Friday, November 04, 2005


Bière de garde (or not)

Bières de garde (or beers to keep) are France's unique contribution to beer culture. Labelled as such (at least according to Ratebeer) was also Hommelpap by the microbrewery Ferme Beck in Northern France.

Maybe the beer is somewhat inspired by the renowned Poperings Hommelbier from just across the border by Van Eecke. Anyway, the presentation is one of the best around with the label taking the shape of a hop cone. I had certainly enjoyed the beer at a beer festival in the small town of Temse, Oost-Vlaanderen (East Flanders) earlier this autumn.

But, as you can see from my Ratebeer review, I wasn't too pleased with what poured out the grand bottle:

"Strangely unpleasant wet dog aroma with some orange peel in the background. Sweet malty flavours balanced by harsh bitterness. Notes of orange peel. Below average carbonation, texture is rather thin."

Indeed, the whole style of bière de garde seems to be watered out, not least by the French themselves. According to one French beer merchant any beer from the region of Nord-Pas-de-Calais could pass as a bière de garde. As most of them are bottle-conditioned and thus should keep well, this is plausible enough. However, I believe most beer enthusiasts expect to meet a musty, cellar-like aroma when they open a bière de garde, like for instance the magnificent Milliacus Ambrée.

Let's hope that the beer style biére de garde keeps better than this Hommelpap...

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?