Bière De Mars | Brewery Ommegang

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Bière De MarsBière De Mars
Very Good
405 Ratings
Bière De MarsBière De Mars

Brewed by:
Brewery Ommegang
New York, United States

Style: French Bière de Garde

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Ommegang Biere de Mars is a Belgian-style dry hopped amber ale with a bit of magical space dust woven in Brettanomyces bruxellensis, a wild-yeast used in the secondary fermentation. The Brett imparts added tartness, a bit of zing and some farmhouse funkiness.

Biere de Mars reveals a copper-amber body and a frothy white head that builds, clings and stays. Aromas are of malt and grain, clove, fruit and a bit of funk. Flavors are full-bodied with delicate malty sweetness, followed by spicy, peppery yeastiness and Brett-induced funk. Hopping is subtly bitter and aromatic, bumped up a bit by dry hopping. The finish is dry and gently lingering. At 6.5% ABV; it also pairs nicely with spicy foods such as barbecue.

Added by akorsak on 07-17-2006

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 405 |  Reviews: 273
Photo of Sammy
3.54/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Mildly and oddly (that's the style) spicey Belgian with a barnyard nose. Very pleasant body with soapy white head. The taste is more than decent and the beer is drinkable over a meal, but I would not seek it out again. OK for the style. Above average mouthfeel, though lightly acidic.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
2.7/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle pour at mrbubbler's tasting.

Pours a hazy orange with a foamy bone head that fades to nothing. No lacing on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, toffee, and cardboard aromas. Taste is much the same with cardboard and honey flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of earthy bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a low level of carbonation with an almost flat mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty poor beer that smells and especially tastes very oxidized and old.

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Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of Knapp85
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew poured out as a nice looking orange color. The head was there for a little while but faded to the edges of the glass and didn't leave much lacing. The smell of the beer had a little bit of a farhouse aroma to it but also had a light sweetness too. The taste of the beer gives off a slight tart kick in the beginning but fades into a really subtle earthy flavor in the end. The mouthfeel was medium bodied and had plenty of carbonation. Overall I thought this beer was really nicely done.

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Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reddish copper color with nice white head. An initial funky brettanomyces barnyard nose that gives way to big pleasant banana aromas. Light creamy mouth feel with light bret sour flavors, complex and layered to fruity banana character with a clean, light fruit/hop finish. A wonderful brew that clearly shows that bret ales don't have to be outrageous, extreme or crazy sour and over the top. This one is very drinkable with pleasant character and flavors. Final finish is one of carmel and toffee. Nice.

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Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of metter98
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is slightly hazy brownish amber in color and poured with a finger high off white head that faded away and left lacy rings of bubbles floating on the surface.
S: The nose is slightly sour and has aromas of apples and pears.
T: The initial taste has a slight amount of sweetness and is rather fruity with apple flavors standing out in particular; the beer finishes with a slight amount of sourness from the Brettanomyces. No hop bitterness is perceptible, although there are some hints of spicy yeast in the finish.
M: It feels on the lighter side of medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: Compared to other beers in this style, this one is extremely easy to drink.

Note: Batch #3, November 2008

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Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of kojevergas
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 pt 9.4 fl oz brown glass bottle with cork and wire-cap served into a generic hefeweissbier glass in low altitude Los Angeles, California. This is Batch #3 from November 2008. Props to Schlimenhaumer outta New York for sending me the bottle. Reviewed live. This is my first Ommegang brew; I'm really excited!.

A: Pours a two finger head of nice cream and thickness, and good retention. Colour is a hazy dark copper. It's appealing.

Sm: Heavy caramel, amber hops (I can't discern the specific type), candied sugar, and some spice (sort of Winter Warmer-esque spice). Aroma is fairly strong, but very pleasant. It's certainly got subtlety. Let's dive in!

T: Wonderful candied sugar gives it a lovely character, complementing the yeasty foundation. It's very much a biscuity sort of beer, but it has spices I've had before in Winter Warmers. I don't know that I get the tartness the label refers to - maybe a touch on the climax. The hops are extremely well executed, buried subtly beneath the candied sugar without being too prominent (or bitter). Caramel is certainly present, particularly just before the climax, but it avoids being overburdening. Subtlety is key in this beer, and it's really nicely executed and built. It's very well balanced as well. In the style, I think it's among the best I've had.

Mf: Smooth and wet, without being sharp or too thick. It's also a bit... milky? It's not cream, but there's a sort of rolling smoothness I can't quite describe that's a really nice touch, particularly on the open. It helps encourage the next sip. The mouthfeel really nicely complements the taste.

Dr: Extremely drinkable, but it does make me pause to enjoy it. It's a beer with character, brewed with care and really well done. I could drink it all night and be very happy. The ABV is relatively above average, but doesn't come through in the taste, though it does pleasantly warm me stomach. All around, this a great beer that really masters the style and will be enjoyed by any true beer lover. I'm unsure of the price as I didn't purchase it, but I imagine it's rather high. I also imagine it's well worth it.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I thought this beer was only a regional release in the Upstate NY area. I'm glad to see it on the KY shelves.

Removal of the cork sounds a pressurized pop, but no gushing. The initial pour brings a rust color with moderate haze, loosely knit head formation and very lively carbonation. The head settles into a 1/2" froath and holds firm, leaving good lacing on the glass. True to Belgian Ales, the appearance sure fits the bill.

Tart and pungent aromas fill the nose with all sorts of scents: amber malts, tart berries, apples, mustiness, grandma's attic, and horse blankets. All of the aromas seem to have a lot of control, not to allow the beer to fall into disrepair, but retraint and togetherness.

Taking over where the aromas end, the flavors pick up on that balance and complex yeasty tastes. Estery with apples, appricots, mangos, limes and under-rippened berries. Phenolic with pepper, cumin, orange zest, and a touch of soapiness. Other wild yeasts and bugs bring that clean lactic sourness tht shows a remarkable amount of restraint not to chew right through the delicate malt character. Lightly caramelized malts give a light, clean sweetness that rounds out the funky yeast notes and give them a sound base to give structure to the beer. Grassy hops also find their way into the beer in a pungent Orval kind of dry-hopped way.

Surprisingly clean, sharp, dry, and evaporative to the palate. Not heavy or sweet in the least to worry about mouthfeel-wise. The beer magically lifts from the tongue and is carried away by the abundant carbonation. Maybe a light tannin-wood character accentuates the dryness. A light bite and tingle to the mouth, the beer is nearly effortless to drink.

In true Ommegang fashion, the beer is a crystal clear example of the Bier de Mars style. I would like to see a little more play between the clean character exhibited here, and the challenging rogue yeast and bacteria character that I have found in authentic Belgian versions. A bit more age will bring the beer closer to center and mellow out those fresh hops. The beer seems to be influenced by Orval and does very well by the mentorship.

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Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into signature tulip glass; Batch 2, 10/2008 bottling. Pours lightly hazy/cloudy orange amber color with a 2 finger fairly dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings on the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of lemon zest, orange peel, apricot, pear, apple, white grape, herbal, floral, hay, straw, grass, pepper, musty funk, light leather, bread, light caramel, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity/earthy/funky yeast, earthy hops, and pale malt notes; with good strength. Taste of lemon zest, apricot, pear, apple, white grape, pepper, hay, straw, grass, herbal, floral, light leather, bread, light caramel, light funk, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Good amount of earthy yeast spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of lemon zest, apricot, pear, apple, white grape, pepper, hay, straw, grass, herbal, floral, light funk, bread, light caramel, and herbal/yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast, earthy hop, and pale malt flavors; with a great malt/yeast flavor balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium bodied; with a very smooth, crisp, and lightly prickly mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice biere de garde style. All around good balance and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast, earthy hop, and pale malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to sip on. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of zeff80
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, orange-amber color with a bubbly, foamy, three-finger head that left some lace. It had quite a bit of yeast sediment floating in the bottle of the bottle.

S - It smelled very fruity and somewhat funky. It really had a sweet nose.

T - It tasted fruity, like apples, pears and some cherry. It had a caramel malt backbone.

M - It was soft and smooth. A medium to full-bodied ale.

D - This is a pretty good belgian-style ale. However, it did not leave me wanting to go buy another.

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Photo of brentk56
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Batch #2, October 2008

Appearance: Pours a cloudy apricot nectar color with a billowy head that leaves clumps and strands of foam behind

Smell: Light fruits (tangerine and pear), balsa wood and some Bretty funk

Taste: Tangerine and pear flavors interplay with white pepper and funky Brett tones through mid-palate; after the swallow, the flavor dries out, introducing the balsa wood element into the finish; tartness lingers in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body; slightly overcarbonated

Overall: As others have noted, this is not the funkiest of Brett beers; still, it has a nice flavor profile and, with three years of age, has matured to become a readily drinkable beer

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.32/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of Cletus Batch #1 tasted in April 2009: Poured a clear medium amber color ale with a quite big bubbly head with minimal retention and some light lacing. Aroma of zesty Brett notes with some great Belgian style malt. Taste is quite a complex mix with some dry Bretty notes, some zesty refreshing notes with a lightly sweet bold Belgian malt backbone. Body is about average with some good carbonation. Very well done and something I wish I could have more often.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.45/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A long-standing bottle carefully poured to keep the lees intact delivers a remarkably clear deep-amber body beneath a massive head of frothy, just slightly off-white. The retention is quite good, and it leaves some very nice lace about the glass.

In the nose it's sweetish with berries, cherry, apple, and a bit of lime. A breeze of dusty spice swirls around it, and then some damp leaves and twigs appear as it crosses-over into some compelling funkiness. It's clean... more metallic and mud than barnyard and mustiness. Some leather appears, but so does some gentle caramel which is nice.

In the mouth it's medium-light in body with a gentle bristle from its very fine-bubbled natural carbonation.

The flavor is fuller than the aroma, which might be expected, but it's not any more complex. Sure, it's wider, but there's not a whole lot more going on. The citrus and berries and fruit are still there, swaddled in a soft caramel malt that's infused with just a bit of spice, and followed by some wood and grass and then the funky, earthy, mineral and mud of the Brettanomyces.

Interesting and nicely done, I really enjoyed the way that the Brett character interacted with the malt and fruit and spice rather than being obtuse or going overboard. It's reminiscent in a way of some of the wines of the southern Rhone. Charming! Worth seeking out!

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Photo of vfgccp
4.23/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A – Light maple apricot. Low white head holds up with poor retention and lace.

S – Pickled ginger with edgy sour notes. Orange. Touch of earthy barn yard.

T – Soft malt and a mellow sourness merge with a fruity center to bring out tart, under ripe apricot. A lemon acidity keeps the profile clean as the beer finishes with spicy pepper and sage.

M – Big, bright carbonation on a medium body.

O – Subtle, mellow and well integrated: I really enjoyed this. On the softer side of sour, this is a nice beer to introduce people to brett styled brews.

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Photo of REVZEB
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of nickfl
3.77/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Two fingers of off-white head on top of a hazy, copper-orange body. The foam settles down quickly and leaves light lace.

S - A light note of sweet malt with some toffee and toasted bread notes. Some wheat tartness and mild lactic acidity with just a hint of fruity brett funk.

T - Toasted malt flavors up front with a little bit of tartness and some musty, herbal notes of both hops and wild yeast. Dry caramel in the middle becomes an even dryer bread note in the finish with moderate hop bitterness balancing. Lingering toasted malt and light musty funk that echoes the herbal hops in the aftertaste.

M - Medium body, very high carbonation, and a very dry finish.

D - I wasn't quite sure what to expect here; would it be a rich, malty French ale or would it be dominated by sour funk? The answer, as it turns out, is neither. There is a significant malt character, but the beer is so dry that it sucks the life out of the grain and just leaves a burnt toast character that I don't care for. There is also a surprising level of hop bitterness and flavor, and while it is good hop character, it is not what I would have expected in this beer. The European hops enhance the dry toast flavors of the malt, and all of this is further set off by the similar character of musty funk that the brett has contributed. The funk is not particularly complex or powerful, just a dull musty character that blends into the malt and hops. I don't want to suggest that this is a bad beer, it is well crafted and all of the flavors work together well, but it doesn't do much for me. Overall it is kind of one dimensional and lucks both the richness that I would want in a Biere de Garde and the liveliness that I expect from a wild beer.

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Photo of mactrail
3.44/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy orangey amber in the Ommegang chalice. Some slight swirls of foam in the glass. Softly fizzy in the mouth. Appley with a little of the "meaty" flavor. somewhat oxidized and on the tart side. A little aroma of fermenting fruit and rising bread. A bitter twang and some sharp malty flavors along with that indefinable Brett funkiness. Very slight bitter aftertaste.

This makes me wish that New Belgium would dust off their Bière De Mars recipe and brew it again. It was so much meatier and crisper than the Ommegang version, though apparently much fresher. This does go down easy, though a little acidic on the stomach.

This just seems unlikely to me that a beer of moderate ABV would still be drinkable five years later. This is supposedly Batch #2 from October 2008 according to the label on the neck. From the 750 ml bottle bought at Olive Tree Market in Ocean Beach.

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Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of wethorseblanket
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle - $10.99 at Bullock's in Marietta, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a hazy, dark orange-amber body with a foamy, whitish head.

Smell: Aroma smelling of sweat-stained leather, Zuckermans' farm, sour lemon, dried grasses, a pinch of caramel, sliced bread, and farm fresh fruits, though not necessarily in that order.

Taste: Lightly sweet caramel and fresh sourdough bread washed down with a sip of apricot juice and a few drop of sour lemon juice. The Brett character is a bit subdued in this one -- no blasts of butyric acid here. Sure, you get your wild, musky tastes of leather, basement cobwebs, and farm funk, but it's been dialed down a fair bit. Lightly grassy hops with just enough hop bitterness. The finish is bone dry and features final, mild hints of malt and wild yeast. A nice balance and interplay of sweet and sour components overall.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Moderate carbonation. Fairly soft mouthfeel.

Drinkability: A pleasant, keenly refreshing Bière de Garde lightly layered with the intriguing complexities of the Brett keeps this one in on the "easy" side of the drinking spectrum. My favorite Ommegang by a wide, wide margin. Recommended.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From 10/16/10 notes. Shared a bottle with my brother and father. Batch 2 from October 2008.

a - Pours a murky amber color with one finger of white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of tart apples, brett, spices, and citrus. Little bit of funk but mostly tart apples.

t - Tastes of lemon, spices, tart apples, brett, and some funk. More funk in the taste than the smell and more citrus than apple.

m - Light to medium body and high carbonation that hurts the mouthfeel a little bit.

d - A pretty enjoyable biere de garde. Lots of tart apples and funk, which I liked a lot. I wish it hadn't been quite as carbonated, but I enjoyed it none the less. Would have again.

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Photo of rab53
5/5  rDev +29.5%

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Bière De Mars from Brewery Ommegang
Beer rating: 3.86 out of 5 with 405 ratings