To revisit these things: I’m going to start getting back to either highlighting a certain beer, further explaining the style (these are all going to be in either my own personal experiences or opinion/research, please don’t take what I say as absolute fact as I’ve known to be wrong but also keep in mind that I have almost 18 years in the brewing industry so I’ve been around the block a few times selling oranges) or just simply giving you a “voice” with your favorite Taproom. For this week, I wax poetic about specific beers traditionally linked to seasons and then I get specific about a certain beer and it’s all good.
Spring is a verb, a noun and a lot of fun if you live in the Northeast and like to disregard the oxford comma. Something that I never really explored much while I was a professional brewer and I regret fully is to immerse myself within the concept of the brewing traditions of seasons and when to serve specific beers. Don’t get me wrong, I would make seasonal specialties but, aside from my Barley Wine, most of the beers that I made didn’t require too much time (relatively) to have to mature before being served. But it always intrigued me to be within a tradition where there are certain times of year that you made beer, certain times that you just couldn’t because of the weather and then certain times that you would serve specific beers because they spent all summer in caves and now it’s time to drink them. Pushing through the beaded curtain made of vagueness I can now explain that Oktoberfests are a good example of what I mean; they were typically made as the last beer of the brewing “season” in the Spring and cellared all summer only to be tapped in the Fall at the beginning of the brewing “season.” Since we modernly advanced humans have the ability of temperature control, we brew year around. But, there’s something romantic about that limitation. There’s something creatively inspiring about limiting your palate, about giving yourself certain colors to paint with and eliminating the unnecessary.
All of that is a quick digression though, when it comes down to it.
One of the other examples of a beer that is specific in its’ tapping/consuming would be the style of Biere de Mars. It’s a fun geographic oddity that spanned from the relation of neighbors and the particular tastes of the region. Born from Northern France, closing in on the confines of Belgium, it’s a beer that wouldn’t necessarily be the first thing you’d think about when you think about France. You, dear reader, would typically think about wine when you think about France, it would only be natural. But, the people of Northern France (and most notably, the farmers since it’s always all about the farmers) would prefer their beer to their southern counterparts vineyards. The close proximation of themselves with their Belgian neighbors (sometimes literally, depending on who’s drawing the maps at that time) led them to make a beer that is all their own, a beer that’s typically served in March (Mars) after getting a nice little nap over the winter. This isn’t the only way that these beers are brewed, some are made as a typical Saison would be, which are generally ready in a month or two. But, for those special versions, a good barrel sleep would be just what was needed to provide the product desired.
The typical profile of these beers tend to lay on the side of the tracks where a deep garnet colored beer with medium body is balanced by a Saison/Farmhouse yeast fermentation, providing the rich caramel-like flavors with the earthy pop of esters from the yeasts. The Biere de Mars that we’re about to put on from Zero Gravity (a brewery that crushes style guidelines with ease) will be no different from the expectations you’ve already conjured in your mind from reading the first sentence of this paragraph.
It’s like when the ramps burst their way through the hayed layer of fall’s forgotten earth, the return of the benches and trash cans on the streets of our home in Montpelier, the swell of the creeks (regardless how you pronounce that word) from the melt of mountain top collective snow pack, these are all sure signs of the fact that Spring is here, ready to change your outlook and level of functionality.
Sure, pairing beer with food is great. But, you don’t have to eat while drinking beer, I tend to like to pair beer with life. With all of that being said, the Zero Gravity Biere de Mars pairs itself quite perfectly with the exact time of year that we’re supposed to drink it.
Oh and hey: we’re also going to be rejoining the world of email chain letters because you’ve been asking why we don’t have them anymore because you missed me, so, sign up for our mailing list below and it’ll take you there just like the Staples Sisters would.