Advent Beer Calendar 2008: Day 14: French Country Christmas Ale

Southampton French Country Christmas Ale (Bier de Garde)Today’s beer comes from Southampton Publick House in New York: French Country Christmas Ale. However, you’ll notice that I have a picture of their Biere de Garde instead; that’s because they are in fact the same beer, and I can’t find a picture anywhere of the Christmas Ale in bottles (which are reportedly 12-ounce).

Their description:

This bottle-conditioned version is true-to-style compared to imported versions of the classic "Biere de Garde" style. This type of ale is produced in the Pas-De-Calais region of northern France by small, traditional farmhouse breweries. [It] has a complex spicy malt flavor accented by a mild herbal character of imported French “Strisslespalt” hops. The alcohol content of 7.2% is perceptible in the flavor and as a “warming” effect in the finish.

Whether you find the 12-ounce bottle or the 750ml corked one, there’s something endearingly traditional about a French farmhouse country Christmas.

BeerAdvocate grade: A-. RateBeer score: 3.66/5, 92nd percentile.