:
Thaaaat's what I thought. Sit down, let's discuss.
Another style that is under-appreciated in my book is Bière de Garde or as Wikipedia translates, "Beer for Keeping". Originating from the Northern region of France, this beer was brewed in the Winter and Spring months to avoid any issues with the yeasts in the Summertime. The beer would be brewed, bottled and "kept" only to be enjoy later that year.
Keeping with the local theme, we head to Stratford, CT to visit the Two Roads Brewery. About a year or so ago, they opened their doors to potential contract brewers in addition to crafting beers of their own. They originally came out with 4 year-round releases that would appeal to the masses. A pilsner, saison, an ipa and a double ipa. They've also experimented with a few seasonal releases. Doppelbock, Maibock, Rye Imperial Stout, Pumpkin Ale, Black Ale, and most recently... the Holiday Ale, which is a Bière de Garde, or as they refer to it... a "Biere de Noel".
I poured this beer in my Oxbox snifter glass. Amber color with red hues glowed throughout. White/light tan pillowy, frothy head rested on top.
Sweet malty smells rose out of the glass... there's a very slight hint of caramel.
The taste... pretty on point with what I'm getting on the nose. More of the malty sweetness comes through. Notes of honey and biscuit. Light and toasty as well.
Medium bodied, slight cinnamon on the finish. It also coats the inside of your mouth a bit, leaving a sweet spicy taste.
This is a very safe beer... wait, let me rephrase... this is a very safe style. If you're the type of person that doesn't like IPAs or heavy stouts... If you're the kind of person that just wants a Sam Adams Winter Lager and be done with it... then this might be a good beer to try. It's a very sneaky 7.3%, mild spiciness, a little on the sweeter side, but again, not a barleywine "I'm going to get a cavity" sweet.
I have to be honest though. Personally... I don't think I'm a big fan of the style. When I go for a HOLIDAY beer... I want a bold coffee stout, a creamy porter, a hoppy ipa, a spicy winter warmer, or a boozy scotch ale/strong ale. I want something that is going to make me go - Wow. This beer... it's good. But it doesn't make me go - Wow. but not everyone is like me, either. I think it's definitely got a place at your holiday table. You could pair this with a lot of things - I had it with some toffee candies and that seemed to work real well!
You won't find this offering in 6pk... so head to your 22oz bomber aisle. And you won't break the bank on this either... I bought mine for around $6.
Kicking off the 2nd week... Beer411 Style. Your dice, KayTee.