KUDOS TO Two Brothers for wrangling semi-flagship status out of so nebulous a beer as Domaine DuPage. A Bière de Garde, it’s a French-style farmhouse ale that can loosely be described as a softer cousin to the Saison: less yeasty, spicy, and dry, but still tolerant of idiosyncratic alcohol or barnyard flavors that might be considered defects elsewhere. The style flexes a little beyond, say, English ESBs or American ambers, but is still easy-going enough to drink down without much reflection.
And thus it is the perfect synecdoche for Two Brothers Brewing, the Illinois brethren who pay homage to rural continental traditions within fairly tame Midwestern boundaries. Domaine has a refreshing brightness and some piquant notes of lemons and pepper, but overall is fairly straightforward: a light-medium caramel body with plenty of slightly toasted bread grains, baked fruits (a bit like apple pie), gentle hop florals, and average level of effervescence that sweeps up a modest finish. Indeed, Domaine is well-crafted and pleasant drinking for moderately spiced dishes, salads, and pork. Yet as with many Two Brothers brews it’s not worth a lengthy detour for its own sake.
Served: On tap (Lincoln Whiskey Kitchen, Schaumburg)