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A French twist at Detroit beer festival

Dawn Riffenburg
The Detroit News

Among the many unique offerings at the Detroit Fall Beer festival is Brewery Vivant's biere de garde, a classic French style, yeast driven, malt-driven beer.

Brewery Vivant's abbess of beer Kate Avery talks to festival-goers Friday night at the Michigan Brewers' Guild Detroit Fall Beer Festival.

"It's not very often seen here in Michigan," said Kate Avery, the brewery's abbess of beer. (Also known as the director of sales and marketing.)

"In Michigan we drink hoppy beers."

Hopman from John P O'Sullivan Distributors sounds the horn beckoning customers to the 8th Annual Detroit Fall Beer Festival at Eastern Market Friday.

"Everything is hops -- hops hops hops."

Verdun uses a yeast not many breweries use, resulting in a toasty, biscuitty, slightly caramel flavor.

Anyone who rebels against the current hop-heavy trend might like this; its taste is a bit reminiscent of wine -- due to the yeast, Avery said -- but with a pleasantly sour note and a definite fruity bouquet. It clocks in at 7% ABV.

"It's a classic French style beer, but most people aren't interested in that so we're the only ones making traditional French style beers," said Ryan Engemann, one of the brewery's wandering monks (or sales reps, if you insist on a more pedestrian title.)

He's also a certified cicerone, and explained the complicated brewing processes used by BV in great detail. He knows his stuff.

Verdun is one of Brewery Vivant's specialty limited release beers. It will be available by Halloween in the Detroit area in cans and limited draft.

Look for it, Francophiles and beer lovers, at your better craft beer stores.

Some of Brewery Vivant's Friday selections.