Avant Garde
The Lost Abbey

Avant GardeAvant Garde
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Farmhouse Ale - Bière de Garde
Ranked #80
Ranked #26,464
3.81 | pDev: 9.71%
The Lost Abbey
California, United States
Very Good
Avant GardeAvant Garde
Notes: At the Lost Abbey, we pride ourselves on producing beers of the highest quality and distinction. Avant Garde is our commitment to brewing beers to no particular style. Some might want to label this as a beer brewed in the Biere de Garde tradition of Northern France. We would prefer to say it was brewed in the Avant Garde style of beers that will reward all those who seek the not so ordinary. Deep gold in color with hints of biscuits, caramel and fresh baked bread, this beer is sure to delight the senses and palates of consumers everywhere.
Reviews: 351 | Ratings: 730 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Ciocanelu
Ciocanelu from Romania

3.6/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy golden color with off-white head. Aroma is malty, sweetish, bready. Taste is also mostly malty with some sweet oranges and slightly hoppy on the finish. Medium body and carbonation. Clean but quite simple.

Feb 03, 2018
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SLeffler27 from New York

3.81/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A half inch creamy almond head quickly settles to a thin blanket leaving no lace on an Offero glass. Clouds of carbonation obscure one's view through an otherwise clear dark golden amber beer.

From a distance this beer is fruity. Up close biscuits seem to dominate with earthy barnyard funk. Caramel is also present.

Given this is a Bier de Garde it is surprisingly bitter with light grapefruit. Wheat begins to balance out the bitterness before a long, dry, bitter finish settles in.

The body is medium with a soft chalky texture that turns creamy as it warms. Alcohol and carbonation are as expected.

This is a nice earthy beer that suited well on a warm winter afternoon.

Aug 05, 2017
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Gmann from New York

3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a cloudy golden color with a huge rocky off white head that slowly settles.

The aroma is bready with a musty floral scent. Hints of white wine.

The taste is of tart apples and lemon. A musty metallic note. A touch of pepper and grassy hops. Some general fruitiness.

The feel is moderate with fizzy carbonation. Good balance on the palate with a slightly grassy bitter finish.

If all lagers were like this I would be pretty happy. Solid mid of the spectrum beer.

May 28, 2017
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kitch from Hong Kong

3.98/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 1 pint 9.4 fl oz bottle, bottled sometime in 2015 (as far as I can tell), and poured into a d’Achouffe tulip glass.

Appearance: It poured a clear copper colour with a big two finger off white head that dissipated fairly quickly but left decent lacing.

Aroma: Generally quite light, sweet malt, toasty bread, orange zest, apple, pear, earthy and spice.

Taste: Biscuity, light berries and caramel with a touch of honey, peppery spice and light alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Dry, medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Overall: This was nice, enjoyable and easy to drink.

Nov 04, 2016
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stevoj from Idaho

3.86/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle from Green Mountain Liquor.. Pours out a milky pale golden with soft white bubbly head. Spicy aroma, equal parts floral and savory. Taste follows, spice, yeast, bready malts and faint floral notes.

Oct 16, 2016
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ReviewingUnderInfluence from Canada (AB)

3.51/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Taster drank right at their location in San Marcos. Nice sweet bread and biscuit maltiness, some phenolic Belgian yeast characters. The couple oz's I had were pretty nice.

Aug 17, 2016
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FriedSlug from North Carolina

4.14/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy copper colored brew with an off white head with globs of lacing. Nice musty, fruity, malty, yeasty aroma. The taste is amazingly malty and fruity with a taste that reminds me a bit of strawberries. There is some nice carbonation and moderate bitterness. This is a really tasty beer.

Jul 25, 2016
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hman43 from North Carolina

4.21/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look: It pours golden with a full head. It is hazy with a slightly off white head.

Smell: It has a malty sweet aroma highlighted by toast and bread. There are some spices and light fruit as it warms.

Taste: It has flavors of toast and bread. There are also moderate spices and low pepper. As it warms, it has a fruity ester character that develops.

Fee: It has a dry finish with a moderate body. There is some alcohol warming.

Overall, this is a beer balance toward the malt with a complex blend of flavors.

Jul 10, 2016
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brian44556 from Kentucky

4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a Teku glass. No age on the bottle, but this is 3-4 years old.

Pours an extremely hazy, deep honey with a thin head. Little retention and minimal lacing. Belgium yeast esters, fresh baked bread, and ripe, dark fruits on the nose. Very fruity, lots of earthy undertones, and a mild sweetness balanced out with a bit of spice. This beer has aged exceptionally well. Medium bodied, a bit dry, and low carbonation. I'm really digging this beer. First time having the style and it has me wanting to try more.

Apr 28, 2016
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anon from California

3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Straw yellow, slight haze with a two finger off-white head that dwindles down to a thin layer of foam. Light lace.

Yeasty and bready on the nose, definitely sweet with a slight farmhouse funk and spice backbone. Bread crust, crackers and dough flavours lead out the front; honey, lemon candy, orange zest, marmalade, apple, pear, grass, earth, wood, peppercorn and funk round things out. Medium bodied with a sweetness up front that gives way to a slightly bitter but crisp finish. Definitely compliments rich cheese well and would do good with a proper complimentary meal. My first go at this style and this was a solid offering.

Mar 31, 2016
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selecter70 from Massachusetts

3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On draught. Lost Abbey has never steered me wrong but this was not as stellar as others I've had; although I would definitely drink again on draught as it gave an openness that I imagine might be lost in the bottled form. It poured a dark orange brown and had a short fluffy white head that disappeared quickly and very little lace. The aroma was definitely earthy, almost meadow like with a hint of raspberry. The flavor had some raspberry too, but also honey, fresh sourdough and a hint of melon along with some hoppy bitterness. I expected it to be more sour, as it leaned to be more sweet. It was medium bodied, clean & bright. A happy beer

Mar 16, 2016
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TerribleTaste from California

3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

After purchasing a bottle of Inferno from this company I went and bought two others, Avant Garde and Devotion. And after trying all 3 I'm starting to notice the same backbone and foreground from each of these beers but each have their own little fling that makes them unique.

The bottle date was 9/26/15
And was consumed on 12/26/15
Avant Garde offered up a really berry fruit based smell and taste, after the initial fruiting died away there was a hop flavor too that I personally liked. I enjoy how dark this beer presents it self but gives up a really smooth honey light feel and taste. But then again I have Terrible Taste ;D

Dec 27, 2015
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rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.14/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Bright blonde yellow, super virgin white head on it, looks pretty. Super bready, belgian yeast esters flow deep and hard. Sweet lemon like that candy.

Still comes through bready, chalky and phenolic alcohol. Mildly bitter, mostly from the alcohol I'd guess.

This stuff is everywhere LA is on a shelf for some reason. Maybe they should make less of this and more of another kind.

Dec 20, 2015
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anonymoose from North Carolina

3.25/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

The bottle is 5 years old at the time of review. At this age the beer has a hazy orange color. The aroma is sweet malt and spice. The taste follows with bready malt, spice, hop bitterness, and a little bit of funk. The beer has held up well but the taste isn't that remarkable.

Oct 17, 2015
Photo of pat61
pat61 from Minnesota

4.5/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours hazy gold under a persistent, clingy 3” creamy white foam collar.
S: Fruity nose, peach. A little over ripe fruit.
T: Fruit over shortbread biscuit with peach, melon, lemon, citrus with a light lingering honey sweetness balanced by earthy hops. A hint of marmalade.
F: Very creamy body with above average carbonation.
O: the brewer has nailed Belgian texture and yeast character. As good as anything from Belgium.

Jul 20, 2015
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vfgccp from New York

4.26/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Spot on for a biere de garde; deep hay and ice tea body is darker than a classic saison, as it should be. Beautiful cream white head has fantastic lace and retention.

S - Big, dry barn notes. Dried weeds, dusty root cellar, and waxy dandelion bitters.

T - Herbal up front with thyme and parsley balanced by agave and a light honey sweetness through the center. Straw and earthy mushroom backend with lots of nutty wheat.

M - Thick and creamy with a surprisingly light frame. Low carbonation.

O - A really nice, accessible biere de garde on the sweeter side of the style. A great table beer for thanksgiving.

Mar 14, 2015
Photo of Stevedore
Stevedore from Oregon

3.31/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

On tap at Lost Abbey in San Marcos, CA.

A- Lighter golden-copper body, half finger white head with minimal retention time, not much lacing.

S- Lightly toasted crackers, mild tartness, a bit of lemon, bread, baker's yeast. Decent complexity, but it seems to be lacking something; I'm not sure what that would be. Possibly some noble hops would make this nose more compelling. Or peppers.

F- Mild booziness at first, a bit of mild leathery funk, biscuits, crackers, lemon zest. Minerals. It's solid, but nothing special. As above, it seems to be missing something that would add some complexity.

M- Medium bodied, good carbonation, not soft nor hard but is about right. A bit of bitter lemon on the finish blunted by the bready sweetness.

O- Not my thing. It's certainly not like any other Biere de Garde or Saison that I've tried. Seems like it's missing something here. As above, it could probably benefit from something more than what it already has.

Final score: 3.30

Dec 14, 2014
Photo of mac31
mac31 from California

3.77/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bomber to chalice.

Spice, biscuit, citrus

Dry, spice laden entry. Spice reminiscent of the holiday-cinnamon, all spice?. Citrus/orange peel, apricot, stone fruit. Soft, clean bitterness. Spicy, slightly floral and earthy hop notes. It does have some funk to it. As a huge saison fan, it seems a bit restrained. The light malt seems almost pale/muted in flavor, but bready. But the malt profile leaves behind some residual sugars that balance out the dry entry. The alcohol is more detectable as the beer warms. There is a modest cereal finish.

Medium, yet syrupy mouthfeel. Bright carbonation.

I enjoyed it. I had no expectations. I would like to see other offerings from this style.

Aug 14, 2014
Photo of chinchill
chinchill from South Carolina

3.25/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

On tap at the brewery in San Marcos.

Pours amber with a white head that soon reduces to a ring but leaves some lacing.

Aroma: intriguing fruity aroma with a good malt base; hints of white wine.

Flavor: more funky and less fruity than the aroma, but not challenging to drink. Lightly bitter finish.

Feel: medium body; medium, lightly crisp carbonation.

O: strong (ABV) for style.

Jul 01, 2014
Photo of greentam2
greentam2 from California

3.64/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This is an extremely drinkable "extra" ale with no bite at the front of the taste. It is very smooth throughout, with just a bit of hops on the back of the tongue, with a bit of tangy citrus as well. The flavor is mild, which is both good and yet also leaves you looking for a bit more taste, too. Well crafted, it's greatest quality is it's smoothness.

Jun 18, 2014
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BeerImmediately from Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

750ml into big Duvel tulip.

Cloudy orange body, topped with tightly foamed white head. Tons of lacing.

Aromas are bread-first, followed by some light/bright fruits, like orange and strawberry. Some light grassy funk as it warmed, but stays in the background.

Mouthfeel is quite crisp on the tongue. Not too heavy for the style. Flavors are led by fruits.. white grape and some citrus - light lemon and/or orange. Some white pepper spice keeps it interesting. Finish is pretty darn clean and refreshing. Final touch of sweet orange left on the palate.

Very nice table beer - won't overpower any foods, esp lighter summer fare. Great value for the money, too. Got this corked and caged 750ml for under $9.

Jun 17, 2014
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MonkeyBread from Nevada

3.48/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

More of a French saison than a biere de garde. Not bad, not great. Lot of rustic Apple flavor and cornmeal malt. Needs to be breadier. Too effervescent and color should be darker.

May 04, 2014
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FitnessForBeer from California

3.94/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: lighting brown to orange color, very carbonated, 2 fingers worth. Some floaters and I think some coag' d protein
S: malt forward, grassy hops, little bit of spicyness, bready smell
T: earthy, hearty, spicy, little funky, kind of like drinking a warm rustic baked bread, aftertaste lingers
M: does kinda linger in your mouth
O: first experience with this style of beer, was interesting and I'll give gift of the magi by LA a try too

Apr 25, 2014
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Alieniloquium from Florida

3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Pale orange. Nice white head. Thick white collar.

Smell - Pale malt. Some belgian sweetness. Fruity esters. A little peppery.

Taste - Pale malt balanced by white pepper and wine-like fruitiness. Bitter grassy finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Almost too heavy. Well carbonated.

Overall - Straightforward, but tasty.

Mar 23, 2014
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gr0g from New Jersey

3.61/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

8 month old bottle. Golden-colored and hazy. Fluffy head has good retention and leaves tattered lacing. Crisp, clean aroma of light, fresh-baked bread plus a crisp fruit note. Slightly tart apple is a good descriptor. Not funky like some Bieres de Garde can be.

Flavor transitions from slightly sweet and malty at first to bitter on the finish. Some yeast character reminds you that this is a farmhouse style ale. All in all, it's like a more malt-focused Saison. Not as fruit forward as its cousin style either, though there's a flavor not unlike ripe apple. They nailed the body and carbonation pretty well.

Despite the name, this isn't avant garde for the style. This slots in nicely between Lost Abbey's Devotion and their Abbey Dubbel and would be a good introductory beer for the style.

Feb 23, 2014
Avant Garde from The Lost Abbey
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 730 ratings