Bière de Garde

Recipes:
1,524
BJCP 2021:
24C
Era:
Traditional
Origin:
🇫🇷 France
Fermentation:
Any
Conditioning:
Lagered
Color:
Amber
Strength:
High
Taste:
Malty

Profile

Bière de Garde, which translates to "beer for keeping," is a traditional French farmhouse ale originating from the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region. This style has historical ties to rustic farmstead breweries where each farm would brew its own distinctive ale. The beer was typically brewed during cooler months to prevent spoilage and then stored for consumption over a more extended period, generally in the warmer months. Thus, it developed into a beer known for its aging ability, characterized by a complex malt-forward profile and moderate alcohol content that can mellow over time.

Bière de Garde's appearance varies across a spectrum of colors ranging from golden blonde to deep amber or chestnut brown. Often exhibiting good clarity due to prolonged storage times, it typically pours with a moderate off-white head that can persist well if properly served. The flavor and aroma profiles are shaped by rich maltiness, showcasing characteristics of toastiness or bready nuances with potential hints of caramel. Yeast-driven esters contribute elements of orchard fruits like apples or pears, while earthy and floral hop aromas may be present but not overwhelming. It offers a balance where subtle malt sweetness is countered by a smooth hop bitterness; yet neither the hops nor roasted malt flavors should dominate the palate. A relatively dry finish encourages another sip, making this style both hearty and drinkable.

Bière de Garde may draw comparisons with related styles such as Saison or Belgian Pale Ales due to overlapping aspects like yeast characteristics and an emphasis on nuanced fermentation-driven complexity. However, it's often distinguished by its lager-like cleanliness in terms of fermentation by-products, bringing forward the malt qualities and providing a different sensory experience than its Belgian cousins.

Specifications

Alcohol

Specification
6.0 – 8.5 %

In Database
5.4 < 6.9 < 8.8 %

Bitterness

Specification
18 – 28 IBU

In Database
15 < 24 < 32 IBU

Color

Specification
12 – 37 EBC
6 – 19 SRM

In Database
7 < 20 < 41 EBC
4 < 10 < 21 SRM

Original Extract

Specification
14.7 – 19.2 °P
1.060 – 1.080 OG

In Database
12.8 < 16.1 < 20.3 °P
1.052 < 1.066 < 1.085 OG

Final Gravity

Specification
2.1 – 4.1 °P
1.008 – 1.016 FG

In Database
0.9 < 3.6 < 5.9 °P
1.003 < 1.014 < 1.023 FG

Popularity Over Time

Most Used Yeasts

Most Used Hops

Dosage of Hops

Hop Pairings

Brewing Recipes