Brasserie Bailleux / Restaurant Au Baron

We’ve just returned from France & Belgium where we met with some of the brewers and vendors for our upcoming October 27th –November 3rd Bon Beer Voyage beer tour:  “Grand Crus to Farmhouse Brews- A Beercation Cruise through Belgium & France”

During this trip we visited 3 fabulous breweries on the French side of the border, 5 on the Belgian side as well as one French genièvre distillery.  In France, we visited Brasserie St Germain, Brasserie Thiriez & Brasserie Bailleux (where we had lunch in their magnificent restaurant Au Baron). In Belgium, wevisited Brouwerij Rodenbach, Brouwerij St Bernardus (where we stayed at the Brouwershuis), Brouwerij Van Eecke, Huisbrouwerij Sint Canarus & Chimay(where we stayed at  l’Auberge de Poteaupré).

Over the next few days we will be highlighting each of the breweries on our tour as well as sharing some beery cool information on the beer scene in Lille.  For those who want a quick look at the amazing Day by Day Itinerary of the Grand Crus to Farmhouse Brews- A Beercation Cruise click here.

Restaurant Au Baron & Brasserie Bailleux

Today’s Brewery of the Day:

Brasserie Bailleux / Restaurant Au Baron

2 rue du Piemont  Gussignies, France

Brewer Alain Bailleux grilling in their copper brew kettle

 Au Baron was started as a small tavern in the petite French town of Gussignies by Alain Bailleux and his wife Danielle Baron Bailleux in 1973.  By 1981 they turned this tavern into a wonderfully quaint restaurant with a grill made from a copper brew kettle!  In 1989 Alain, a brewer, with the help of his father (who also happens to be a brewer, as was his grandfather) built Brasserie Bailleux in the back of the restaurant.   This multi-generation family of brewers has now passed this brewing art onto Alain’s son Xavier.

Brasserie Bailleux is run by only 4 employees and make 3 year round brews and a Christmas beer.  We are excited that this year’s batch of Christmas beer will be finished brewing when we return in November on our “Grand Crus to Farmhouse Brews- A Beercation Cruise through Belgium & France”

The 3 year-round beers are: 

Au Baron Cuvée des Jonquilles

Cuvée des Jonquilles 7% abv. A Bière de Garde brewed with dandelions.   Cuvée des Jonquilles has a marvelous looking head with a fantastic nose. Also look at that nice thick lacing left on the glass!

What a great nose on the Cuvée des Jonquilles

Saison Saint Médard Ambrée & Saison Saint Médard Brune both are 7% abv Saisons / Farmhouse Ales named after the patron saint of the parish of Gussignies.   Pictured here is the Saison Saint Médard Ambrée

Au Baron Saison Saint Médard Ambrée a 7% abv Saison

 The restaurant was packed with locals enjoying the great food and beer at Au Baron.

Restaurant Au Baron

Restaurant Au Baron










The Salade du Berger, which is salad, tomato, walnuts and toast topped with warm goat cheese

For lunch Ruth had the Salade du Berger, which is a salad with tomatoes, walnuts and toast topped with warm fresh goat cheese.  I had the plat de jour, which was a beef carbonnade made using the Saison Saint Médard Ambrée… Yummy!!

Inside the Restaurant is a shop to buy local delicacies and of course their delicious beer!

Local products for sale inside Au Baron

Here are a few photos inside the brewery: 

Brasserie Bailleux

Brasserie Bailleux

Currently, Cuvee de Jonquilles is the only beer imported to the USA (12% Imports) and not so easy to find-so we hope you’ll join us for our awesome upcoming beer trip-  “Grand Crus to Farmhouse Brews- A Beercation Cruise through Belgium & France” so you can enjoy the wonderful ambiance at Au Baron and try some of these fabulous beers and delicious food for yourself! 


Mike, Ruth and Brewer Alain Bailleux

Cheers from Mike, Ruth & Alain! 

Bon Beer Voyage

Beer #170 La Choulette Les Bière Des Sans Culottes

La Choulette Les Bière Des Sans Culottes

Name: Les Bière Des Sans Culottes

Style:  Bière de Garde

Brewery: Brasserie La Choulette  website

Country: France

Region:   Hordain

ABV: 7.0% Abv

How served:  750ml corked and caged bottle poured into an Oerbier long stemmed glass.  

My Overall Opinion:  Very Good 

I paired this beer with:  Bar-B-Q chicken with Stubb’s Moppin Sauce.  Nice!

Tasted on:  Sunday May 22, 2011  

Notes: The beer poured a hazy light straw color with a fluffy 1+ finger white head and left a very nice sticky lacing on my glass.   

The nose as mild with notes of sweat bread, mild pepper, dried grass and floral.   

The taste was light and sweet upfront with caramel, toasted bread and some citrus fruits and ended more on the dry side.  

The  mouthfeel was a mild to  medium body and creamy smooth.

 The drinkability was very good with a good balance.  A nice easy drinking and refreshing brew.

 On the Label:  A charming small brewery whose beers are classics of the French farmhouse style.  La Choulette’s bière s de garde (literally “beers for keeping”, or hardy beers meant for long storage) stand among the greatest beers of the world.  This, the brewer’s masterpiece, pays homage to the Sans Culottes – the “trouserless” laborers who could not afford uniforms but unflinchingly did the handiwork of the French Revolution.  Many brewers were counted in their ranks.

 Golden Sans Culottes is esteemed for its enticing aromatic bouquet.  Rich in character, the extraordinarily balanced palate is at once fruity and delicate, malty and warming.  Serve lightly chilled.

Best before end: 30. 10. 09

World Classic Bière de Garde.  Michael Jackson Pocket Guide to Beer.  See Michael Jackson’s Ultimate Beer for suggestions on matching superb La Choulette beers with great food.

 From their website: Website is in French & has been translated into English

 La bière des Sans Culottes (alcool 7 % vol.)
bras­sée dans la plus pure tra­di­tion des bras­se­ries du Nord, elle est une bière de garde authen­ti­que, dorée, ronde et par­fu­mée.
Servie à une tem­pé­ra­ture entre 8° et 10°C, elle révèle la finesse de son amer­tume et tout son carac­tère.
Conditionnement : bou­teille de 25 cl et 75 cl.

Récompense :  + Médaille d’Argent au World Beer Championships en 1995 à Chicago.

 Beer of the Sans Culottes(alcohol 7% vol.) 
brewed in the tradition of brewing North, she is a true lager beer, gold, round and fragrant.   Served at a temperature between 8 ° and 10 ° C, it reveals the subtlety of his bitterness and his whole character. 
Packaging: bottle of 25 cl and 75 cl.

Reward:  + Silver Medal at World Beer Championships in Chicago in 1995. 

Too much breast for Missouri?

Madame, couvrez ce sein que je ne saurais voir ! *

Tels pour­raient être les propos des repré­sen­tants de l’État du Missouri qui, en 2000, a sus­pendu la com­mer­cia­li­sa­tion de la bière des Sans Culottes.

Aux États-Unis, Shelton Broers, gros­siste et impor­ta­teur de la Brasserie La Choulette, dis­tri­bue la bière des Sans Culottes avec une étiquette repro­dui­sant un tableau d’Eugène Delacroix (1798 -1863) ; la Liberté gui­dant le peuple sur les bar­ri­ca­des. L’artiste pein­tre avait repré­senté au côté de gavro­che une jeune femme se tenant sur les bar­ri­ca­des de juillet, bran­dis­sant sous la mitraille le dra­peau fran­çais et, oh ! déshon­neur, la poi­trine dénu­dée.

Un sein de trop pour l’État du Missouri. Pourtant, l’œuvre illus­tre les manuels sco­lai­res des petits Français ; elle a même figuré sur les tim­bres et les billets de banque. Elle fit, il est vrai, scan­dale en France lors de son accro­chage au Salon des indé­pen­dants. Mais c’était en 1831 et pour d’autres rai­sons !

De même, 3 ans avant le sein dénudé de Janet Jackson lors de la finale du Super Bowl (février 2004), la bière des Sans Culotte cho­quait déjà une partie de l’Amérique.

Ainsi, dans l’État du Missouri, la bière des Sans Culottes est à regar­der… avec modé­ra­tion ; tout abus n’est-il pas dan­ge­reux pour la santé ! ! !

*Acte III, scène2 – Tartuffe de Molière (1664).

Madam, cover the breast that I can not see! *

These could be about the representatives of the State of Missouri, in 2000, suspended the marketing of beer Sans Culottes.

United States, Shelton Broers, wholesaler and importer of Brasserie La Choulette, distributes beer Sans Culottes with a label, a painting by Eugene Delacroix (1798 -1863); Liberty Leading the People on the barricades. The artist had represented the side of a street urchin girl standing on the barricades of July, under fire waving the French flag and, oh! dishonor, chest bare.

A breast too much for Missouri. Yet, the work illustrates the textbooks of French children and has even appeared on stamps and banknotes. She did, indeed, a scandal in France during his hanging in the Salon of Independents.  But it was in 1831 and for other reasons!

Similarly, three years before Janet Jackson’s exposed breast during the Super Bowl (February 2004), the beer Without Panties shocked already a part of America.

Thus, in the State of Missouri, the Sans Culottes beer is watching … in moderation, abuse is not it dangerous for health! ! ! ! !

* Act III, Scene2 – Molière’s Tartuffe (1664).

Notre clin d’œil régional:  Le nom de cette bière rappelle les évènements de la Révolution de 1789 qui ont abouti à la suppression des taxes et des contraintes imposées par l’Ancien Régime aux brasseurs et aux consommateurs de bière.
Le terme des “Sans Culottes” désignait les révolutionnaires, en effet ceux-ci portaient le pantalon et non la culotte.

The name of this beer recalls the events of the Revolution of 1789 which led to the removal of taxes and the constraints imposed by the ancient regime to brewers and beer drinkers. 
The term “Sans Culottes” meant the revolutionaries, in fact they wore trousers, not shorts.

Beer #167 Lost Abbey Avant Garde

Lost Abbey Avant Garde

Style:  Bière de Garde

Brewery: The Lost Abbey.  website

Country: USA

Region:   San Marcos, California

ABV: 7.0 % Abv

How served:  750 ml corked and caged bottle poured into a Augustijn Grand Cru tulip.  

My Overall Opinion:  Very Good. 

I paired this beer with:  Grilled apple wood smoked turkey.  Very nice pairing!

Tasted on:  Thursday April 21st, 2011  

Notes:  This is a 2008 vintage.

 This beer poured a hazy deep gold with a slight off white 2 finger fluffy head which left a minimal lacing on the glass. The smell was sweet and bready with some citrus.   The taste started off with some pepper spices and sweet with malt, caramel and apples, there was a mild bitterness in the finish and only a little bit funkiness to this brew. This beer had a medium mouthfeel and dry finish with a nice level of carbonation which massaged the tongue. The drinkability was very good and refreshing, as I find most Bière de Garde to be.  I would like to try this one again.

On the Label:  From the French word “Garde” meaning something worth keeping, this Farmhouse Style Ale is most delicious companion to a loaf of freshly baked bread from the oven.  Grab a seat on the porch, some soft cheese and a tree ripened apple from your grandmother’s old orchard.  Relax and watch the evening arrive as the afternoon sun is consumed by the illuminating moon over the gardens.  We brewed Avant Garde for you, our friends and families.  Here’s to things worth guarding over.

 From their website:  At the Lost Abbey, we pride ourselves on producing beers of the highest quality and distinction. Avant Garde is our commitment to brewing beers to no particular style. Some might want to label this as a beer brewed in the Biere de Garde tradition of Northern France. We would prefer to say it was brewed in the Avant Garde style of beers that will reward all those who seek the not so ordinary. Deep gold in color with hints of biscuits, caramel and fresh baked bread, this beer is sure to delight the senses and palates of consumers everywhere. Available in 750ml bottles and on draft at select inspired locations.

OG 1.060   TG 1.008   7.0% ABV

Malts– Two Row, Honey Malt and Port Custom Toast (we make it ourselves in our Pizza Ovens).
Hops– German Brewer’s Gold, Strissespalt Spalt and Czech Saaz.
Yeast– House Lager strain with hybrid fermentation at ale temperature.

The Avant Garde Story

It’s yours now and although you’ve lived in the city your whole life, you remember fondly the weeks spent visiting grandma and grandpa. Somehow, they spent their whole life out here. No cable tv, no cell phones or even a microwave oven. To say they were old school would be an understatement.

But there is an allure to this place, closing your eyes, images from your childhood flood your memories. There was that day when you and grandma got up with the roosters and headed to the orchard to pick fresh apples for her famous apple pie. One summer, they bought you a pig and you named it Wilbur after your favorite new book. Still, the day grandpa taught you how to drive the tractor when you were only 12 is still as fresh as the hay you mowed that day.

Traffic, bills and rude neighbors seem like such a chore now. Maybe it’s time to cash in the 401K and retire to the country. A pair of pigs- Wilbur and his beautiful bride would need your attention. The orchard still makes great fruit and though you haven’t made jam in years, the process she taught you seems approachable.

An old family friend knocks at the door. He saw you drive up and wondered if you might like to sit and chat about the farm and your intentions. Two rocking chairs call your name from the porch that is seemingly fit for this occasion. He offers a beer from his home. The back of the label tell you everything you need to know about this place you have been contemplating.

From the French word “Garde” meaning something worth keeping, this Biere de Garde styled Farmhouse Ale is a most delicious companion to a loaf of freshly baked bread from the oven. Grab a seat on the porch, some soft cheese and a tree ripened apple from your grandmother’s old orchard. Relax and watch the evening arrive as the afternoon sun is consumed by the illuminating moon over the gardens. We brewed Avant Garde for you, our friends and families. Here’s to things worth guarding over.

Beer #99 Ommegang Biere De Mars

Ommegang Biere De Mars

Name: Biere De Mars

Style: Bière de Garde

Brewery: Brewery Ommegang   website

Country: USA

Region: Cooperstown, New York

ABV: 6.5% Abv

How served: 750ml caged and corked bottle poured into my Ommegang chalice.         

My Overall Opinion: Very Good.

I paired this beer with: Grilled and smoked turkey burgers topped with Habanero pepper sauce and Sweet potato fries.

Tasted on: Tuesday April 13th, 2010. 

Note:  Batch #2 October 2008.  This is a delicious beer, it’s mildly funky, mildly hoppy and very drinkable despite its high carbonation.   It paired very well with the habanero turkey burger.  This might not be one of the best Bière de Garde on the market, but it’s sure close.

On the Label:  Ale Refermented with Brettanomyces Bruxellensis.  Pour slowly so as not to disturb the yeast sediment, but with enough vigor to create a luxurious head and release the sumptuous bouquet.

Brewery Ommegang is 3,264 miles from Brussels, but its heart is right in Belgium.  It was created out of our devotion to the unique ales brewed by the county where brewing is an art and partaking is a passion.  Part of the Duvel family of fine ales.

Ommegang Bière de Mars is a fine  Belgian-style amber ale with a bit of magical space dust woven in: – Brettanomyces Bruxellensis, a wild-yeast which imparts added tartness, extra zing and and a touch of funk – while dry-hopping enhances the hop aroma.

“If hard work is the best thing on Earth.  I’ll try Mars” Anonymous.

From their website:  Ommegang Bière de Mars is a Belgian-style amber ale with a bit of magical space dust woven in – Brettanomyces bruxellensis, a wild-yeast used in the secondary fermentation. The Brett imparts added tartness, a bit of zing and some farmhouse funkiness. Also dry-hopped, this new ale continues our exploration of using Brett for secondary fermentation in limited-release beers.

Bière de Mars reveals a copper-amber body and a frothy white head that builds, clings and stays. Aromas are of malt and grain, clove, fruit and a bit of funk. Flavors are full-bodied with delicate malty sweetness, followed by spicy, peppery yeastiness and Brett-induced funk. Hopping is subtly bitter and aromatic, bumped up a bit by dry-hopping. The finish is dry and gently lingering. At 6.5% ABV, Bière de Mars offers easy quaffing; it also pairs nicely with spicy foods such as barbecue. users give an overall rating of Very Good. users rate it at 95%.

A spring 2009 Yankee Brewing News tasting panel sampled new releases from a range of craft breweries and wrote this about Ommegang Bière de Mars: “A spicy nose that smells fabulous, similar to bière de garde. The panel loved the smooth flavor and perfect carbonation. There were lots of “oohs” and “ahhs” for this one. Extremely drinkable, not too sweet and finishes dry. Best beer of the evening.”

 Love Great Beer?  Join Us on a Bon Beer Voyage Beercation! 

Beer #92 Southampton Biere De Mars

Southampton Biere De Mars

Name: Biere De Mars

Style: Bière de Garde

Brewery: Southampton Publick House website

Country: USA

Region: Southampton, New York

ABV: 6.5% Abv

How served: 12oz bottle poured into a Duvel glass.        

My Overall Opinion: Good.

I paired this beer with: Grilled turkey burgers topped with grilled portabella mushrooms.

Tasted on: Tuesday March 30th, 2010. 

Note: This is a very drinkable beer.  I didn’t find much wrong with it, but nothing stood out to make me give it more than a good rating, as I have had many Bière de Garde’s which I’ve liked better.   I believe this beer would be a great cross over beer for craft beer novices or for you to offer to someone that you would like to introduce to the craft beer scene.   

On the Label:  Biere de Mars (French for “March beer”) is a special style of beer created at farmhouse breweries in northern France.  Brewed in winter with a fresh crop of malt and hops.  It was always the brewer’s favorite.  True to tradition, Southampton Biere de Mars is an artfully crafted amber ale with subtle complexity and a crisp finish..

From their website: Southampton’s Biere de Mars is brewmaster Phil Markowski’s classic interpretation of an authentic French farmhouse-style Biere de Mars. Our version is brewed with a blend of wheat and barley malts and a generous amount of continental hops. It is cool fermented and aged to give it a clean, smooth, lager-like character.

 Love Great Beer?  Join Us on a Bon Beer Voyage Beercation!

1st Post!

Well after tasting well over a 1000 beers I have finally gotten around to document what I’ve tasted.  There isn’t a better way to get started on this blog than by watching a New York Giants football game and drinking an IPA. 


AleSmith IPA

AleSmith IPA

Name: AleSmith IPA

Style: IPA

Brewery: AleSmith Brewing Co.  website

Country: USA

Region: San Diego, California

ABV: 7.25%

How served: 22 oz bottle poured into a Duvel glass.

My Overall Opinion: Very Good.   Great brew to have while watching a football game

I paired this beer with: Mediterranean style sardines and pretzels.  This IPA paired very well with this meal.

Tasted on: Sunday October 4, 2009


Juxaposition Black Pilsner

Juxaposition Black Pilsner

Name: Juxtaposition Black Pilsner 

Style: Imperial Pilsner

Brewery: Collaboration between Stone Brewing Co.  website,   BrewDog Ltd website and Cambridge Brewing Co website.  Brewed and Bottled by the Stone Brewing Co.

Country: USA

Region: Escondido, California (Stone), Fraserburgh, Scotland & Cambridge, Massachusetts (Cambridge)

ABV: 10.00%

How served: 12 oz bottle poured into a Stone Levitation glass.

My Overall Opinion: Very Good.   Alcohol is well hidden and very smooth.

I paired this beer with: Habanero cheddar cheese.  Not the best pairing, but acceptable.

Tasted on: Sunday October 4, 2009

Note:  Limited and brewed only once.



Cuvée Du 7ème

Cuvée Du 7ème

Name: Cuvée Du 7ème

Style: Bière de Garde

Brewery: Brasserie Des Franches-Montagnes.  website

Country: Switerland

Region: Saignelégier

ABV: 7.50%

How served: 33cl bottle poured into a Straffe Hendrik glass.

My Overall Opinion: Very Good.   Great brew to have while watching a football game

I paired this beer with: Chocolate pasta with chicken.  Very good pairing, but the meal might have been better paired with a “chocolate” stout or RIS.

Tasted on: Sunday October 4, 2009

Note:  Limited and brewed only once for the 7th anniversary of the Brasserie Des Franches-Montagnes.

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