[Update: See Larry Bennett's post on the third page of this RateBeer thread for more detailed information.]
(Cooperstown, NY) – Fresh off of the heels of its appearance at American Craft Beer Festival, Brewery Ommegang is set to release Biere de Mars in 750 mL bottles very soon, possibly within the next two weeks and is available now (see update above).
According to Larry Bennett, Marketing Director, Ommegang plans to release around 600 cases, all or most of which will be sold at the brewery. With an average of 4.21 at RateBeer, it is the brewery’s highest-rated beer though it is still young in number of beer ratings.
A few notes on the style… There are several breweries that have produced their own Biere de Mars, one of the notable examples being Jolly Pumpkin in Michigan. The style is actually a variation on the biere de garde, a maltier version of a saison. Many versions also include Brettanomyces yeast like Ommegang’s does, adding a sour, funky character to the beer. Surprisingly, according to BJCP guidelines, a Biere de Mars is specifically named as such because it is meant for drinking now and not aging. [ed: Does this hold true in reality? A rare case in which a Belgian beer doesn't improve with a some age to it? Feel free to comment.]
Ommegang Rouge, another new beer that we have discussed in this space, is tentatively scheduled to debut in July. Ommegang worked with Bockor Brewery of Belgium on this Flemish sour ale. This will be a draft-only release with kegs being distributed to most of the contiguous 48 states. Orders were still being taken for this as of this past week.
Also just released is a new version of the brewery’s classic Belgian-style Quadrupel, Three Philosophers. 280 cases of this brew have been cave-aged 156 feet below ground in the Howe Caverns for nine months and it is now finding its way onto beer store shelves.
Two brews will make their returns in the next few months as well. Another batch of Ommegang Ommegeddon will be released in the next couple weeks. And in September, Ommegang Chocolate Indulgence Stout will be released again in 750′s and on draft.
This is all happening as the brewery gears up for Belgium Comes to Cooperstown, a sold-out multi-day mega-event taking place on August 1. If Ommegang does this next year, get your ticket early.