What a long, strange trip it has been. After finally getting hitched 16 days ago and up to the great green north that was Maine, I have made my back to the computer with a log full of great beer. And while I debated on where to start with my reviews, I find it most appropriate to start in the city that started the journey. It wasn’t the first time through RVA that I had this beer, but this past weekend’s escapade out downtown that I came across this beer. I hadn’t made it to Strangeways yet, and every time I went out and tried to have some, any, beer by this unique Richmond Brewery, they have been sold out. So I took the (big) bullet with this beer and was not disappointed one bit. And after a little eye rolling by the new Mrs., I finished off this large tasting enjoying every drop
Martian Spring, Strangeways Brewing (Richmond, VA)
Biere De Mars, ABV: 7.35%, IBU: 40
Presentation: Bottle pour into tulep. (I impressed the other tables and embarrassed my company when they gave me a wine chiller with my beer bottle)
Appearance: Dark gold bordering on reddish hue, white thick foam that caps if poured to fast.
Taste: Very lightly hopped with a slight citrus/lemon finish on the end. The oak/bottle conditioning gave it a very mellow consistency throughout with a very slight must which was more enjoyable than detrimental.
ABV/IBU: It doesn’t smack of ‘alcohol’ or bitterness as the cask conditioning smoothed that out, but it wasn’t devoid of a good hop finish that was noticeable, but not overwhelming.
Overall: I’ve never had a Biere De Mars or De Garde before, but I would put this somewhere between a American Pale and Beligum. At 7.35% ABV, it’s smack dab between those two categories. I have had other wine barreled beer where the flavor permeates the beer, but this was not that case this time. The oak was there, but not so much the wine, which wasn’t bad, just different. It’s definitely a beer to have with robust food and worked very well with the paella I had as a main course, but was a little overwhelming on more delicate food like oysters or tartar. This is a fun bottle of beer best to be shared, but not a hang out on the porch summer beer.