In episode 220 of the Hop Cast, Brad Chmielewski and Ken Hunnemeder venture away from American craft beer for a moment and open two Bière de Gardes; one from France and the other from Belgium. First up is the Cuvée Des Jonquilles from Brasserie Bailleux in France. This 7.0 % ABV Bière de Garde is fantastic and might leave you running towards this style to stock up. Next Brad and Ken open the Bière De Belœil from Brasserie Dupont in Belgium, it packs a little more of a punch at 8.5%.
The Bière de Garde is an interesting style of beer that can be difficult to define. Bière de Garde is french for "Beer for keeping". These beers were originally brewed in french farmhouses during the winter and spring with the intention of keeping it stored for a period of time until it matures, usually a few months at least. Originating from the border between Belgium and France. Bière de Gardes are malt focused and can range from blonde to brown in color and tend to have a bit of a cellar character. American brewers and others have been reinterpreting and brewing this style with varied results over the years. Brad and Ken share their findings with you so you can be a better informed drinker next time you're out and perhaps be more inclined to give this style a try.