Bière de Garde (literally ‘beer for keeping’) is a malt driven French style that shares a lot of DNA with Saison. This Gisborne brewed example has had a touch of ex-chardonnay oak, which I find can make a beer richer or (paradoxically) drier, depending on the condition of the wood and length of contact. Mellow toffee malt up front, then fruity and doughy yeast-derived esters follow: almost strawberry jam on scones. The palate has a firmer grip, with that chardonnay oak tannin drying out the rich malt and leaving the delicate fruit esters on display. A robustly bodied, but delicately flavoured beer that I can best describe as a Saison with a bit more grunt to it.
About The Author
Tim Newman is a A Wine and Spirits Education Trust graduate who has been gradually fermenting inside the Christchurch craft beer scene since it's primordial days. When the world of wine writing turned out to be a labyrinth of un-returned emails, he hopped the fence over to beer writing and reviewing and hasn't looked back. On an endless mission to taste the length and breadth of New Zealand craft brewing, and wrangle the most esoteric flavours into prose.
October 23, 2020
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December 4, 2021
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