I wrote recently about the Biêre de Garde I made and described it as a French style farmhouse ale. It uses only a small amount of hops – specifically first wort hops – and has a light flavor. This is definitely a summertime beer. The only thing I don’t like about it is that I waited too long to keg it and now the hot days of summer are gone. This would have been the perfect beer for sitting on the balcony with Beautiful Fiancée, taking in the evening hum of Washington, DC traffic from our urban, soulless, high-rise love nest.
It simply doesn’t get much better than that, at least in DC.
Back to the beer. It is a light-flavored beer, to be sure, but is definitely not akin to the American light lagers all of us who are homebrewers pretty much detest. Like I said, it has a light flavor, but the flavor is there. This is a good sipping beer, and one that is sure to spawn great conversation. It is not fancy but everything is there. It does not skimp nor does it elaborate. It seems like an honest beer, like you get what you expect. Nothing exciting, but a good, solid beer.
This brew used Wyeast’s Biêre de Garde yeast, which is a special strain, not always available. The kit came from Northern Brewer, and I suspect they may have discontinued this one until next summer. However, you can probably approximate it by using another high-temperature ale yeast. I recommend just waiting until next year, though, when you can get the real thing again.