Brewery: Brasserie de Saint-Sylvestre
I’ve said it before, but I love the limited edition shelf at the local Systembolaget. Every two weeks we get a range of small batch beers and seasonal products, and over the years I’ve found some truly great beers in that selection. Biére Nouvelle was in that selection a few months ago as a seasonal product so i would grab a few bottles for the tasting. I had tried it once before and remember it being a very drinkable beer so I would share the experience with others. Bière Nouvelle means “beer for keeping” and it began being brewed back in the 1600s. It is usually brewed in winter and spring to avoid unpredictable summer yeast. To this day, the tradition continues, with this product hailing from the Calais region of France. As Calais is near Belgium, it is understandable that there are strong similarities between this style and Belgian strong pale ale. I was more than happy with my choice.
Amber in colour with a slight cloud, this beer had a large head that formed instantly. After it had died down enough, one quick swirl of the glass showed it had a medium body and quite hard carbonation. The smell was a pleasant mix of yeast, grass, and minerals. It definitely had a very Belgian vibe to it. The taste was light and refreshing, with honey and peach noticed along with a fair amount of grass. The tiny bubbles whizzed around the palate, reminiscent of champagne. The aftertaste was rather short but pleasant, a nice refreshing light bitterness lingering on the tongue. The alcohol wasn’t particularly noticeable except for a slight warmth in the chest.
I really enjoyed this light and fluffy beer. It had an effervescent quality that was highly drinkable. I paired this with some goats cheese and roasted pepper toast and that worked excellently. The fat from the cheese cut nicely through the hops and really bought the beer and food together nicely. The size of the bottle means it is a beer to be shared at meal time, as I think this would be a bit much from one person. I’m looking forward to trying this again when the next years vintage is released.