Avant Garde | The Lost Abbey

Avant GardeAvant Garde
723 Ratings
Avant GardeAvant Garde

Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey
California, United States

Style: Bière de Garde

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by xlperro on 05-12-2006

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 723 |  Reviews: 349
Photo of mltobin
4.12/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a 750mL bottle of this while driving through Mass.

Poured this de Garde into a large wine glass and it has a light golden tone with one finger of bright white head. It has a smell of fruit, such as pear and orange, also some spices. There are some malts as well with a bit of earthiness to it. Upon sipping, I can taste pepper. hops, cloves and yeast. All of it is balanced very nicely. MF is medium in the body with a similar carbonation level. All in all, this is one of the Biere de Gardes that stands out for me. Not an inexpensive beer, but worth it.

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Photo of Travisnin
3.61/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: pours a beautiful copper color, nice mellow lacing.

S: smell is of citrus and spice.

T: bland coming from a lost abbey ale but overall not a bad tast. It is something I could drink in the heat. The tast is small compared to the tast though.

M: lots if carbonation

O: a little disappointed in this as I am normally blown away by any lost abbey beer. Maybe I'm just not a huge fan of biere de gardes? I give it a 4 out of 5

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Photo of Derek
4.12/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Hazy bronze with a white head, some retention, light lace.

S: Light acidic aroma, pineapple, mango, light phenolic spicing, citrus rind, wheaty biscuit, a little grassy.

T: Candied pineapple, pappaya, mango, phenolic spicing, slight funk (Brett?), marmalade, wheaty biscuit.

M: Body is on the heavier side of moderate, hint of acidity, off-dry with a slightly drying alcohol finish.

D/O: A good drinker and overall a good crafted brew.

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Photo of LiquidBread219
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750mL bottle with a cork and cage seal.

A=It poured nice white head with a slight amber color but mostly a Golden color. It was a little Hazy in color. Looks pretty Good. Some lacing

S=I pick up a scent of fruit (apricot) and mostly spice notes on the nose

T=The taste is nice get the spice notes in the taste more don't get that much of the fruit notes from the nose.

M=The mouthfeel is decent (medium style) the one thing I just thought it was kind of overcarbonated

O=Overall a nice enjoyable beer, refreshing and light goes really goes down good and is refreshing.

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Photo of mactrail
2.92/5  rDev -23%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

On tap at Pizza Port in Ocean Beach. Not much head or lacing. Hazy amber in the tulip. Flavors are sunk in a funk. Main taste is a distillation of that dirty, back of the mouth flavor that gives an edgy taste to a lot of Belgian styles. Unrelieved by any sweetness, though a hint of malt comes through in the front of the mouth. Hops seem designed to intensify the dark, tarry flavors. Long, unpleasant biter aftertaste. One of the least drinkable beers I've encountered, whatever it's value as an oddity.

Had this in bottle in early 2010 and liked it a lot better than this tap version.

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Photo of ADZA
3.55/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another brew with thanks from Mrkennedy and it pours a hazy yellow golden hue which leaves a two finger head that slowly settles down to a one finger layer and little clingy lacing,the smell is baked bread,yoghurt,honey and vanilla,the mouthfeel is medium-full bodied and very nice for the style almost like liquid bread but the tastes of baked bread,honey,candied pears,light boiled candy and warming stonefruit towards the end dont really jump out at me to say WOW its more of just a good Biere de Garde than a great one cheers.

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Photo of olafisberserker
3.35/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tried this out of a 1 pt 9.4 oz bottle at home.

A - A light golden color with a fluffy white head that leaves a little trace on the glass.

S - Fairly fruity aroma with a tropical smell dominating.

T - As with the smell, a taste of fruit. Strong banana taste leading it off.

M - A nice level of carbonation that dances across the tongue. Doesn't sit heavy in the mouth but does not have the typical feel of a 'light' beer in the mouth. A nice body.

O - A nice, light beer with easy drinkability. A little fruity but not in a terribly bad way.

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Photo of AdamBear
2.7/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A-golden color. thin sticky white head

S-smells like sweet honey with a touch of vanilla. reminds me of an octoberfest style. good strength

T-comes in with a taste of honey, sweet grains, and alcohol. the after-taste is dry. there are grains and a bitterness of alcohol that stick to the tongue.

M-dry medium carbonation with a dry finish

O-this beer was actually very difficult to finish. i love strong beers but the alcohol note was just too evident. this was just a gross tasting beer. don't even try it.

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Photo of scoots511
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle with a cork and cage seal. My bottle was difficult to open, the cork tore off finally afte about 5 minutes trying to open it, when it did open there was only a slight hiss.

It poured nice white head with a slight amber color. It is not a transparent beer, slight cloudiness. Looks like a great refreshing beer so far.

I pick up a scent of fruit (apricot, which actually matches the color) and honey, at first and another unknown smell, not bad but unidentified so far...a spice.

The taste is nice, still have some unidentified flavors though, a slight of the typical "Heineken" flavor...

The mouthfeel is nice, a little more head retention (possibly from my glass) and carbonation would be perfect for my taste.

Overall a nice enjoyable beer, refreshing and light goes really good with some cheese.

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Photo of uturn
3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a 2008 vintage.

750 ml corked and caged bottle poured into a Augustijn Grand Cru tulip.

A: This beer poured a hazy deep gold with a slight off white 2 finger fluffy head which left a minimal lacing on the glass.

S: The smell was sweet and bready with some citrus.

T: The taste started off with some pepper spices and sweet with malt, caramel and apples, there was a mild bitterness in the finish and only a little bit funkiness to this brew.

M: This beer had a medium mouthfeel and dry finish with a nice level of carbonation which massaged the tongue.

D&O: The drinkability was very good and refreshing, as I find most Bière de Garde to be. I would like to try this one again.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
4.45/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a long stemmed Lost Abbey snifter.

4.5 A: First pour yielded five fingers of head and just one of beer. A few pours down the road I ended up with a hazed golden wheat color with three fingers of pillowy white head with decent retention and a good bit of lacing.

4.5 S: I'm not sure how a biere de garde is different from a saison, but this smells like a saison mixed with a witbier. Barnyard funkiness with a light hay aroma. Coriander and pithy fruit rind. Grassy hops and peppery spiciness from the yeast. Light toasty maltiness. Not very complex, but wonderfully pleasant.

4.5 T: Again, not overly complex, but really tasty. Barnyard funkiness with hay, grassy hops, and wild flowers. Light toastiness from the malts along with a subtle breadiness. Coriander and pepper spiciness. Very nice.

4.0 M: Lighter medium to medium body. Carbonation level works and is spritzy on the tongue. Extremely smooth as the yeast is not overbearing.

4.5 D: Best LA beer I've had yet. This is a relatively simple, great tasting beer. I might actually pay what this costs regularly if it were available in my area.

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Photo of ckcanady
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours a hazy gold/orange with a very fluffy strong white head! Really good head and very carbonated.
S- Citrusy hops detected along with toasty grain.
T- Biscuity malts with a citrus hint
M- light-medium body, crisp, sweet, and delicate
A good Biere de Garde that is very drinkable

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Photo of jsanford
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml C&C bottle poured into a LA San Marco Tumbler.

A - Pours a hazy orange-gold with a fluffy white head that settles to a thick cap, leaving sudsy lacing as it recedes.
S - Crisp toasted grains, citrus zest, and herbal Noble hops. Very clean and refreshing.
T - More crisp malt with a touch of citrus and floral hops. This isn't as clean as I'd hoped, and the alcohol is creeping in, as is a metallic "copper penny" flavor that adds an unpleasant astringency to the finish. This is a pretty fresh bottle, so it's odd to find a metallic flavor that I usually associate with old bottle, so perhaps it's supposed to be in there? I don't know enough about the Biere de Garde style to make any assumptions, but I'm not digging it.
M - Crisp, with a medium-thin body and sharp carbonation.
O - Not a bad hot-day sorta brew, this is fairly sessionable despite the 7% ABV. I just wish the flavor stacked up to the nose, and that the unpleasant metallic flavor wasn't there.

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Photo of Neffbeer
3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle dated December 10 2010, perhaps a bit past it's prime...
Poured into a De Dolle Oerbier tulip.

A: It pours a hazy golden amber with some light orange hues. There is a fluffy two finger white head that recedes into clumpy clouds of foam and sticky lacing.

S: Surprisingly I am greeted by a pleasant waft of noble hops, herbal and enticingly floral. For six months in the bottle this beer has obviously held up extremely well. The hops fade a bit after it warms and some ripe fruit starts to surface; apples and pears are the main components. There is a hint of honey and vanilla as the beer continues to warm.

T: The hops have held up magnificently displaying a pleasing herbal, floral bite that borders on bitter. Fruit takes over mid-palate with notes of apple peels, over-ripe pears, and white grapes. The yeast is really doughy and spicy, I can only imagine how well this would go with a holiday meal. It finishes dry and slightly herbal/bitter.

M: Light and airy, the carbonations lends itself well to highlighting the subtlety of this brew.

O: I am surprised and impressed by this beer given some of the lack luster reviews I have read. It is a really solid Biere de Garde that I would seek out again.

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Photo of impending
3.34/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

750ml into a tulip. Pours a hazy honey tang, towering dense head recedes leaving clumpy froth.

Intoxicating aroma, a cornucopia of fruits, thin skinned and citrus. Upbeat, spicy, hoppy with clean dirt.

Complexity does not carry through to the taste. Initial flavor is rather bland, nondescript, mostly yeasty. There is no middle. Finishes begins with a minor hop bitter that fades slowly away. Significant let down from the aroma. Medium bodied creamy mouthfeel.

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Photo of mmmbeer
3.82/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL brown Belgian bottle, cork and cage, with no freshness date. Brewed with two-row, honey malt and house-toasted malt, hopped with Brewer's Gold, Strisselspalt and Saaz, and fermented with lager yeast at ale temperatures; OG 1.060, FG 1.008. Pours crystal-clear amber, with low carbonation and a short, loose head that leaves very light lacing. Smells of sour grapes and vinous malts at first (how long was this on the shelf?), but it smells less aged with breathing. Becomes floral and sweet, with notes of toasty/bready malts, spicy/perfumy hops and a bit of alcohol. Tastes fairly similar, clean, with a hint of sweetness, a creeping bitterness, and a mild malt astringency. The body is light and moderately-carbonated, with a dry and warming finish. Easygoing and fairly good for the style, but it is way overpriced for what it is.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at Eulogy, Philly, PA

Pretty tasty. Poured a hazy golden brown with a large head that settles down but doesn't completely dissipate. Nice lacing and some carbonation. Grainy, bready aroma, with a definite presence of hops. Similar taste, very grainy, hoppy with some fruitiness to it: citrus and light Prunus fruits and a touch of almond. Medium mouthfeel. I'd drink more if given the chance.

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Photo of SubpoenaDeuces
3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: huge carbonation even with a gentle pour, light straw color to bright yellow at the edges, huge 4 finger head in a pint glass with thick lacing.

S: smells of honey, apple, bright bouquet with sweet finish

T: bright sweet honey taste on the initial palate with a biscuity middle that abruptly finishes, leaving you wanting another taste, aftertaste does not linger, a one two punch of bright then dry flavors. citrus hops bring up the final flavor with a very subtle compliment.

M: its very light on the palate with just enough maltiness to sustain the drying hopes and sweet notes. three very nuanced flavors held in a delicate balance and very fleeting, no coating in the mouth making it an easy beer to drink quickly if not for the substantial carbonation.

D: incredibly drinkable in a variety of condtions, go out work on your transam and class it up with this, serve this inside on a rainy day and it will impart the crispness of the air, if not cost prohibitive, a great session beer, despite the 7% abv.

Narrative: ::Ding dong:: he's here already? I havent even finished me eye lin- ah but who cares, he's so easygoing that he wont even notice that I only flatironed my top chunky layers. His bright blonde locks, cool disposition, who am I to keep him waiting. "Sorry I'm no rea-" oh well that's a new bit of panache, a step with a ball turn into the marble foyer and he leans lazily upon the ballustrade. "-eady." His light breezy air is welcoming but not cloying, you exhale and turn around closing the door, noticing the sunlight cascading through an eddy of dust particles dancing on a sunbeam and- he's gone. But you aren't worried, you have 21 more ounces of this fellow, to lithely waste away this verdant afternoon.

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Photo of sitarist
4.22/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Golden in color with hints of amber. A whirlwind of bubbles race up to a few inches of eggshell white head. The head takes its time falling, leaving rings of lacing behind.

It has a strong, but pleasant aroma. Fruity, musky, spicy, sweet, and sexy...this is a treat, and challenge to ones nose. Apples, bread, honey, ginger, orange, I keep getting a hint of gin, strippers, etc... Olfaction obliteration!

Like the aroma it is a mixed bag. The main flavors I detect are apples, bread, and Mozzarella. It also has an herbal thing going on as well.

Medium body bordering on creamy, and dry.

A great beer experience!

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Photo of champ103
4.08/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another thanks to armock for the extra.

A: The bottle opens with a nice pop...very encouraging for a Lost Abbey product. This pours a beautifully hazy orange color. A two finger white head forms with really good retention. Rings of lace are left behind.
S: Up front is is a nice citrus/orange aroma. Quickly fades to baked bread. Light grains. Some grassy hops linger in the nose.
T: Again, fruity up front. Citrus and orange flavors. A zesty spice. Some sweetness. Dry bread and biscuit. A hoppy finish.
M/D: A medium body and lively carbonation. Very crisp, clean, and dry. This is very refreshing. A nice sipper. The alcohol is not over the top at all, and the bottle is gone in no time.

A very nice surprise from Lost Abbey. I have been disappointed with a lot of their offerings. Not with this one though. I wish there was a bit more fruity flavors going on, especially for a Bière de Garde. Though overall, very nice. Something I would recommend.

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Photo of AronVietti
4.18/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured at 50 degrees into a large wine glass, a very fresh bottle date December 2010

A - Poured with a large, persistent head, good lacing on the glass, and extremely clear.

S - Clean citrus and grass aromas, slight yeasty aroma, no spice or brett character, maybe too young
T - More citrus, good hop balance with a little bit of toast

M - Good body, surprising for how clean the aroma and taste are, almost like a very full bodied lager. A decent finish with lingering bitterness and citrus.

O - Overall I like it, I'm going to pour another glass and go sit on the porch. I'm going to cellar another bottle and come back to it and see how it is in a year.

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Photo of Chaney
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My buddy brought this one back for my from Philly. Thanks Blake!

A: Man.... this totally looked like a very dark Witbier.... cloudy glass and all. The rather large mildly off-white head stayed afloat throughout my entire session.

S: Mild fruit sugar scent, yeast, and a bit of Lost Abbey charm.

T: Smooth as hell and very yeasty. The fruit of the day is... apple ... and it was very present here. Still, there was more candy sugar here than meets the eye.

M: Considering the head kept its retention for about an hour (the time it took me to finish this beer), the carbonation was really nice and prickly... as well as the lacing.

O: It was a nice beer and worthy of my drinking.... nothing else.

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Photo of colforbin73
4.33/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

i am holding off on giving this a 5 for the overall because i am relatively unfamiliar with the style, Biere de Garde. but this is an eminently quaffable brew. it is deeper in flavor than your typical lager -- but taste-wise i find it very much in that zone: easy to drink, bubbly, medium but appropriate bitterness, slight malt complexity but in the end an unmistakable Beer, with a capital "B". this is not an Ale, neither a Pils nor a Saison -- it is a Beer.

pours a lovely golden amber with a very lively, foamy carbonation... leaves some suds on the glass as you drink, but it is not a sticky beer. minimal yeast aroma and grassy fields of grain in the nose. smooth and clean is the order of the day... sweet, bright malts coat the inside of your mouth as it goes down with a nice little bubbly bitter bite too, just how you like it. only the finest of aftertastes. this is an easy drinker, i do not find the 7% alcohol to assert it self in the flavor -- this is my kind of session beer.

take me out to the ballgame.

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Photo of beerprovedwright
4.33/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First the only bad thing I will say about this beer is the way it is bottled. I had to saw off the top of the cork and use a cork screw. Lots of carbonation in this one, resulting in a four finger head of dense foam, and wonderful clinging lace. The color is a 9 on the SRM beer color chart. Smell is floral in character, with solid fragrances of apple, orange peel, lemon, and earthly tones. Great taste, of green grape, citrus, green apple, and hops. Creamy in my mouth, but a little drying on the back of my tongue and back sides of my throat. Carbonation is just right. Overall a great brew, easy to drink and a great taste.

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Photo of TommyW
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- Dark golden body, slightly hazy, with a medium, bubbly, white head.

S- Lots of ripe fruits with a faint hint of herbal hops.

T- Big taste of overly ripe fruits that is quickly balanced with a slightly bitter and dry medicinal yesty flavor. The bitter, dryness lingers for a bit.

M- Medium body with a crisp feel.

D- Not very familiar with this style, but this is one tasty beer. Will definitely be buying this again.

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Avant Garde from The Lost Abbey
Beer rating: 3.79 out of 5 with 723 ratings
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