Garde Dog | Flying Dog Brewery

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Garde DogGarde Dog

Brewed by:
Flying Dog Brewery
Maryland, United States

Style: Bière de Garde

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by letsgopens on 03-20-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 352 | Ratings: 497
Photo of Sammy
2.88/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Yellow with fluffy white bubbly head. Neutral smell. High carbonation. Some creaminess on tonge, lace, above average mouthfeel. A tad of grassy hop. But fairly weak taste for the style, something like a malt liquor. sweetish aftertaste. Nothing special at all.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.73/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out as a straw yellow color with a haziness to it. The head was fluffy and white at first, but it settles down shortly after the pour. The smell of the beer has some fresh grainy aromas and a little touch of some hoppy citrus. The taste of the beer has a pretty nice balance between sweet and bitter. The mouthfeel is pretty light and refreshing. Overall this brew is ideal for summer in my opinion. I enjoyed it but wouldn't ever buy a case of it.

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Photo of metter98
3.18/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a hazy golden color with a medium-sized head that rapidly dissipates into a thin film and then completely disappears. There's a light to average level of carbonation.
S: The faint aroma is of musty, toasted malt.
T: There's nothing special about the flavors, which are malty and grainy. A bit of sweetness comes out from the malt, and the finish is slightly bitter.
M: It feels like a light to medium body, beer with earthy flavors.
D: It's drinkable, but probably not interesting enough to warrant another.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.25/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Hmmm, this beer is kind of a let down, and I'm trying to figure out why. The beer opens with a very pilsner-like appearance, but with darker, nearly golden malts. Abundance of CO2 give life to the dull, almost clear complexion and feeds the head formation and retains til the end. Aromas begin with a very sweet pilsner flavor that begs to be attenuated longer. Fruity esters, dominant with pears, apples, peaches, and pineapples, give some variey, but still feels like an off-track pilsner. Light on hops fit the style, but the sweetness keeps the beer from balancing out. What's missing is a descernable Belgian character; a little dusty, cellar-like character, or a bit o' funk would help sell the beer for me. Light acidity helps give a bite to the beer that it despirately needs. This beer makes for a great, sweeter alternative to a Stella.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.49/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

My first and probably not one of many for this style (doesn't seem to be too popular). Pours a golden color.. very small head to it, no lacing can be seen. Smell is very spicy and floral like.. very pleasant actually. You can pick out some of the noble hops (has a European twinge to it) and lots of more spicy characters. Tastes like a hybrid of a wheat beer and a saosin. Odd, but pretty drinkable. Not sure if I would have it again but at least I can say I got try the Biere da Garde style!

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Photo of brentk56
3.35/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear honey color with a modest head with very little lace

Smell: Grassy and grainy with a hint of floral lemon

Taste: Opens with a biscuity flavor that betrays a hint of floral lemon character; after the swallow, it is more of the same, with the lingering floral character

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: This must be the Blue Moon of Biere de Gardes; easy to drink but a pretender to the style

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Photo of kojevergas
2.9/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Uinta pilsner glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are average.

Served straight from the refrigerator and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Not paired with food. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Liquid surged out of the bottle and spilled on me floor upon opening. Bleh.

A: Pours a four finger beige head of fair cream and thickness and good retention. Colour is a semitransparent yellow. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Biscuity yeast, background floral hopping, clean malts, some lemon peel, and must. A fairly strong aroma.

T: Biscuity yeast is somewhat restrained. Floral hopping and clean malts add body. There's herbal and lemony notes about the body and climax. Simple but enjoyable. Lacks complexity and subtlety. Decently balanced. There's just not enough going on here.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Good thickness. Good carbonation - though it might be overcarbonated judging by the opening earlier.

Dr: Drinkable and enjoyable, but far from ideal. Not unique or special. I might try it on draught, but elsewise I wouldn't get it again.


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Photo of zeff80
3.97/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, golden-amber color with a very bubbly appearance. There was a small, white, bubbly head of foam that had some decent retention. Minimal lacing.

S - Nice aroma - some barnyard funk, spices and yeast. Also, a toasty malt smell.

T - Quite spicy upon first sip. It had a fairly strong yeast presence with some sweet caramel and grain flavors.

M - It was crisp and sharp with a dry finish. A light to medium-bodied ale.

D - This is a pretty nice biere de garde. It tastes pretty authentic.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.6/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On cask at Rustico - Alexandria. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a moderate brown color with a thin white head. The nose is some slight malt with just a tiny bit of light fruit. The taste is moderate breadiness and a bit of mildly-spicy yeast. The feel is pretty light with good carbonation. Slight bit of citrus starts to come through. Drinks fairly well overall and I think the cask probably improved the presentation here.

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Photo of mothman
3.23/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a bud american ale glass

Pours a bit over a finger of off white head. Decent head retention, leaving some light lacing. Color is a clear golden orange.

Aroma: A very bland beer that doesn't have too much going on with it. It has some spice notes and yeast flavors. Nothing too hop forward, but nothing with a big malt back bone showing either.

Taste: Yeast, cloves, and spice show here. Some grassy hops. A little more flavor comes along with the taste. Some lemon zest here as well. Not to much.

Mouthfeel: It has a very crisp feel to it from all the carbonation, but is also fairly clean. Light to medium bodied. Ends very dry and grainy.

Overall, not the best beer from flying dog, but something easy to drink on a warm spring or summer day. Decently priced, but nothing to go crazy over. Somewhat drinkable if you are in the mood for something like this.

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Photo of jlindros
3.43/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a large fizzy head of almost 2 fingers that's almost like soda that fades so quickly it makes me think it was soda, over the slightly clear slightly hazy orange peach golden color.

N: Some toasty malts, a little creamy malt, light spices, touch of light fruit, a little wheat and maybe even touch of banana, and a touch of a lager yeast like aroma.

T: Starts with a creamy malt, somewhat like a cream ale, then adds more toasty malts, a dry almost wit like toasty malt, very light spices... a nice Belgian malt flavor too, with a slight cross between a Belgian yeast and German lager yeast flavor. A little wheat flavor too. Nothing crazy, mostly settles into a basic Bière de Garde like flavor but very mellow, they tried to play it safe on this one.

M: Medium body with good/lots of carbonation.

F: Finishes slightly dry with a slight creamy feel still, light lingering wheat and toasty malts, but finishes mostly clean and void of most flavors. A little bit of lingering fruit flavors too, and a weird gritty dry feel that almost gives me a sandpaper like feel. A slight bitterness too, and a slight orange peel with the light spices.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.99/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Flying Dog Garde Dog

Appearance: Clear, deep gold body with an orange cast beneath a short head of bright white foam. Head retention and lacing are average.

Smell: Floral with delicate spice (yeasty phenolics, corainder, green cardamom, clove) over lightly sweet and gently biscuity malt.

Taste: Moderately malty and floral, threaded through with delicate notes of spice. Softly toasty. Light yeasty fruitiness (apple, pear, white grape). Mineralish, subtly chalky, a touch grassy, and perhaps a hint earthy as well. It's almost peppery but not quite there, offering an interesting jagged note of spiciness that seems omnipresent but never really makes itself known. Nicely balanced; backed by a firm bitterness that combines with the spiciness to lead to a dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light in body but with some sugars that help to give it a little bit of a bigger feel at first. Moderately crisp.

Drinkability: Interesting with a fair level of complexity. Golden. Floral. Lightly spicy. Dry. Actually quite a good choice as a spring seasonal. Nothing holds it back. Pretty damned drinkable as is.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.75/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright yellow color, with a thin white head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains a lot of fruit, along with some Belgian yeast, light malts and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of apples and grapes. Then some mildly bready flavors from a thin malt character and Belgian yeast come in. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, it's nothing spectacular but it's a decent beer worth drinking for a while if you want a milder Belgian-style beer.

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Photo of mactrail
3.9/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hazy pale amber in the tulip glass. Lots of foam that carries through into a soft, creamy mouthfeel. Slight yeasty nose with pear and biscuits. A touch of butter in the aftertaste. Fairly bitter as it melts on the palate. Reminds me of a Saison crossed with a Wit, minus the spices. In other words, tangy, a funky bitter twang, slight malty sweetness on the lips, and hops on the back end. The yeasty, bitter flavor takes over the aftertaste.

Whatever deficiencies this has for the style, it's a highly drinkable beer with a pleasant Belgian tang. From the 12 oz bottle available in sixes.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.33/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at Prohibition Taproom, Philly, PA

Poured a clear, golden yellow with a small cap of white head; minimal retention and lacing. Aroma contained hints of grass, grains, light fruit. Taste has some yeasty breadiness, apple skin, light citrus, with floral and herbal notes, slightly acrid. Light-medium body, and pretty easily drinkable, though not amazingly flavorful.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.8/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clear, light copper body with a thin, white head. Very much apple juice in appearance.

Smell: Smells like apple juice, too! Maybe a bit of pear in there as well, like the juice drained from a can of diced fruit.

Taste: Light, delicate maltiness and medium sweetness. Sprizty fruit juices. Mild bitterness. Very faint yeastiness. Very much apple juice in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Unfortunately, this one's a very forgettable bière de garde. Nothing worth garde-ing here.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.78/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Rich gold with a few drops of orange juice. As expected, the head isn't comparable to the world's best bieres de garde. The melted marshmallow-like lid has a smooth upper surface and is leaving small dribs and drabs of watery lace on the sides of the glass. If blinded (figuratively speaking), I would have called this an amber ale.

The nose isn't bad, but it doesn't belong on a true biere de garde. It's fruity and musky and herbal... none of them very prominent. If Flying Dog used a proper yeast strain, they sure didn't coax the necessary qualities out of it.

Garde Dog doesn't have the chops to be a respected member of this style. It's easy to see where the brewers were trying to go, but they didn't come close to getting there. Simply put, there isn't enough yeastiness or good hop flavor for this offering to be a success. Here's hoping that newbies don't drink it and think they're actually drinking a true biere de garde.

Amazingly enough, lightly sweet grain is the flavor focal point. It tastes like mostly pale with a hint of toast. There are quite a few APWAs that taste just like this. The hops are herbal, grassy and lightly spicy, with bitterness overtaking sweetness early and staying well in front through the finish. A hint of unmasked alcohol is unforgivable at this ABV.

The mouthfeel is light-medium and the bubbles are numerous enough. Trouble is, they're on the harsh side rather than being soft and caressing... which leads to a serious lack of creamy expansiveness. In addition, it feels worse as the ounces pass.

Flying Dog Garde Dog isn't avant-garde and it isn't a show dog. In the world of bieres de garde, it's a mangy mutt. A drinkable mangy mutt, perhaps, but only if expectations for style adherence are low. My advice to the brewery would be to go back to the drawing board and start from scratch.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.78/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

So..I finally made it down to Barleys to try this one. I had been waiting since I did not make the release. I was just a bit curious to see what Flying Dog was going to do with this one to be honest and that is why I wanted to stop in. So I felt it was a nice light one to start the evening off with. The pour came out a very light golden amber, very bright with an almost golden hay like color. Very nice looking I have to admit. More then ample carbonation reached up through from the bottom of the glass, and really did a nice job of reinforcing the head that had formed on top. Decent looking upon first pour as the white head reached a nice height of around three inches before falling back down and just becoming a thin veil of lace across the top. Fairly typical for the style.

The aroma was very light, with a light fruity grain like smell taking up the bulk of the profile. Some light touches of grass, and perhaps some apricots mixed in as well, but nothing terribly dramatic in this aspect. Light touches of yeast mixing in as well, but nothing to write home about. The flavor was very light, as to be expected, with nice apricot and apple like flavors coming through quite clearly. Nice grain like background really pushing forward now and offering you a glimpse of what had lain underneath. Great carbonation with an extremely light feel and really a nice airy quality about it. I literally could have drank this all night long as there was just no hint of anything harsh or big about it, just a solid light French style ale through and through.

Overall, this definitely did not wow me by any means, but then again the style really is not one of my favorites, however it was certainly a more then decent session ale and a nice introduction maybe to someone who is hooked on the Macro stuff. Not a bad offering but I will stick to something a little heavier next time around.

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Photo of russpowell
3.27/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an effervescent golden/bronze with 1 finger of cream colored head. Average head retention & lacing

S: Fruittyness, apple peels & honey

T: Honey, apple peels, & some lemony hops up front. A lot of honey, some apple juice & a touch of lemony hops as this warms. Finishes with apple peel, & a slight crispness

MF: Light bodied, with vigirous carbonation, balances alright

Drinks alright, not really my cup of tea style-wise & a rather weak representation of the style

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Photo of Slatetank
3.35/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I picked this up at Al's of Hampden as part of a mix-a-six. Poured chilled from the 12oz brown bottle into a goblet.

There is a gentle haze in the appearance, however you still get some visible carbonation in the gentle apple juice amber. There is a quickly compressing snowy cap that becomes a ring of beads and some lace adheres. The smell is not the most fragrant of Biere de Gardes I have had, but it has slight spice from the belgian yeast which also provides light fruit which comes off like bruised apple-like. The feel is highly carbonated and semi-spicy with high bitterness for the style. This is very dry and lacks any real malt body relying on the hops and yeast tanginess.

The taste comes off more like a Belgian ipa with some noble hop bitterness and it tastes too dry w/ more sharp acidic edges than necessary with slight warming/alcohol flavor with yeast notes forward in the taste giving slight fruit tanginess. I just wish there were more malt balance w/ the yeast which tastes ok in this brew. Overall a pretty decent tasting beer-just not in line with style. It is a tasty hoppy belgian but doesn't seem to be the best example of a biere de garde which is how they are marketing, but a Flying Dog beer I enjoyed drinking. I am glad I got to try this.

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Photo of smcolw
3.19/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Crystal clear and straw in color; nice fluffy head and decent spotty lace on the glass side.

Very mild lighter malt aroma. Close to a lawn mower offering in terms of smell.

The flavor is a marked improvement to the smell. Much more body than the pour would indicate; above average level of carbonation. The taste is dominated with grain and a touch of soured milk in the swallow. No notable hop presence to provide balance.

This is an uncomplicated beer. What you see is pretty much what you get--a mild, high-carbonated, lightly hopped ale. I feel that it is closer to an American pilsner than a Biere de Garde.

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Photo of womencantsail
2.99/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The pour is a hazy golden color with a rather large white head. Just an overdone spiciness. Smells overwhelmingly of coriander and grass. A bit of paper/cardboard and maybe some pale, cracker malts. Hints of spicy hops in the background. The flavor is lemony and mildly spicy, sort of like a bad witbier or hefeweizen. Spicy hop notes and quite a lot of water. Very grassy on the palate as well. Meh.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.95/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Walter Payton shaker pint glass.

It's been a while since last I tasted this pup, so it's almost new to me now... It pours a clear golden straw topped by a finger of white foam. The nose comprises light clove, black pepper, strong wheat, lemon zest, cardamom, and a touch of sourdough. The taste brings in more of the same, with the spiciness really coming through pretty strongly. The citrus isn't exactly a shrinking violet itself, and it comes complete with a nice bit of sweetness, mostly Belgian candi sugar-style. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a lightly grainy feel. Overall, a surprisingly very nice BdG, one I could stand to have on a fairly regular basis.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.49/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

I have been curious about both this beer in particular and its style in general ever since my local, in-person trader, tone77, dropped it off for me. I would hope that by the end of today's tasting session that I will have become smarter since that is the underlying idea.

From the bottle: "Wee wee (insert dirty French laugh here). Biere de Garde is a traditional French farmhouse ale brewed in March for drinking during the spring and summer months. Like another great French tradition, surrender your taste buds to Garde Dog's toasted aroma and spicy, malty sweetness. Wee wee. Haw haw haw."; "Good people drink good beer. - Hunter S. Thompson".

My initial, heavy-handed and wrong-headed, pour caused it to overflow the top of the glass. I recommend a gentle extended pour with this beer as a result. Crisis averted, I was left with two foamy fingers of tawny head with moderate retention. Color was a cloudy orangish-yellow. Nose was sweet, fruity, almost vinous. There was an underlying earthiness to it, but that was not prevalent. Mouthfeel had the same thin wateriness as its saison brethren, but here the emphasis was clearly on the malt and its interaction with the yeast. It had a very fruity, berry-like, grape-y flavor in the mouth along with a slight mustiness on the tongue. Finish was semi-sweet with the yeast leaving a lingering dryness in the back of the throat while the fruity sweetness remained in the mouth. A very different drink from what I am used to and I am very glad that I asked for clarification on the style before I began.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
2.33/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A very appeasing look to it slightly hazed with fine bubbles and a mist of yeast particles spiraling with my pour. Bright deep honey comb golden body with a bright white head which forms quite nicely and dwindles at a moderate pace. Lacing is thin and speckled, not very lackluster. Aromatics are one dimensional bready dough yeast with muted spices and a touch of green apple malt liquor esque qualities. Flavor is upfront honey sweet with apple juice and some kind of fruit jelly. Bitterness arises mainly from the lacquer of spices thrown in with only 25 IBUs hops really don't play much of a role. The overtly sweet spiced bread trick isn't working for me, mouthfeel is pretty horrid as well. A bit cloying with residual sugars and the coating of spices they added may induce a scraping of your tongue when your done with your sample. Drinkability as a whole is very pour, definitely a beer I'm not going to grab any time soon, pass on this one.

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Garde Dog from Flying Dog Brewery
3.43 out of 5 based on 497 ratings.
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