The air is cool and the sun is setting, so I thought I’d have another beer this evening out on the deck. I got this beer a couple years ago at our beer club Christmas party. Someone brought this and the Schlafly glass I often use for the gift exchange. The bottle says, “Schlafly Biere De Garde is a bottle conditioned, French farmhouse style ale. The name refers to the beer’s ability to improve with age and if you choose to age this ale, the tart fruitiness from the yeast and the sweet maltiness from the grains will meld together nicely for several years at cellar temperatures. Brewed as a modern re-creation of a classic, European beer style to celebrate St. Louis’s French heritage, Schlafly Biere De Garde pairs well with fruits, cheeses, and cured meats. ”
Location: Poured into a large Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass at my home in Bloomington, IL.
Numbers: 7% ABV, 20 IBUs, 16.3 OG, 16 SRM, ~240 Calories
Numbers: Malt: Pale, Munich, Caravienne, Biscuit; Hops: Strisselspalt (FR), Marynka (PL); Yeast: French Farmhouse Ale
Appearance & Aroma: It’s copper-red in color and very clear (although hazy when the yeast cake was disturbed). There was a lot of carbonation in it, however, there was almost no head, just a thin layer of bubbles across the top. The aroma is earthy and a bit horse-blanket like.
Taste & Feel: The body is medium-to-full, and the mouth feel is smooth, and a little creamy. The flavors up front are fruity with a mix of apples, pears, and darker fruits. In the middle, the darker fruits come forward with some yeasty spiciness coming up quite a bit. The finish is a combination of fruitiness and spiciness with some farmhouse funk and spicy bitterness strong in the background. The dark fruits and spices last for a minute or two in the aftertaste.
Food Pairing: This beer has a good amount of fruitiness and spiciness. Therefore, I’d probably pair this with a lighter meat, such as pork tenderloin or chops.
Overall Impression: I don’t have a lot of experience with this style, and wasn’t sure how it would change over a couple years of refrigerator aging. It was a very unique beer, and I wasn’t expecting the level of fruitiness in this beer. The spiciness and farmhouse funk balanced it out a bit, but it reminded me almost of a spiced holiday beer. If I had this beer again, it would definitely be during the holidays. Overall, it was a different beer that id love to share with a friend next to a fire on a cold winter day.