Tuesday, March 01, 2005

New Belgium Biere de Mars

I've been wanting to write about this beer, a recent discovery (for me), for over two weeks now. I haven't yet because every time I cracked one open, I was completely distracted by it, and didn't think to write it up until it was already gone. (I always write beer reviews while having the beer I'm writing about...I don't take notes or anything.)

The other reason is that this beer defies classification. I can't really think of any reference points with which to begin describing it, something that is really pretty rare for me. This might be why I find myself so completely captivated by it.

The style is particular to southern Belgium and northern France, and (as those with a bit of French under their belt have already noted) is brewed for the month of March. A beer for both winter and spring.

The beer pours cloudy and orange--imagine a combination of an octoberfest and a hefeweizen--with a quickly dissapating head. The aroma is yeasty and slightly earthy, with citrus overtones. The flavors are ethereal and complex; malt, barley, oats, yeast, lemon, orange, corriander, and spices that I really can't put my finger on all intermingle and combine in strange and unexpected ways. This is likely due to the "unidentified flying yeast" used in the tradition of open fermentation. What's interesting is that for all its complexity, the overall impression of Biere De Mars is remarkably subtle. Much like the month for which it is named, this is a beer of contraditions.

Utterly fascinating.


  • At 3:05 PM, Blogger Lisa said…

    I love this beer. one of my favorites of the season.


  • At 1:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    i like the taste of this beer, but the smell kind of turns me off. it makes me think, before it hits my mouth, that i am about to swallow a glass full of dirt. maybe that's suppose to be part of the appeal?

  • At 11:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    "unidentified flying yeast?"

    Hmmm, sounds like something I picked up on the back streets of Bangkok one time!

  • At 9:08 AM, Blogger Kyle said…

    I was pretty unimpressed with this.

    But it should be noted that my palette is notoriously unsophisticted.


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