Friday, February 6, 2009

Days of the Beer, February 6

The beer for today is Castelain St. Amand French Country Ale.

February 6, is the feast day for Saint Amand. Amandus was a French Roman Catholic saint. He lived from roughly 584 to 675.

Around the age of 20, Amand joined a monastery near Tours. He established monasteries in Ghent and Mont Blandin, the first in Belgium, among several others that he founded in his lifetime. It is assumed that the monastaries produced beer, and wine.

Amand is the patron saint of all who produce beer; be they brewers, innkeepers, or bartenders. He is also the patron of vine growers, vingners, and merchants, and for some reason... the Boy Scouts.

As to the beer:

Castelain St. Amand French Country Ale is brewed by Brasserie Castelain in Benifontaine, France. It is in the Biere de Garde style, and is 5.9& ABV.

Comments - First brewed 1978. Sold as Minator in Italy, and St. Amand in USA. Relabelled as Bière du Carnaval de Dunkerque.

Tasting Notes - An accomplished, fairly complex ale with masses of fruit, malt and bitter hops. Quite a range from the initial sweetness of the aroma to the bitterness in the finish. Easy drinking with a smooth almost creamy texture. JW: The elements come out one a time rather than blending together. KR: Excellent balance from the hops in the palate prevent a potentially cloying fruit tang taking over.
St. Amand is available locally at Seven Saints.

So, for the feast of Saint Amand, have a St. Amand French Country Ale.

Oh, and biere de garde is considered to be one of the best beers to have regardless of the meal. "In The Brewmaster's Table" by Garrett Oliver, he claimed it was the best beer (if not the only beer) to have on Thanksgiving. So, it would be perfect to have with a feast.

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