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Make Your Best Bière de Mars

Brew this beer in late winter so it’ll be ready to go in early spring. It’s a rustic, slightly lighter version of bière de garde, but with richer flavors.

Josh Weikert Jan 29, 2017 - 7 min read

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I’m literally brewing this beer as I write this. It’s not the most common style in the world, but it certainly has its devotees and supporters: bière de Mars, or (literally), “March Beer.” If you want this one ready to drink in March, now’s the time (again—literally) to brew it! This is a “comeback” style that you won’t find everywhere, but those who love it (to paraphrase Alexander Keith’s brewery—Halifax, Nova Scotia), love it a lot. Time to brew your own.


Think of bière de Mars as a fresher, drier, slightly lighter version of bière de garde. We want a grainy and rustic flavor profile, but without the fully rounded edges and richer flavors of the sometimes-stronger and sometimes-aged bière de garde. It’s a bit like what Kellerbier is to Pilsner, in that it’s meant to be a younger rendition of the same general style, which yields certain expectations. This beer doesn’t need to be crystal clear; it can exhibit some sour/funky aromatics; and it allows some creativity in the hopping and spicing (though, as you’ll see, there will be no actual spicing of this beer!). Some examples of this Franco-Belgian beer feature exotic and elaborate souring and fruit flavors, but to be frank, they’re a bit over-the-top and often take longer to develop than I’d like.


Some might deride this recipe as being a bit too quick-and-dirty, but I’ve had success with it not only for this beer, but for its cousin, bière de garde, and in the more-rustic version of my Kölsch.

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