Avant Garde | The Lost Abbey

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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

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Reviews: 347 | Ratings: 715
Photo of williamjbauer
3.87/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled served in a shaker pint glass

A - Pale wheat pretty opaque with 1.5 finger with head with moderate retention and moderate bubbly lacing.

S - Citrus, funk, banana, clove

T - Woody oak, bananan, clove, a lot of clove, smokey, follows nose, nice balance, apricots, a little too much stuff going on, rather than a balanced complexity.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation.

O - A nice intro to this style, a good spring beer.

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Photo of Burlyn
3.13/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: clear orange with a thick head.

Sm: slightly sweet with hints of malt and stone fruits

T: very mild, an easy to drink summer beer. apricot, grass, and a little spice followed by a bitter after taste

M: Carbonation quickly dissipates, feels crisp on the tongue and feels clean

O: Pretty tasty, good for drinking at a picnic with light farmers market foods as the day winds down. Be aware of the alcohol.

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Photo of HopHead84
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


On tap at Lost Abbey.

A: Vibrant yellow orange with an inch of white foam. Tendrils of lacing are left behind. Great color.

S: Baked bread slumbers beneath a bouquet of apple and pear. Lightly floral with a little grassiness.

T: Green and granny smith apples with bready malt and a light sweetness. Notes of pear are evident.

M: Light in body with upper medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is dry and crisp.

Overall: A nice Biere de Garde that I often overlook. It sure makes a fantastic base for sour beers.

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Photo of NiceTaps
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a growler into a fine tulip glass.

A- clear orange color, bubbly. There is a one-finger head and some lacing.

S-the 7.0% is eveident right away; boozy smell with some spice and sweetness.

T- honey malt sweetness with just a bit of citrus hop. Nice flavor.

M- good body and carbonation. A dry hop finish.

O- a very tasty brew, drinkable at 7.0, but one is enough.

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Photo of mikeg67
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle. Pours hazy orange with a thick, long lasting, white head. Aroma is of Pale malt, barnyard yeast, alcohol, hints of grassy hops and ripe apricots. Body is full, smooth and creamy. Taste is of bready malt, barnyard yeast, peppery, earthy hops, alcohol and apricots. Finish is massive, dominated by peppery hops and alcohol. Wonderful brew.

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Photo of Monkeyknife
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle deep clear orange color with a finger of off-white head.

Aroma of orange peel, tropical fruits, honey, cracker, and light earthy notes.

Tasted of light orange citrus with caramel malts, cracker, and booze.

Medium bodied and dry with a moderate carbonation.

Very nice. I quite enjoyed this one.

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

Big thanks to Jason for this. I'm into the style so am super excited to try.

Looks: pretty! Nice amber, no lace, no head. Slick looking.
Aroma: I get the aroma where others are missing it. Not that I can describe it - it smells like biere de gaarde. Hints of oak, nice smooth sour nose, though ai can't really describe what makes it nice. It hits the right notes for style but doesn't hit you in the face.
Taste: yum. Good oily biere de gaarde. However you spell it. This is yummy like the JP Biere de Mars. Very enjoyable, but subtle. Not a big hit of sour, but a really tasty treat all the same.
Mouthfeel: not fizzy. Slick and kind of oily. Not as good as taste. I'd like to feel more than the slickness.
Overall: tasty! Could be better - mouthfeel is a bit of a letdown. Still very nice beer and super stoked to try.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.41/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at The Los Abbey/Port tasting room in San Marcos, CA.

Pours a clear honey gold with an off-white head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is pretty weak and is of grain/malt and mild spices. Taste is of grain, spices, and some slight citrus flavors on the finish. There is a mild bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer but it tastes better than it smells.

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Photo of Gavage
3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a dark orange color with a nice two finger head that lingers around a while. Some lace develops during the session.

Smell: grass, fruit sweetness, and a hint of spice is what the nose picks up here.

Taste: grass, pear, golden apple, a bit of earthiness, some pepper spice, and a moderate bitterness make up a well balanced beer.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Crisp throughout, somewhat dry at the finish. Refreshing.

Overall: a solid tasty beer where one can have more that one glass in a session. Very quaffable.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.12/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750 ml brown glass bottle with hood and wire cap over a cork acquired at Wades Wine in Westlake Village, California and served into Beer Passion Weekend 2011 stemware in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Cost was $7.99 USD plus tax. Expectations are quite high given the brewery.

Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over time. Not paired with food.

Side-poured without any additional vigor as I didn't anticipate carbonation issues (in spite of the brewery's reputation as of late).

A: Pours a one finger head of white colour, slight cream, fair thickness, and above-average retention for the ABV. Colour is a clear gold. Some yeast particles are visible. In truth, it isn't much to look at overall.

Sm: Biscuity yeast, berries, grapes, fruit esters, and clean malts. The berry and bright fruits are dominant. There's maybe even a light hint of vinegar. A mild strength aroma, and quite a pleasant one.

T: Bright fruit and light berries hit me first, with clean unobtrusive malts not far behind. A hint of vinegar in the back end, and some grape in the beginning of the body. The yeast is quite buried. No alcohol comes through. Melllow and nicely balanced for the style. I like it, but it's pretty simple. There's nothing unique or special that draws me to it.

Mf: Smooth and wet, suiting the flavours of the body. It might be a too wet, though, releasing the flavours before they've been fully experienced. Adequately carbonated. Perhaps a bit too thin, especially as it nears the third act and finish.

Dr: Very drinkable for the ABV. Comparable to other beers in the style. It's quite overpriced for the quality; other (and better) biere de gardes can be had for less. Moreover, Lost Abbey has far better offerings. Still, it's a nice little beer. Fans of the style will likely enjoy it. The berry in particular is quite enjoyable.


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Photo of draheim
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap @ the Lost Abbey brewery in San Marcos. Pours a clear golden color with a light white head, some lacing, minimal carbonation.

Aroma is slightly flowery, subtle, muted.

Taste is pale grainy malt and some slight Belgian funk, accompanied by a slight hint of tartness. Everything seems a bit muddled.

Overall this is not what I expect from a Bière de Garde. Lacks the vinous quality, the carbonation... just didn't measure up to the few other versions I've had in this style.

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Photo of russwbeck
3.56/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Very bubbly hazy yellow to orange pour with a huge white head. Bubbles rush to the top of the beer constantly throughout the enjoyment of the beer. Retention and lacing are both above average.

S: The aroma is so subtle. Grass, yeast, malt, not much else. Multiple huge whiffs really return a very faint aroma.

T: The taste, as I've found with other beers in this style, is basically sweet and mute. Malts, yeast, ans sugar without much else going on. I like it, but it doesn't do anything special for me.

MF: Light, over-carbonated, hardly any finish. It's pretty drinkable if the sweetness doesn't get to you.

O: This isn't worth how expensive it is, plain and simple. Glad I tried it, would never foot the bill again.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.21/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice blonde yellow, much like many of the acclaimed belgian strong pale ales with its glow and virgin white head. Aroma was more bready than pale, but the pungent belgian yeast esters were here. Lemons and spice in a restrained amount.

one of the light and bready beers, thats impressive when you can pull it off, but not necessarily going to bbe something I'm all about as a recurring customer. I'm not a biere de garde guy, but as far as they go, this one is decent enough. There's a fine hop quality, very small, built with a belgian yeast, light body but bready quality that is probably a relatively difficult beer to pull off.

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Photo of biglobo8971
2.83/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

poured from bottle into tulip
A - very beautiful beer, almost a rosey amber color. Great 1 inch head with thick lacing the whole drink
S - nothing, I tried and tried. Did not get any aroma at all, even let it warm up quite a bit while drinking hoping something would come through. It did not.
T - very muted, not one flavor stands out to me. It is a well crafted beer, but the taste is very average.
M - very easy to drink, I kept going back for more. Wish the other characteristics were as good.
O - average at best, was hoping for more. Disapointed in this one.

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Photo of rodenbach99
3.08/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750ml brown bottle with cork. Thanks to Julien and Pierre-Luc. Golden blond ale, a white thick head is on top. The nose is unidimentional, grainy and fruity (cherry). The grain is omnipresent and ackward. The taste doesn't differ from the nose with grain and maize. Some hops in the aftertaste. Medium bodied. Overall an easy drinking bière de garde that would have benefit from less grain and more malt (!!)

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Photo of tbern007
3.41/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this one at the Crowfoot Valley in CR, CO.
Pours hazy golden, light amber, orange. Huge white head, good lace.
Scent is light pale malt, grass, a little bit of yeast.
Taste is of yeast, grass, pale malt, a tiny bit of peach and lemon. Initial taste is better than after. Finishes a bit bitter and peppery, dry.
Light mouthfeel. A little light on the carbonation.
Overall decent but I probably wouldn't get it again. So many others out there to try....

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Photo of hopfacebrew
3.71/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle at the local store. No dates.

A - The bee was poured to a globe glass and poured a hazy golden yellow/orange color with a huge 3 finger white bubbly head. Nice retention and lacing throughout. Looks outstanding.

S - Mild yeast aroma as well as a variety of malted grains on the nose. Not as powerful as I was expected but pleasant.

T - The beer starts similar to the nose in that mild yeast flavors and malt bill coats the palette just as you'd expect from the aroma. Hides the alcohol extremely well and easy to drink. Mild bitterness. Finishes clean and smooth.

M - Lighter bodied with good carbonation. Smooth.

O - A good beer I could see myself drinking a lot of. I liked the grain bill and crisp light nature of the beer. Enjoyable.

Note: This review was a re-post from my former account, jmkratt, which was hacked and I lost all my reviews...sorry for the redundancy.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 04-25-2011 13:00:35

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Photo of Philousa
3.79/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Imbibed on tap at the Lost Abbey tasting room 12/31/2011.

Poured a warm golden amber with a thin layer of white head. Nearly clear in appearance. Lots of subtle fruit aromas, strawberry stood out the most, followed by nutty, sugary malt. Sweet hops in the background, lurking. The nutty, fruity barley malt is the showcase. The barely-there hops balance it out so it isn't too sweet. This isn't Lambic sweet, but more of a slight fruity/nectar sweet. The feel is a bit malty with a dry finish.

I was won over with this beer's fruity tendencies. The sweeter side of the malts are uncovered over time, almost rewarding you for continuing to drink and discover. I am always complaining that Belgian beers have too much candied sugar in them. Well, this beer seems to know how to solve that. Please make the malt for your Dubbels more like this one! I had to get some to go, and will look for this in local stores as well.

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

A: Golden yellow with a huge head each pour, the head was actually overwheling at times, sometimes 5-6 fingers high.

S: Funk, Lemons and some spice and bread.

T:Lemony and Spice, bready an funky. Def tastes more like a Saison than anything, maybe with a little wild ale character as well.

M: Crisp and fluffy almost reminded me of a heffe or wit. Goes down smoth.

O: Not a bad beer, paired this up with some brie and wassa crackers. Worked out pretty well. Would be a good weeknight beer on a hot summer night.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.44/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a tap into a pint glass at Vine Cottage in San Diego (La Mesa), Calif. Caramel color with about 1 ¼ inches of foamy head. Nice lacing on the top, while the film on the sides were in rings. Very impressive looking beer.

Nothing too special on the smell, but I was 0-for-2 on the smells tonight, so who knows? I got some hints of some kind of malts and citrus hops. Kind of bland overall.

Some fruity stuff up front, but not overbearing. Slightly bitter finish. Just a tad better than the nose.

Medium body. Average-to-lively carbonation. Bitter on the tongue after.

A bit disappointed for my first (EDIT: second) Lost Abbey beer. The look was the part of his beer.

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Photo of spicelab
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bomber thanks to [email protected] Liquor.

Bright and clear orange with a very large white head. Leaves good lace trails and a raised ring.

Pretty sweet and vibrant nose, showing refined honey, pear and boiled sweets with interesting nutty undertones. Touch of lemon and grapefruit pith save it from being a total sweetfest.

That is, until you encounter the full-on candy floss sweetness in the taste. Still get plenty of nutty, woody notes, but slightly less clarity around the elements detected in the nose.

Sticky and relatively full mouthfeel. Pretty busy carbonation and mild astringency on the mid-palate.

Nicely made and drinks well, without pushing any boundaries. Lacks X-factor, though who's to say Lost Abbey thought this needed it.

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Photo of ehammond1
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

On Tap

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

Auburn and rust with a thick and tight white soapy head that stays perched atop the glass. Rings of sticky lacing slide down the glass. Beautiful.

A combination of bread, mild yeast, and lemon in the nose.

Slight Belgian yeast tang and a bit of spice present in flavor. A bit of sweet fruit and caramel malt but a very mild tasting beer in nearly every regard.

The mouthfeel is the star of the show with this beer. Highly carbonated, luscious yet smooth, full and bold yet smooth and easy drinking. No alcohol presence. Impressive.

An easy drinking Biere de Garde that pairs and drinks well with food.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Always happy to try a new beer from Lost Abbey.

The beer pours a golden-orange color with a large white head. The aroma is full of flowers and apricots, with some candy sugar and Belgian yeast notes also coming through.

The flavor is similar. I get a lot of orange citrus notes, as well as some very sweet floral notes and some biscuit malt. The candy sugar and alcohol also come through.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a lovely clear amber with a very thick and rather persistent white head. Crisp, malty aroma has a sharp fruity tone like a good cider. Satisfying flavor is mainly malty and has an undertone of sour apple, not complex but fine for sipping. Smooth, firm-bodied texture has a fair amount of fizz, and it leaves a malty, fruity, slightly woody finish.

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Photo of mltobin
4.12/5  rDev +8.1%
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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Avant Garde from The Lost Abbey
3.81 out of 5 based on 715 ratings.
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