Another Friday, another beer review! Because I haven’t had the chance to do a beer run since I got back from my sojourn to the States, I’m throwing it back today to one of our December trip stops: Reno. We had a great time there and visited many-a-brewery, including a place called IMBĪB. With Kyle, his brother and me, we managed to sample almost the entire tap list (see image below), and one of the tipples on offer back was their Spice De Mars. This brew is a perfect combination between sour and spice. It is slightly tart – with notes of cloves, cinnamon and citrus. It almost felt like drinking an American Apple Pie [yes I have to specify this, as Dutch Apple Pie is rather different!] in liquid form. I absolutely loved Spice de Mars and gave it a 4.5 out of 5 on Untappd. As a disclaimer, I should note that I’m the kind of girl who loves #pumpkinspiceeverything. So if you are not a PSL person, this beer may not be for you.
Spice the Mars is a spiced Bière de Garde, a French style of Farmhouse Ale. Bière de Gardes were brewed in winter and spring in order to avoid the high temperatures of the summer, which make the yeast do strange things. A variety of this style, known as the Bière de Mars, was brewed specifically to be ready for consumption in March – hence the name (Mars is the French name for March). According to this excellent overview on Modern Farmer, one hypothesis is that the Bière de Mars was “consumed in mid-March in honor of the Roman god Mars.”
Mars is probably best known as the god of war, just like his Greek counterpart Ares. Yet while Ares is known mainly as a god of destruction, Mars was considered by the Romans to be a more benevolent deity. He was the father of Romulus and Remus, the mythical twins who were suckled by the she-wolf (see image) and who’s story tells of the founding of the city of Rome. By extension, then, the Romans considered Mars as their collective father. Mars is a symbol of virility (life force) and in this role, becomes a guardian of agriculture. His virility helps crops grow and his war-like nature protects the plants from evil forces. It is thus not surprising that his name graces the first month of spring and the first month of farming. It is only apt that he, in turn, would be honored with the consumption of a farmhouse ale, which bore the fruits of his labor!
4 oz taster
Brewed by: IMBĪB Custom Brews, Reno, NV.
* I know. This is unacceptable beer journalism. My bad. I just did not write it down at the time and it’s not mentioned on Untappd, okay?