A Biere de Garde is a French farmhouse style ale, whose name translates to “beer to keep,” referring to the aging process this style of beer underwent in the farmhouses of Northern France. The beer was brewed in early spring and lagered in cold cellar until the dog days of summer began to beat down on the farm. Lagering is an interesting process for a brewer since not only does it demand a great deal of patience, but also estranges the brewer from the beer they labored to create.
The story of a Biere de Garde is like that of Roland Barthes’ separated lovers, adoring each other from distant lands. The brewer takes only the memory of the brew with him or her as they go off onto their annual farming adventure, dreaming of its characteristics and admiring its beautiful qualities. The temporal and physical distance between the brewer and his or her beer intensifies the adoration and adds to the building anticipation of their reunion.
But Lakefront’s Rendezvous is more a story of childhood friends separated when one family moves away. There is the promise to keep in touch, naively genuine and heartfelt, and the gradual dissipation of the link that bound them, until the other is but a vague sketch of a friend. Then there is the serendipitous rendezvous, when their paths cross and the sketch comes back into focus. They can only remember how the other person was as a child even though they have both ostensibly changed over time. At first, the disconnect between that child and the adult they have become is laid bare and the conversation fails to meet our expectations. But then there is an acceptance that change is inevitable as we are evolving day-to-day.
Rendezvous is a Biere de Garde that comes across as a stranger, but becomes more familiar as you sit and spend more time with it. The end of the bottle is the end of a conversation you want to continue having and your hopeful that there is another rendezvous on the horizon.
Best Enjoyed: Alone, sipping out of a tulip glass.
Best paired with: Nothing, give this beer your full attention with no distractions.
Where to find: Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois and other areas of the Midwest.
Find out more information about Lakefront Brewery by visiting their website.