Last week a surprise package arrived from Flying Dog Brewery. The box contained a bottle of the brewery's new Spring seasonal Garde Dog. Flying Dog's latest offering is a Bière de Garde, a classic farmhouse ale. Typically French farmers would brew these beers in March and enjoy them through the Summer. The name means "beer for keeping." Despite that description I was too interested in trying the beer to attempt any "keeping".
Garde Dog pours a bright golden color with a frothy white head. Minimal lacing is left behind as the head drops. The beer makes a nice presentation. The aroma is light on the nose with yeasty malt and some light fruitiness. Toasted grains and a light hop bitterness greet the tongue. A slight spiciness is lurking in the flavor as well. The aftertaste is moderately bitter, with a bit of sweetness left behind. Mouthfeel is light with moderate carbonation.
This was an easy-to-drink beer. Though it's just 5.5% ABV, it goes down easily enough to possibly be dangerous. The flavor profile, while not excessive, has enough "ummph" to keep it interesting. This will be a refreshing drink for Spring and Summer. It has enough presence to keep the most jaded craft beer drinker interested and at the same time I can see serving this to some of my less adventurous friends without issue.
Thanks to Stephanie Kerchner at Flying Dog for sending along this sample. Stephanie included a teaser that she would soon be sending a sample of the newest addition to the Canis Major series, Kerberos. I look forward to trying that one too. :-)
For more on Flying Dog Garde Dog watch Stephanie and Executive Brewer Matt Brophy discuss their takes on the beer in this video on Flying Dog News.