Jerome Rebetez swapped grapes for grain when starting Brasserie Des Franches-Montagnes -- one of the few Swiss breweries you're likely to find stateside.
Right around the time we're celebrating Thanksgiving in the US, Rebetez brews a small batch at his brewery in the Jura Mountains to celebrate BFM's birthday. In this tasting, we tried both the 7th and 8th anniversary beers of the series (the Cuvee du 7eme and Cuvee du 8eme) in addition to La Meule and Spike & Jerome's.
We first had this beer at DBGB in Manhattan paired with lamb sausage. Hazy with a light straw hue and dry herbal aroma, La Meule does an excellent job of cutting through flavorful meat-heavy dishes. It's mild and dry with a crisp herbal finish from the addition of sage.
Slightly tart with a gently sweet finish, BFM rang in its 7th birthday with the Cuvee du 7eme. Initially to be a one-off release, it's now in BFM's regular catalog thanks to the insistence of its American importer, B. United International. Cloudy with a hint of marigold, this beer changes over time and is well worth stashing away for a few months (if patience is your strong suit).
The next beer in the anniversary series, Cuvee du 8eme is a Belgian style strong pale ale, brewed with cocoa powder. The color is a rusty burnt sienna, and the nose is full of caramel malts, sour cherry, and plum. Low carbonation, a mild tartness, with a cocoa finish, we come back to this beer often for pairing with richer chocolatey desserts.
Spike Buckowski, co-founder of Terrapin Beer Company in Atlanta, made the trip to Switzerland to collaborate on this barleywine brewed with 20% rye and aged in rum barrels. The result is a murky mahogany ale with a strong scent of cherries and rum. Not as sweet as the aroma would indicate, it finishes with dry rum and alcohol notes.
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