To Garde is to keep or to store - maturation at low temperatures (lagering). Historically brewed post-harvest to be enjoyed the following year. Not a French expression of Saison, but shared heritage. Three sub-styles: blonde, amber, and brown. Traditionally brewed in the departments Nord and Pas-de-Calais is Northern France. Seemingly disappeared from commercial production during the wars. ▪ What Is Bière de Garde?
to capitalise on interest in Belgian speciality beers amongst students in Lille. Can be difficult to find examples but are available from specialist bottle shops - or a road trip to Calais! Related styles include Bière de Printemps (Spring Beer, aka Bière de Mars) and Bière de Noël (Christmas Beer). Historical versions would likely have had some character from lactic acid bacteria and/or brettanomyces, but these are not appropriate for the modern interpretation. ▪ What Is Bière de Garde?
Blonde & Amber) Les Brasseurs de Gayant (La Goudale) Thiriez (d’Esquelbecq Blonde & Amber) St. Sylvestre (Trois Monts, La Gavroche) La Choulette (Blonde, Sans Culottes, Amber) St. Germain (Page 24 Amber) Au Baron (Cuvée des Jonquilles)
- 6-8.5% IBU - 18-28 Colour (SRM) - 6-19 Carbonation - 2.4-3.2 Volumes. Typically brewed with French or Belgian malts, Alsace-grown hops, and local water (typically hard - chalky area). It is a malt-forward style, with characteristic toasty and slightly sweet malt aromas and flavours. Hops are typically muted but may be more apparent in paler versions. Can be fermented with either an ale yeast (at cooler end) or a lager yeast (at higher end) but yeast characteristics are typically muted. Maturation/lagering is typically between 4-6 weeks. ▪ Brewing Bière de Garde Overview
80-90% Pilsner and 10-30% Munich or Vienna. May include small percentages of specialty malts to help achieve a toasted character. Amber - There are two approaches to grist selection. Markowski terms these the traditional (majority pilsner, small amount of black malt, and a long (3+ hours) boil to achieve colour and deep malt flavour; and the modern (use of speciality malts to achieve the same effect). Brown - Grist of 45% Pilsner, 45% Munich, 5% Crystal, 5% Special B, and a touch of Carafa Special for colour. ▪ Brewing Bière de Garde Malt
so German hops such as Hallertaur & Saaz; English hops such as EKG & Fuggles; or Slovenian hops such Styrian Goldings are also suitable. Anything which is floral, herbal, or spicy should work well. Generally only a bittering and perhaps a flavour addition at around 30 minutes required. IBU:GU ration in region of 0.3-0.4. May be some more hop aroma in Blondes and Bière de Printemps. ▪ Brewing Bière de Garde Hops
vault/platinum releases so not available year-round. Good substitutions are WLP011 (European Ale), Kölsch, or Altbier Strains. Saison yeasts are generally not appropriate. Despite the name WY3725 (Bière de Garde) is thought to be from Brasserie Fantôme, so would not recommend. Phenols are not common, and esters are generally muted (fruity esters low-medium intensity). Fermentation followed by a period of lagering for 4+ weeks. ▪ Brewing Bière de Garde Yeast
Champagne-style bottles, corked, and bottle conditioned. Some haze is therefore acceptable. Works well in keg. Earlier BJCP Guidelines included reference to musty, cellared, or corked aromas and flavours as being desirable to the style. These have now been recognised as a fault due to handling issues or length of time it took examples to reach US audience. ▪ Brewing Bière de Garde Packaging
Tradition (Boulder, Colorado: Brewers Publications, 2004). Mean Brews, 24C - Biere De Garde, (www.meanbrews.com/downloads). Garratt Oliver, The Oxford Companion to Beer (New York: The Oxford Press, 2011). Josh Weikert, Beer & Brewing. Make Your Best Brown Bière de Garde. (www.beerandbrewing.com). ▪ Resources