At the risk of offending some generous soul here, I have to say I can’t honestly remember who gave me this bottle of Bière Darbyste that’s been sitting on the beer shelf for who knows how long. And since I didn’t know much about it, I consulted Jackson, who told me something amazing...
First, it seems this beer is named after a temperance-preaching minister, John Darby, who inspired a low-alcohol beer for Belgian miners. Second, fig juice is added to the beer to provide additional fermentable sugars.
Bière Darbyste is also a “saison” beer, and I don’t think I’ve had one of those before -- nor do I know much about the style, apart from it’s a kind of seasonal beer, thought not what I’ve called “seasonal beer” in this blog before. I’ve used the term “seasonal beer” to denote Christmas and Easter beers. The “saison” beer is a special summer beer. Good thing I’m drinking this now, then -- not much summer left to enjoy it.
Enough with the mystery and introduction. How does it taste?
Tangy and yeasty, are my first impressions. Crisp. Seems to me something between a blond ale and a gueuze, and more the latter than the former. 5.8% alcohol. No hint of those figs.
Overall, this beer from the Brasserie de Blaugies gets a strong pass. I could imagine it going well with seafood dishes, or for just lazing about on a warm evening.
Sadly, we didn’t get many warm evenings in Belgium this summer. Actually, the weather for the past few weeks has been crap. Well, at least you can’t complain about the beer in this country...