The Valiant Lineup: Veranda
As we prepare for our opening day (date soon to be announced!), we’d like to introduce you to each of our beers. Up first is Veranda.
Part of our Pillars of Strength series, Veranda is our Bière de Garde (“beer for keeping”). In common with the other beers in this series, Veranda is hardy, strong, able to satisfy the most sophisticated beer palate, able to stand out in a showdown with similar beer styles, and the embodiment of the perfect balance of style, drinkability, and above-normal alcohol levels.
Traditionally brewed in the farmhouses of northern France in the winter and spring (to avoid problems with the yeast brought about by summertime heat), the Bière de Garde is typically copper or golden in color, though hues can range from straw to chestnut brown; it was generally cellared for a while, often in cork-sealed bottles, to be enjoyed later in the year.
Veranda is a deep ruby color, reminiscent of a red wine. And like a red wine—and those Bières de Garde of old—Veranda can be aged for some time, allowing additional flavor complexity to develop. But you will also be able to enjoy our Bière de Garde straight from the tap, since our unique yeast strains creates an immediately appealing character. (If you do choose to store some bottles, though, keep them upright in a dry dark area, at temperatures around 50°F.)
Speaking of yeast—ours is a complex blend that allows Veranda to unfold a wide array of flavors and aromas, bring out ester profiles that aren’t usually found together. Take it from us: it’s not easy maintaining this level of yeast dependency! But that’s why we’re your Ale Specialists. We thrive on exactly these kinds of challenges!
Traditional Bières de Garde are unfiltered, and for good reason. Ours will be filtered only by means of gravity, since the suspended yeast only adds to the beer’s rich flavor profile.
But our yeast strain isn’t the only special ingredient; we also rely on French hops to impart a very particular peppery, earthy aroma to this French ale. The spice perfectly complements the yeast.
This is a high gravity beer (starting gravity of 18.63 °P), which means you can expect a higher alcohol content (8.5% ABV)—and, more importantly, a complexity of flavor that you begs to be sipped to be fully appreciated. (No chugging allowed!)
And so on to the most important part: the drinking! Recommended serving temperature for Veranda is 50 – 55°F—preferably in an oversize wine glass that will allow adequate headspace to showcase the amazing aromas. See if you can sniff out caramel, dark dry fruits (like raisins and prunes), and chocolate. Thanks to our strisselspalt hops, you may also pick up blackcurrant and floral scents that blend in harmony with the fruity spices of our yeast.
Veranda is fairly dry, which gives it an enjoyable drinkability. Combined with the low-level hop bitterness, the dryness allows you to focus on the malt selection—a combination of the super-crisp pilsner malt and sweetness from specialized caramel malts like Special-B. As you savor this beer, you might discern flavors that remind you of port wine—that’s thanks to the semi-oxidized character resulting from being aged for some time.
As if this beer doesn’t already have enough going on, we will be aging batches of it with medium-roast French oak, providing yet another layer of aroma and flavor. The addition of wood tannins almost pushes Veranda to the character of a fine wine. (You have to taste it to believe it!)
Pairing universally with most main dishes, Veranda is best complimented with roast beef, lamb, or fresh game. You may enjoy the combination better if you grill or roast these meats—but don’t get too carried away! Too much darkening may take away the delicate balance of this beer. Veranda is also delicious with cheese—especially selections that are rich and moderately aged, like double Gloucester. And yes, this can be a dessert beer, too—try it with spiced rum walnut tart or toffee apple crisp. (Watch future blog posts for recipes!)
As for the name: Veranda—the French word for “porch” or “to look out”—not only stays true to the French style of this beer, it makes us think of those perfect moments when we’re totally relaxed; maybe we’re enjoying the company of friends at a restaurant, maybe we’re taking in a beautiful view, maybe we’re shaking off the rigors of a long day—but we’re simply enjoying the moment.
We’re looking forward to you having your own Veranda moments in the very near future! In the meantime, we hope this whets your appetite for the Valiant lineup.
Next up: Get to Know Jericho.