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Craftsman Bier De Mars | Craftsman Brewing Co.

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Very Good
13 Ratings

Brewed by:
Craftsman Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: Bière de Garde

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by oggg on 04-25-2005

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 13 |  Reviews: 9
Photo of mig100
3.59/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of crob3888
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of MiScusi
4.3/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Lucky Baldwin's Pasadena strong beer fest. They listed it at 8% ABV.

A- came poured a dark red, dark off-white head.

S- Smell lets me know I'm in for something Belginy with that earthy belgian yeast nose.

T- Lots of belgian yeast going on in the taste, but the other thing that came to mind was a toasted malt. Slightly sweet overall the but toasted malt gives it a bit of an edge to keep it from seeming to sweet.

M/D- Feel was fine. I drank this thing super fast, this is a tasty and relatively easy drinking beer. I'm happy I ordered this one and would get it again.

 583 characters

Photo of Floydster
3.56/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tulip glass at Beachwood BBQ in Seal Beach for $5.50, my mom also drank one of these while we were there

A-Amber color with some darker red highlights, thick 1 1/4 inch foamy white head that stuck around for almost ten minutes, great retention, nice lacing also

S-Yeast, tons of bread, cinnamon, coriander, some other spices, oranges, sweet dark fruits, cloves, ginger, berries, and strong malt aromas

T-I was immediately skeptical that this was even a biere de garde after my very first sip, it was so fruity and spicy that it just seemed wrong to me, there was the usual large amount of bread but this was definitely different for its style, as it warmed I tasted even more cherries and sweet fruit, needed some hops or something to dry to balance it out a little bit, overall not bad though

M-Sweet and chewy mouthfeel, medium level of carbonation, medium body, taste lingered for a little bit, spicy at times and definitely left a bit of dryness in the mouth too

D-Could not drink much more than the glass I head, a bit heavy on the stomach, especially with how hot it was outside, ABV did not seem high at all, fairly smooth

Always happy to see a Craftsman brew I have not tried, not my favorite Biere de Garde but one of the more unique ones, spiciness really separate this from others I have had in the past, would probably drink again, probably would taste better in the winter time worth trying

 1,409 characters

Photo of Halcyondays
4.11/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On-tap at the Beachwood BBQ, in Seal Beach, CA,

A: Dark red, with a thick white head, some good lacing to go along with it.

S: Dark fruits, definite spices, some cinnamon and ginger, and some strawberry, though light.

T: Very interesting, quite different from the French bieres de garde that I'm used to having. Very fruity, there are lots of cherries and strawberries in the taste, almost winey in a way. This fruit character gives way to a frank spiciness, with cloves, ginger, and cardamom, may be a little over-spiced, it sort of feels like a Christmas beer, though quite tasty.

M: Smooth, chewy in a way, with the spiciness, quite herbal at the end, pretty complex as well.

D: Easily drinkable, I finished the goblet, or over-sized wine glass it was served in very quickly. Not a traditional biere de garde, in the French-style, with lots of herbal notes, but an interesting, tasty beer, nonetheless.

 920 characters

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sampled on tap at Lucky Baldwin's, June 2007
This beer sits in my glass with a somewhat hazy, dark amber, purple hued color. It is topped by a frothing, fat finger thick, dark tan head that has some staying power to it and even leaves some lacing on the sides of the glass. The aroma has a pronounced mix of spice and fruit notes; the spices lean towards clove and the fruit notes definitely are concentrated (I get notes of prunes, figs and perhaps some raisins). The malt aromas mix in with the dark fruit notes, but I do get notes of caramelized malt and browned biscuits.

A light carbonation makes for a smooth drinking beer. There is a prominent clove character here, but also a hint of nutmeg and allspice. Dark fruit flavors of fig and raisin come into play. Some cardamom like spice character is vaguely evocative of the flavors in cola. The body has a medium fullness to it and this has quite a bit of heft to it considering I was expecting a lighter beer. This is a nice beer for the cooler months, while not thick, it does have a certain hardness to it.

 1,068 characters

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.92/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: Served at Lucky Baldwin’s in Pasadena on a quiet and rather wet Saturday afternoon. This was not served from one of the bank of neatly arranged Craftsman Taps that sits front and square at LB's bar, but one hidden away on the back wall. Tall thin square sectioned wooden Tap handle that is colored red unlike other the other natural wood Craftsman tap handles. Has the words “Craftsman – Bier De Mars” in black text running top to bottom. No strength listed.

Appearance: Served in a Goblet, the body had a dark ruddy brown presentation with some ruby highlights when held to the daylight. Sparse broken light tan colored head soon dissolves to leave only a rather sad looking splotchy covering. No lacing and medium carbonation levels.

Nose: Spicy malts with lots of cloves. Dark sour fruits and freshly rotivated soil.

Taste: Has a malty start which benefits from a woody tint and an earthy feel. Smoked malts lend a scorched astringency. Dry finish with a sweet malt presence and a running sourness in the ending. No funk at all to speak off, but a lovely sour organic feel nonetheless.

Mouthfeel: Prickly carbonation straight off the tap, but this soon settles down. The cloves add a nice aroma but it feels like they also add to the body along with the malts.

Drinkability: Not sure what strength this is, but it drinks with incredible ease and I feel that this one is not served in Pints for a reason! As it warms it reveals a decent level of complexity that I could have spent longer studying, but I wanted to move on to the next beer.

Overall: I tried a special version of the Bier de Mars that was barrel aged with Brettanomyces at last years Stone 9th Anniversary Party, and I thoroughly enjoyed that version. That was quite the treat, thing is now though that the "regular" version seems a little lacking after the Brett version, guess I have been spoiled. A lovely brew, but I ache to try the funky version again.

 1,963 characters

Photo of SacoDeToro
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mark Jilg has a knack for brewing obscure styles and he carved out this one with aplomb. The Craftsman Bier De Mars (in the biere de garde style) I had was cask conditioned and served to me on tap at Lucky Baldwin's in Pasadena, CA.

It had a brilliantly clear copper hue with a generous light tan head. The aroma had notes of chardonnay, oak, and Belgian yeast. The beer had a rich and slightly sweet maltiness with a medium to heavy mouthfeel. The maltiness was predominantly that of Munich and Aromatic with nuttiness that followed in the finish. The hops were well balanced and flavorfull, but not present in the beer's aroma. The yeast seemed like that of a Belgian strain, but likely fermented at lower temps so those typical Belgian yeast flavors were subdued and clean. The cask conditioning left a nice chardonnay oakiness that added additional complexity. Finally, the carbonation was just right and added the proper amount of brightness to bring out some spice and peppery flavors. Those who've had Jenlain Original Ale can use that as a point of reference for the style.

I'm not sure this beer is on tap anywhere other than Lucky Baldwin's so grab a glass as soon as you get a chance.

 1,201 characters

Photo of sloejams
3.67/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Having tried only a handful of Bière de Gardes, I was excited to see one from the always reliable Craftsman on-tap at Father’s Office. The beer was presented in a goblet. By the time the bartender unhurriedly brought it to me, much of the head had dissipated. What remained was a nice white froth contrasting against the dark, opaque brown of the ale. The spice aroma is intense: strong clove with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg. The taste is more sour than I anticipated. It’s has a complex flavor that is quite delicious, once you get by the initial sourness.

 562 characters

Photo of goschool
3.98/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Father's Office.
This review is from my notes.

The pour is amber. The foamy off-white head leaves minimal lacing. In keeping with F.O.'s one flaw, it took a good five minutes for this to thaw enough for me to really smell the esters and clove. The taste is quite sour (lemons) with sweet fruit accents. This stuff is fairly complex with its share of Belgian funk, but it's certainly not a chore to drink and the 8.4% abv is well hidden.

 450 characters

Photo of oggg
3.53/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Fathers Office in Santa Monica, CA

This beer came to me in a simple goblet. The small head of white foam dropped to wisps as I paid with my credit card. The beer was a hazy hazelnut brown. The aroma has intense cloves and maybe a touch of cinnamon. No barnyard or horseblanket smell. A bit fizzy. There's a bit of dark fruit and a bit of funky earthiness, but it all takes a back seat to candi sugar sweetness and super clove. I hallucinate a bit of floral hop bitterness that is just overwhelmed by the sweet. Towards the end, there's a hint of sourness. Finish tries to be dry, but the sugar and clove are just overpowering. Quite chewy.

Overall: too much clove for me.

 688 characters

Craftsman Bier De Mars from Craftsman Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.82 out of 5 with 13 ratings
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