ARNAUDVILLE, LA—Bayou Teche Brewing is releasing Miel Sauvage, a French-style ale crafted with honey sourced near their Arnaudville brewery. In France, farmhouse breweries have crafted a style of beer known as Biere de Miel for centuries – it is an ale brewed with an ample amount of honey from local beekeepers. Miel Sauvage is Cajun French for wild honey and Bayou Teche Brewing’s new beer is fermented with a beehives worth of honey from their neighbor, Bernard’s Apiaries.
Says Bayou Teche’s brewmaster Gar Hatcher, “We worked with Steve Bernard from Bernard’s Honey and tried several varieties of his locally sourced honey. We all agreed on one obtained near the Atchafalaya Basin as the best variety for this beer.” The brewers then worked with barley imported from France and Canada that were known to impart honey flavors into finished ale. Continued Gar, “after fermentation was complete, we racked our Cajun-take on French honey beer into empty whiskey barrels for aging.” Joked Gar, “the Miel Sauvage was exiled in those barrels for the same length of time that Napoleon was exiled on Elba.” In reality, the Miel Sauvage remained in these barrels for many months and while aging the beer picked up notes of whiskey, vanilla and oak.
The label of Miel Sauvage resembles an heirloom patchwork quilt that has been embroidered with three honeybees. Honeybees were long an emblem of French royalty and likewise three of them adorned Napoleon’s flag of exile. The Miel Sauvage label was just named one of the best ten labels of the month by an industry website.
Miel Sauvage is a limited release – just one single batch of this beer has been brewed this year. The ale is sorrel colored and has a pronounced honey aroma and the barrel aging contributes a smooth vanilla oakiness and whiskey flavored booziness. The beer is available in 22 oz. Belgian style bottles and on tap at special accounts in the brewery’s distribution area. Dorsey Knott says that Bayou Teche’s artisanal versions of elegant French ales are available in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and New York. The beer is also available in the Arnaudville brewery’s taproom.
Bayou Teche Brewing will release Miel Sauvage officially on Sunday September 29, beginning at 12:30 by throwing a cochon de lait at the brewery located in Arnaudville, LA. The cochon de lait will be cooked over the wood from the barrels that the beer was aged in.