Good Harbor Golden AleSeptember 1, 2007 Ferndale, MI
Leelanau Brewing Co.
A bière de garde, aged in new French oak, with naturally occurring wild yeast. The recipe was crafted for Leelanau by Ron Jeffries of Jolly Pumpkin Ales.
The notably bright white head on this beer has the gelatinous look of the topping on a lemon meringue or key lime pie. This suggests to me a Belgian style “white” wheat beer. So does the hazy, lemony (perhaps opalescent, lime-like?) color of the beer itself. The nose even hints at coriander dryness, though the label implies that no spices are used. The body is firm but light for a brew of 7.5%. For a beer of such potency, it is also perilously refreshing. A clean and lightly sweet fruitiness is balanced by a leafy, oaky dryness in the finish. I would call this a saison but the brewers deem it a bière de garde.
- Michael Jackson
Not like most bières de garde you might have known, although almost-sweet lagered malt character resides at the core. The nose lets out the secret—this was contract brewed at Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales, where naturally occurring wild yeast are welcome and obviously found a home in the over-sized French oak barrel provided by Leelanau Brewing. Wild and funky, with pineapple and other citrus fruits, white pepper and vanilla, then oak tannins adding texture on top of the underlying malt. Complex. Integrated. Refreshing, with a tart finish.
- Stan Hieronymus
Author of Ultimate Beer, the Simon & Schuster Guide to Beer and numerous other works on drinks, Jackson has created legions of converts to fine beer.
Editor at Realbeer.com, a professional journalist for 40 years and amateur brewer for 15, Hieronymus is the author of four beer books, including Brew Like a Monk.