I never had this style before and it was the last bottle on the shelf so I figured what the heck. A couple days before I opened this I started reading up on the whole Biere de Mars thing since I’ve seen it mentioned in a few articles about other breweries. You can also find this under a style called “Bière de Garde” which I haven’t seen much of in Western PA. For the sake of brevity you can read more about this style on the BJCP website.
Ommegang Biere de Mars – 2nd Batch March 2008
brewery: Ommegang – ommegang.com
style: Belgian Style Amber Ale / Bière de Garde
serving size: 22oz
glass used: snifter
Ommegang Bière de Mars is a Belgian-style amber ale with a bit of magical space dust woven in – Brettanomyces bruxellensis, a wild-yeast used in the secondary fermentation. The Brett imparts added tartness, a bit of zing and some farmhouse funkiness. Also dry-hopped, this new ale continues our exploration of using Brett for secondary fermentation in limited-release beers.
Bière de Mars reveals a copper-amber body and a frothy white head that builds, clings and stays. Aromas are of malt and grain, clove, fruit and a bit of funk. Flavors are full-bodied with delicate malty sweetness, followed by spicy, peppery yeastiness and Brett-induced funk. Hopping is subtly bitter and aromatic, bumped up a bit by dry-hopping. The finish is dry and gently lingering. At 6.5% ABV, Bière de Mars offers easy quaffing; it also pairs nicely with spicy foods such as barbecue.
What I think
Would you just look at that pour. Sweet Jesus I had to take a step back and admire that head. Go ahead look at it. Now the aroma… a big whiff of stale malt. Maybe that was the bit of funk they mentioned? Honestly it wasn’t a turn off as it may have been about 3 years ago when I started getting seriously into craft beers. The taste was dry and I picked up a date and very yeasty flavor. This was absolutely a new one for me. The finish was slightly dryer and surprisingly welcoming to a person who normally views dry and boring.
I do have to say that I disagree with the Ommegang website when they say it would “pair nicely with spicy foods such as barbecue.” My bbq is never spicy. I’m a sweet wet mop kinda guy. However I would steam some spicy mussels in it or site down with some of Lushie’s pepper hummus.
Spoon’s rating: B+