Farmhouse ale with pumpkins. The latest installment in the Cambridge Brewing Company’s series of pumpkin offerings, Bière de Gourde is based on the amber-colored beers typical of the rural French/Belgian border known as bière de garde. Brewed with pilsner malt plus wheat and rye, 150 pounds of organic Farm School sugar pumpkins went into the mash as well, embracing the “brew with what you’ve got” tradition of farmhouse breweries. We also added very subtle amounts of whole clove, star anise, allspice, mace, and cinnamon. The beer was then fermented with a Belgian yeast strain and cold-conditioned for several weeks. Its slightly hazy amber-gold mien has highlights of orange from our favorite squash, and boasts a high but fine carbonation. It is crisp on the palate with clean malt, underlying earthy spices, and a hint of tartness in the finish.
auerbrau (3199) - Ithaca, New York, USA - OCT 10, 2009
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
On tap at the brewpub. Aroma is a cold, srong cinnamon, star anise and ginger. Pours a very even, dingy murked amber-orange-brown, with absolutely no head. Flavor is a pretty standard pumpkin ale, with a twinge of Belgian yeast. The star anise comes through pretty stong and throws off the pumpkin pie character for me a little. It’s hard for me to fairly evaluate this beer, because I brewed a Belgian-style pumpkin ale last fall that I think is better than this, so it’s hard for me to fully appreciate the belgian character of this beer. Soapy. Strong spice character. Fresh, otherwise. Little pumpkin meat character. In the end, not a terrible fall spiced pumpkin beer, but there’s really nothing special about it.
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