Brooklyn Savoir Faire | Brooklyn Brewery

37 Ratings

Brewed by:
Brooklyn Brewery
New York, United States

Style: Bière de Garde

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by waltonc on 11-07-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 37 |  Reviews: 37
Reviews by Rudgers73:
Photo of Rudgers73
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap at the Tap & Mallet in Rochester, NY.

Pours a light copper color with soapy head to start. The head quickly dies to almost nothing. The beer is crystal clear with mild carbonation rising throughout. Smell is all over the place. Yeast, apples, wheat, CO2. The flavor is also all over the place. I wasn't sure what to expect with this being my first Biere de Garde. It tastes like a sweet belgian wheat mixed with an Irish Red, mixed with a pilsner. Full body, sweet up front with a heavy bubblegum yeast/wheat presence followed by biscuity malt, metallic hops, and a smooth dry finish. Very interesting.

Alcohol is extremely well hidden behind all of the layers of flavor that unravel throughout the drink.

I enjoyed it.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerFan
3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Latest Brew Master Reserve beer on tap in my basement. Pours a slightly cloudy amberish color. Light beige head which leaves some lacing and a tiny layer of foam. Sweet biscuit, bready nose. Hint of fruit - apple and pear. Ends with a clean finish due to the cold ageing. The added candy sugar definitely makes this a bit sweet, but not too far out of balance. Medium-bodied and very easy drinking for an 8% beer.

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Photo of scootny
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

At the brewery Saturday 1/3/2009

A light and clear copper color. A white head that thins somewhat quickly. Pretty good considering the beer was at a lager temperature. Lacing is good for a plastic cup. . Thin covering on top of the brew stays the duration. A light swirl reforms the head nicely as it warms.

Smell is complex and multilayered. Sweet malt and and bready notes. Faint banana is mixed with stronger apples and white grape. Light hop florals. A touch of hard cider/white wine.

Taste is sweet malt and buttered biscuit. Apples and white grape from the nose as well. Spices touches. Cookies slide in here, maybe a touch of ginger. Finish is light hops florals and hard cider. Sour apples come in after with more biscuits. Graham crackers linger with light cookies as well. Drying and short finish. No alcohol.

Mouthfeel is light with creamy carbonation.

Drinkability is off the charts. No trace of alcohol, refreshing and not filling. You can go glass after glass.

A superb Bier de Garde. Appearance suffers from the plastic cup, gotta call it as I see it.

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Photo of bonbini26
4.27/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

On tap @ the Brewery 12-26-08

Appearance: pours a hazy burnt orange, with generous lacing

Aroma: Spicy with flourishes of cinnamon, ginger, and light, estery fruits

Taste: Sweet, sugar cookie maltiness dominates, joined by an array of yeasty byproducts - bananas, cloves, ginge

Mouthfeel: Big, crisp, and with spicy notes

Drinkability: excellent for 8.0% the alcohol is very hidden and this a quite a complex brew another great brew from the Brewmaster's Reserve

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Photo of Proteus93
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served on draft at Beer Run in Charlottesville.

A: Honey golden / lighter copper hue... a pale, yet ever-so-slightly off-white head tops it with a fairly rich and creamy consistency. Not the tallest head, but retention is very good and it maintains a notable layer of head as it's consumed

S: Soft, toasty malts, quite a pleasant and warm aroma. I almost detect a slight note of pineapple in there, but not like a 'hoppy citrus.' Some pear scents, doughy breadiness, and a bit of damp mustiness, like an old cellar.

T: No hiding the spiciness on this one... alcohol flavours are quite apparent. Fruitiness of apple and perhaps pear blend in. A modest, toasted maltiness, and a touch of earthiness.

M: Medium body, a bit on the bigger side. Carbonation is about right, with a nice sparkling feel. Body maintains the flavours all the way down, which is a nice quality, and it finishes with a gentle warming of alcohol.

D: A nice one, with a bit of pep... I might be happier with a little less alcohol, honestly, but it's a fairly solid offering.

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Photo of metter98
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: It's golden yellow-orange, very much like honey, with a thin layer of bubbles delicately covering the surface.
S: The aroma is very malty and bready with some notes of yeast and fruits.
T: The initial flavor is rather fruity, which is followed by a dry finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and very crisp.
D: This beer is relatively easy to drink and the alcohol is well masked.

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Dilly Deli.
Pours a cloudy light gold in color. The pour creates a nice inch thick head that forms on top of the beer. Smell is telling me this isn't your normal Bier de Garde. Plenty of sugary candy, banana, and even some bubblegum flavors in the taste. I wouldn't say it fits the Bier de Garde category perfectly, but it is a very interesting and good beer. Very smooth to drink. Very non-cloying and enjoyful through the entire pint. Nice spring time beer. I would have it again.

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Photo of FLBeerGuy
3.15/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap in a pint glass at Coasters in Melbourne, FL

Pours a hazy golden color with a small white head which quickly dissipated. Mild nose, yeasty, a little sweet spice in there. Taste was also mile, yeasty and a little sweet spice as well. Mouthfeel was lighter than I would have liked. 8% abv is well hidden. Left a lingering aftertaste, which I think hurt the drinkability.

Brooklyn brews some great beers, but I was disappointed with this offering. This was my first Bière de Garde, maybe it's just not my style.

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Photo of MrIncognito
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Magnolia's in Purcellville, VA

A - A clear dark amber color with champaign-like bubbles beneath a 2-finger white, fizzy head. Nice head retention and fantastic lacing on the glass.

S - Citrusy and malty up front with sweet alcohol giving chase. Nice fresh smell with hints of grapefruit and lemon.

T&M - Taste follows the smell very well. I am hit first some nice smooth malts and then a taste of grapefruit and possibly a little bit of watermelon flavor. Some candy sugar sweetens it up a bit more with the alcohol. Lightly dry with champaign-like bubbles tickling the tongue. Nice and crisp.

D - I could easily put down a couple of these in a sitting. Very refreshing and a nice sipper. Alcohol is masked quite well, just slightly noticable in the sweetness

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.68/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 12/28/08 at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep gold color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of Belgian yeast, spice banana, light malts and a little bit of hops.

T: The taste is decently balanced for the style with flavors of Belgian yeast, fruit and some spices. There's a thin malt character and a mild hops presence. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and very crisp, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, this is a nice lighter Belgian beer to drink for a while.

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Photo of Lexluthor33
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Notes: Brooklyn brewery on a Sunday.

Copper colored,decent head and thin lace.
Aroma of malts,yeast,fruits and bready notes.
The taste followed the head. Malts,sweetness,fruits and yeast with a touch of alcohol warmth.
The feel was medium body,medium carbonation and grains in the finish.

Notes: My favorite beer of the day,not for sessions and a well hidden ABV can really hurt.

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Photo of waltonc
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Went back to Blind Tiger tonight since they still had many of the Brooklyns on tap, and tried this out. As described on Blind Tiger's menu, this is "brewed from French amber malts, giving it a bready nose, a warm toasty palate and a pale honey color. Brooklyn's special yeast gives a pleasant burst of earthy fruit in the center and then takes the beer into a dry finish."

This was the first time I can recall having this Biere de Garde style of beer, so will leave it to the experts to describe it above. Though I will note that my glass of beer did seem to be more amber than pale honey in color. There was a sweetness to it that was good, and mouthfeel was medium to thick with high carbonation. Another very nice Brooklyn beer.

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Photo of ShareANevada
3.63/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Hopleaf in Chicago. ~$7 goblet (12/7/08)

Poured like a solid pale ale, a little yeasty body to it, could see that this was a more wild ale.

The smell was soft, but the yeast and spices were there, and the prickly bitterness showed itself.

A very easy clean drinker. The spice lends to keeping things interesting, the bitter keeps the taste in line and makes it easy for more to go down the hatch.

While I thought this was a very good beer, it was not a showstopper. Would I have one again? Yes.

I think this would be best enjoyed with a meal, something to let that refreshing bitterness do its job, and the spice to complement the seasoning.

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Photo of Gavage
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: orange in color with a 1/2" head that slowly falls. Some spotty lace develops.

Smell: some soft orange citrus, yeast, and some fruity sweeness is mild but pleasant.

Taste: a mild bready malt character with some yeast, green apples, pears, and hints of banana. Bitterness is mild and alcohol is well hidden. Mildly refreshing.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp to start, smoother and a bit dry towards the finish. Medium bodied. Aftertaste is brief but strong flavored on the tongue.

Drinkability: superb version of the style and extremely easy to quaff. Alcohol will creep up on you with this one.

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Photo of John_M
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Max's today.

The beer pours a dark honey gold color with good head retention and fair lacing. On the nose, there is cherry and honey, with a hint of spice. Flavors on the palate replicate the nose, and there beer has a moderately sweet flavor profile. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with fair richness. Drinkanility is pretty good, though you can tell there is some alcohol in this one. Nevertheless, this is another solid beer from Brooklyn brewing.

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Photo of LennyV
4.51/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Purchased a growler from halftime in poughkeepsie ny.

Pours a copper color into my brand new duvel glass. Small head with minimal lacing.

Smells mallty and sweet.

Tastes gingery and spicy but very very smooth. Little hop bite toward the end.

Medium to heavy body fell in the mouth good carbonation.

This brew could get me in trouble with 8% abv . It is so easy to drink i could mistake it for a session beer, but after 2 or 3 pints I would be falling off the bar stool.

Great job Brooklyn!

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Photo of Deuane
4.27/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Copper with a thin white head that held on well and left decent lace.

S-Gala apple a bit of spice and some malty sweetness.

T-Up front fruitiness with notes of bartlett pear and banana. A nice spicy sweetness supports with fruitiness. Very tasty.

M-Medium bodied, sharp and crisp. A rather "bright" feel with nice lingering flavours.

D-Very nice a lot more flavour than I expected. A fresh, fruity and very tasty brew.

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Photo of WesWes
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On Tap at Clark's Ale House 1/28/09

The beer pours a beautiful dark golden color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice golden ale profile with some light sweetness and a bit of esters as well. The taste is outstanding. It's incredibly smooth with a wonderful malt character and fruity yeast esters in the finish. It's a bit sweet, but nothing out of character. It goes down with ease and finishes clean. The mouthfeel is good as well. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a tremendous beer. It's true to style and easy drinking. Cheers!

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Photo of garcia2a
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a rich golden tone with slight carbonation and a lovely lacey head.

The bouquet is rich with yeast and powdery malt. I am detecting a slight citrus component.

The taste, for me, is spot on. Nice citrusy esters complimenting slightly sweet powdery malt. A nice clean aftertaste that made me yearn for the next sip.

This beer is easy on the tongue and mouth, but cloyed a bit for me. This, as are most of Mr. Oliver's tasties, a fine sippin beer that you can enjoy 2 or 3 of them. I look forward to our next meeting!

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pretty clear amber with an earthy nose that carries a touch of citrus. Flavor brings the same. Earthy bitter tone. Sweet and tangy edge to it. It's nice. The carbonation bites a bit hard, but the liquid is smooth and slick. A nice drinker you could have several of.

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Photo of Kendo
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got it on tap at the Lionheart on 3-11-09.

A: Body is dark golden-amber with a small white head. Good visible carbonation. Some lace.

S: Some spice (cloves), some biscuity malt and a hint of fruit. Not terribly strong in the nose, however, but pleasant.

T: Light biscuity/toasty malt provides a foundation. Fruity with some cloves, banana and mild bubble gum sweetness. No apparent bitterness, but it finishes clean, so something is cutting through or counteracting that sweetness.

M: Good creamy fizziness in feel. Call it lighter side of medium-bodied. Nicely carbonated with gentle bubbles.

D: Very good. Good mouthfeel and a clean aftertaste made this one go down easily.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.58/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on draft at Track 84. Served in a tulip. Poured a hazy orange-gold with a half inch off-white head that dissipated into a consistent skim of foam. Mild, understated nose - yeasty, with a light spice profile. Taste revealed a slightly citrusy character, wheaty/biscuity and yeasty with some spice in the background (couldn't tease them out though). Mouthfeel was light-bodied, evenly carbonated from sip to swallow, with a dry finish and a lightly lingering aftertaste. Alcohol was well-hidden. Interesting and style consistent, but Bière de Gardes tend to be hit or miss for me. Liked it, but one was enough due to the aftertaste.

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Photo of biegaman
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Rattle N' Hum in NYC.

Copper wire colour with the gleaming complexion of Swarovski crystal. It's an alluring looking beer that possesses a most wonderful glow and fetching blush. It is topped with a thin sheet and loose soapy collar. I'll say it if it's not already evident: the beer looks good.

True French Bières de Gardes often have what is known as a "cellar" character. It is a sort of antiquated mustiness derived from indigenous, well cultured yeasts. Savoir Faire doesn't quite duplicate the authenticity of such character but it comes awfully close. The yeast used must certainly have some European descendants because it is teeming with fruity esters and spicy phenols. There's lots in the bouquet to keep you entertained.

Both aroma and taste share a number peculiar qualities. Beyond kilned roasted and kettle caramelized malts, the palate is treated to an assortment of flavours: ripened red apples, bruised yellow pear, pink bubble gum, pine bark, heather, wild flowers and wild honey. It shows its strength but maintains proper grace and character. Of the three variations of the style (blond, brown, and amber) I've definitely developed a preference for the amber.

The mouthfeel begins on a thin, almost solventy note of alcohol but quickly recovers with a brittle, softened hop bitterness. It borders on sticky with notes of heated caramel and could be considered quite rich with a texture like that of melted butter. Although the alcohol can be a little forward it isn't enough to detract from drinkability and serves to add a touch of depth.

In his book 'The Brewmaster's Table', Garrett Oliver wrote of Bière de Garde's ability to pair with Thanksgiving dinners; it's only suitable that his offering makes wonderful accompaniment to such foods. My mouth waters at the thought of pairing this with fall and winter time vegetables. Any oven-baked meat, honey-glazed ham and turkey are first to come to mind, would make an absolutely perfect marriage.

This beer is aptly named Savoir Faire (literally "know how"). Anyone who has read 'The Brewmaster's Table' knows that Brooklyn's brewmaster understands beer very well. To successfully brew a traditional artisanal French farmhouse ale requires not only mastery of craft but also a familiarity and appreciation for the delicacy of the style. I wish Brooklyn would stop "keeping" this only on tap and start distributing it in bottles!

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Photo of corby112
3.56/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark golden orange/amber color with lighter golden burnt orange hues when held to a light source and a massive three finger creamy, pillowy white head with excellent retention, only slowly fading into a large lasting cap that coats the glass with chunks of soapy lacing.

Slightly spicy aroma with lots of bready yeast and crisp light fruit notes. Slight alcohol and spice presence.

Lighter end of medium body with some zesty spice up front followed by some estery crisp light fruit, especially apricot, apple, pear and grape. Slight alcohol sweetness but no warmth making it pretty quaffable. Subtle hops and slight biscuit malt provide nice balance with a slight dry finish.

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Photo of mhatters
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap at my house in a Duvel glass

Light golden colored when poured, with a thick head.

Lots of sugar in the nose, also some hints of cotton candy (really)

Great taste - not the standard FrenchBelgian style, but not far off, kind of a modern twist - citrus hint, fruit comes through in the end (apple and pear)

Lasts perfectly, long and sweet - diminishes well without any unpleasant notes


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Brooklyn Savoir Faire from Brooklyn Brewery
Beer rating: 4.06 out of 5 with 37 ratings
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