Biere de Garde Dog Needed

It’s happened more than once. I have a beer for review or that I am saving for something special. Then I have some people over and forget to put that beer away properly. Next thing you know someone is drinking that beer.

Garde Dog

That’s fine, I’ll get over it, except that it always seems to be someone who doesn’t particularly appreciate the nuances of fine beer. For example, I once had a bottle of Midas Touch in the fridge during a raging party. The next morning I found the full bottle sitting on a book shelf with the cap removed.

Clearly, someone had opened it expecting a lager or a pale ale – or at least something recognizable as beer. They probably tipped back a mouthful and had to restrain themselves from spitting it in the face of their conversation partner. “Eww! Chris drinks the worst stuff and calls it beer. I just don’t get it.”

So last weekend, as we were preparing to have some folks over, I moved a bottle of Garde Dog, the new biere de garde from Flying Dog, way to the back of the fridge thinking we’d never work our way through everything in front of it. Sure enough, my good friend Dave showed up toward the end of the party and he and I proceeded to stay up ’til 3am listening to records and working our way toward the back of the fridge.

“No! Shoot,” I blurted out before gaining control of my manners. Dave had the bottle of Garde Dog open in his hand before I realized what was happening. “Drat, well just let me have a taste of that before you drink it,” I suggested after explaining that I had received it from the brewery as a review bottle. So taste it I did, but notes I did not take, and the next day I couldn’t recall a thing about it.

During the next week I felt obliged to find a bottle of this beer so I could write a proper review of it but my efforts to locate a retailer proved fruitless. Tonight, however, I am enjoying a bottle of Saison Vos from Sly Fox brewing, which I picked up on Thursday while visiting a friend in Phoenixville, PA. Saison and biere de garde are closely related styles, the latter being brewed in northern France and the former in Wallonia, the French-speaking western region of Belgium.

Saison typically has a low floral hop presence, a malt accented middle with peppery spice and mild sourness, and a characteristically dry finish. Biere de garde is similar but has a rounder mouthfeel due to a higher sweetness and lack of spicing. Despite its name, the Sly Fox Saison might be better described as a biere de garde or even a Belgian style strong golden ale, with its 6.9% ABV putting it at the very top of the saison range, perhaps due to an addition of candy sugar. Delicious no matter how it is classified.

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9 Responses to Biere de Garde Dog Needed

  1. Neal says:

    Chris-

    No worries – we’ll send you another one.

    Neal Stewart
    Director of Marketing
    Flying Dog

  2. beeractivist says:

    Neal,

    You rock.

    Chris

  3. Mr. Joel says:

    Sounds like you need a guard dog for your Garde Dog, Chris. Probably there’s a need for a commercial product that looks cool (CapsLock™?), but until capitalism catches up, might I suggest a square of duct tape over the cap of any important bottle? That should give pause to all but the most hammered guest.

  4. Larko says:

    Are you not actually asking for it? Keeping those important bottles in the same fridge with stuff intended to be consumed can not be a good idea at all. The people who do this probably never understand what they did but you certainly understood that this might happen.

    That said, you have my sympathy. 🙂

  5. Seth Feldman says:

    My understanding is that there are two kinds of Biere de Garde. The pale kind that you noted is similar to Saison but sweeter…and an amber to brown kind that tends to be more on the malty, toasty side. A good example of the latter is Two Brothers’ French Country Ale…I’m not sure they distribute to you though.

  6. beeractivist says:

    Seems I am not alone in this experience!

    Mr. Joel – I think you caught the pun I was trying (perhaps unsuccessfully) to make about needing a guard dog for beer. The duct tape is a good idea!

    Larko – Yeah, I was asking for it. I knew I was asking for it and yet I still did it anyway. Serves me right. It’s happened enough now that I really ought to know better.

    Cheers,
    Chris

  7. beeractivist says:

    Seth – Yeah, you’re definitely right, there are amber-brown versions too. I’ll be in Chicago in June so I’ll have to put Two Brothers on my list of beers to try while I’m there!

  8. Seth Feldman says:

    Chris,

    Let me know if you need a bar recommendations…drinking in Chicago in June can be a great experience if spring is still floating around, or hell, even if summer is already upon us.

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