Beer of the Week: Le Castor Farmhouse Beers

Today we’re doing things a little bit differently with the Beer of The Week. Some coworkers of mine and I have been discussing why Le Castor beer has been slow to move at work. After a quick remerchandising project, I decided the next best thing to do was to sample some of the beers. So, instead of featuring one beer, I will be looking at three beers from Le Castor, that are three takes on the same basic style of beer. This week’s beer(s) of the week: Le Castor’s Farmhouse Beers: Farmhouse Houblon, Farmhouse Cerise, and Dark Farmhouse. Special shout out to Mika, Kevin, and Jude for indulging and sharing this taster’s flight with me!

Le Castor is a Quebec microbrewery, based in the town of Rigaud. While Quebec is rife with microbreweries to glean inspiration from, Le Castor can trace its genesis back to Scotland, where the owner was first exposed to the wonders of craft beer. The brewery offers a diverse lineup of beer, including wild & sour beers and a barrel-aged program.

Each beer in the Farmhouse lineup is fermented both with Brettanomyces and Saccharomyces. Here’s the breakdown for each one:

Whether enjoyed fresh or aged, this beer has something to offer at all stages of life. The Farmhouse Houblon serves as the foundation of the other two beers, but is plenty delicious in its own right. Brewed with malted barley and rye, this beer has a pronounced funk from the aforementioned brett. Clean, with mild grassy and pepper notes, this beer will have pronounced dry-hop aromatics if enjoyed fresh. The brewery recommends aging it if you wish to impart a more rustic farmhouse character to the beer. This is a great beer to introduce a new craft-lover to brett, as the funk is not overpowering either in the nose or on the palate. Pair this with a delicious plate of cheese to cap off your day!

For those who enjoy a little bit more pucker and fruitiness to their farmhouse ales, the Farmhouse Cerise is the beer for you. This beer is Le Castor’s Farmhouse Houblon, re-fermented on sour cherries for a number of months, before being bottle conditioned. This gives the beer a distinct tartness both on the nose and palate, which subdues the hoppiness and evokes memories of Kirschenmichel. As with its sister, this beer goes excellent with a cheese plate, though you may want to break out your creamier bries and camemberts. This beer is also a fantastic alternative to a stout as a dessert beer and would pair beautifully with chocolate.

The very first Le Castor beer I ever enjoyed, this beer is a touch more complex than its siblings. Also brewed with malted barley and rye, Dark Farmhouse features piney and spicy hop varietals that compliment the style’s natural pepperiness and the tobacco and leather aspects that stem from the dark malts used to brew the beer. The dryness of the beer allows these flavours to really shine and recalls the dirtier and harder working aspects of farm-life: think breaking in a new colt while enjoying an old, hand-rolled cigarette. Thanks to its strong flavour profile, this beer would go best with hardier foods like a good pot roast, or with spicier offerings like Thai food.

À Votre Santé!

[Photo credit: Beerism]

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