Super excited to come by this little gem for 3 reasons. 1: I have no experience with Biere De Garde style what so ever and it sounds brilliant. 2: it’s by Renaissance, who are one of the great power houses of New Zealand craft beer. 3: it’s aged in Chardonnay and Gewürztraminer barrels, two cracking styles that I really enjoy… What’s not to love??
A bit of background first on Biere de Garde as I have never heard of it and thought I would investigate. Biere de Garde literally translates to ‘beer to keep’ and was often used as payment for farmhands in France. Originally brewed in farmhouses during winter and spring to avoid unusual yeast reactions, it was designed to be refreshing but at the same time be able to lay down to age.
Well, that’s the end of my educational segment! let’s drink this thing and forget what me learnt…
Style: Biere de Garde
A deep, dark copper orange with white/ off white head.
On The Nose:
Some serious funk going on here! A fantastic vinous character with juicy orange, light tropical fruit notes, honey and a great biscuity note with a touch of sweet spice in the finish. I’m also getting a bit of the oak and butteriness from the chardy barrel ageing, really well rounded.
Lots of sweet malt in here with the barrel ageing really shining through. Getting lots of oak and typical chardy/ gewerzt notes: stone fruits and juicy citrus contributing to the delicate acidity, honey, biscuit and dried/ cooked jammy fruit notes all balanced out with a dry, leathery finish.
Ooo la la…. This beer is delicious. Extremely well balanced and actually quite refreshing. It weaves sweetness, bitterness, acidity and a fantastic dryness all together with finesse. The real stand out for me though is the barrel ageing in the chardy and gewerzt barrels. The vinous character absolutely shines with the malt profile, balancing the sweetness of the malt with the acidity of the wine from barrel ageing. Out of this world…