Every quarter, as you probably already know, New Belgium releases 2 beers for their Lips of Faith program. I actually emailed the brewery a year and a half ago to get more infomation about the series as a whole. This is what they had to say.
The Lips of Faith Program can be a hard one for consumers to fully understand, hell – it’s hard for me to recall exactly what’s happened over the years, because it’s morphed so many times. With this said, here’s an overview:
It used to just be an internal offering (what’s now called our Loose Lips Program). But people loved the variety and esoteric nature of a lot of the Lips of Faith offerings, so …
We started bottling some of these quirkier, acquired taste beers and selling them in limited accounts across our territories. This was done on a none scheduled basis. We’d wait until the beer ran out, before brewing another Lips of Faith beer. But, waiting until we ran out complicated things, so …
2 years ago or so, we decided to start brewing 2 new Lips of Faith beers every quarter, which is where we are now.
They went on in the email to tell me which ones were released in the past and which ones were currently out at the time. I was trying to track down the ones I have had and the ones I did not. Since then, I have never missed a release. I was getting kind of worried about the current release right now but then good ol Ted, of Bottle Revolution, stepped up and let me know that both this one, (Biere De Garde), and the Imperial Chocolate Coffee Stout were available and he set them aside for me.
I don't have much experience with Biere De Gardes to begin with so going into this was pretty much a blind leap. I am a New Belgium Fanboy so I saw nothing that could be bad about it going into my first sip. The only information I knew about it was what was printed on the Chicken Painted Bottle.
Famous in Michigan for farmhouse ales, our friends at Brewery Viviant introduced us to their biere de garde ale yeast strain. From there, we imagined a slightly tart, intentionally dry beer with hints of bergamot citrus that pairs perfectly with French cheeses.
I wish I had some French cheeses lying around, but oh well... Just like the description pointed out, this beer was pretty dry and had a bit of a grainy texture. The orange flavors meld well and seem a little lemony in the finish. The nose was floral, a tad earthy with a little spice and you could really smell/feel the 9% abv in your nose. Though, it was not in the taste at all. A medium bodied beer that overall was really enjoyable and easy to drink. Another fantastic beer, I'd say. You know I gave it a 5 out of 5 rating. And this isn't just a I'm really bias toward the company. I actually really enjoyed it. I plan to seek out other Biere De Gardes now and I am always looking for suggestions. I know they can be hard to find around these parts though...
Now I don't know much about Brewery Vivant but looking over their site and having this beer, I may have to make a trip to The Brewery just to check it out. Maybe there actually is something good in Michigan???