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From Larry...

Thanksgiving is upon us and the holidays are close behind it.The fall beers are almost gone and holiday and winter brews are coming in.There are different beer pairings that go well with various foods we have at Thanksgiving. Last year I wrote about Bi?re de Garde and decided to try it at my family's Thanksgiving celebration. It was a big hit; even non beer drinkers (not many in our group!) declared it 'good beer'. Another year the entire dinner gathering became one of my first beer tastings. That menu is still on my Beer and Food page. Feel free to look it over and have your own Thanksgiving beer event. Or keep it simple and serve small glasses of Bi?re de Garde with the meal; it's a great match. Pumpkin beers also work well with turkey and all the fixings. The good ones are probably gone; remember next year to put a few aside for the day.


The "Style of the Season" is Bière de Garde as mentioned above. I got three different bottles to try. The best one was Castelain Blonde Bière de Garde brewed by Brasserie Castelain (France). It has a rating of 87 on Beer Advocate which is "very good". Some American brewers are now making the style; Smuttynose made a special one this year. Look for them at your local bottle shop.


The featured beer bar is Abbey Brewing Company of Miami Beach. A recent late night visit reaffirmed that the Abbey is a cool place to hang out and has great brews to boot. I have been going there for almost 20 years. When craft beer drinkers visit Miami, this is the place to take them.


I hope you have a great Thanksgiving celebration and may your holiday season be a beery one! Enjoy the time with family and friends and keep plenty of craft beer on hand.  





Biere de Garde Glass





        Style of the season

            Bière de Garde


A French style ,Bière de Garde ("Beer for Keeping") is brewed in the areas of France near the Belgian boarder. It was originally brewed by farmers at the end of winter, and meant to last through the summer months until the weather was cool enough to brew again. Many Bières de garde are bottled in champagne bottles complete with the cork and wire cage regalia. The champagne region is only 50 miles away and commercial brewers have always used wine bottles. American brewers have taken to the style and a wide variety of Bières de garde are now available at bottle shops everywhere. Bière de garde is characterized by a toasty malt flavor and unique earthy and herbal flavors. Bière de garde is the Thanksgiving beer; the stuffing and gravy have strong herbal flavors to match the beer's herbal flavors. If the turkey is dry, this beer makes everything taste juicy. The biscuity malt flavors match the lightly nutty flavor of the meat and the carbonation cleanses your palette, so you don't realize you ate so much. ABV 6 -8%.

Jupiter_Craft_Brewers_Festival_2014_Logo Jupiter Craft Brewers Festival / Field of beers
On January 23 and 24, South Florida's favorite beer event is happening in Jupiter. It offers many craft beers in a fun, relaxed setting. Both events have a limited number of tickets available. The Field of Beers is the Friday night before the festival. There are 15 stations; each features a beer paired with a special dish made for the event. There have been some great match-ups over the years. The next day the festival happens with many different craft brewers bringing a special brew or two for the festival. Tickets go on sale in mid December. More at Jupiterbrewfest.com
South Florida Brewfest was held at the FIU Biscayne Campus. The Hospitality school now boasts a complete brewery system. The festival has only Florida brewed beers and local smaller brewers showing their creations. MIA Brewing, Saltwater, Wynwood, and Miami Brewing were all there. Future breweries included Hialeah Brewing, Wasassa Brewing and Home Sick Brewing a home brewer from Orlando with some great beer. It was a day of fun and many different creations. See pictures at the GBL FB page.
Established in 1995, the Abbey is a Miami Beach institution. There are four house brews on at any time along with several unusual or rare guest beers. It's a great place to sit and enjoy your beer with like minded folks. A recent visit illustrates just why the Abbey is a must visit for craft beer lovers. They had their IPA and another unusual one. There were two outside stouts on as well. A quick visit became several hours meeting good people and enjoying the brews.

© Larry Goeser
Miami, Florida
Good Beer Larry