Today’s beer is another Christmas ale from France: Page 24 Bière de Noël from Brasserie Saint-Germain in the northern region of the country. Like Jenlain’s beer, this one is brewed “in the great tradition of the North”—which led me to dig around a bit and discover that the French tradition of Christmas/holiday beer originated in Northern France. (I had thought the Jenlain entry was claiming that Christmas beers in general originated there.)
This Bière de Noël is a traditional strong Bière de Garde brewed for the holidays to a warming 6.9% alcohol by volume. Malty and rich with roasted malts, the brewery suggests it will pair well with wild game (think venison) and beef kidney, chicken stew, and other regional dishes.
In fact I’d wager this would pair even better with a bûche de Noël, the traditional French Christmas dessert (literally, “Yule log”—a special rolled cake). A warm fire, a slice of the Yule cake, and a goblet of Bière de Noël—it’s tough to get any better than that.