Bondir Concord Debuts New Reserve Beer List
For over a year, chef Jason Bond has been accumulating one of the city’s most impressive rare beer collections. Now he’s offering it to the public.
Bondir Concord might be better known for chef Jason Bond’s heartfelt presentations and its allegiance to local farms. But like Bond’s new holistic gardening venture at Sweet Autumn Farm in Carlisle, or his foray into quirky, Calagione-esque craft brewing creations, Bondir Concord might have another whimsical draw. For over a year, Bond has been attending rare beer auctions at Skinner Auctioneers in Boston’s Back Back, accumulating a cache of some of the world’s most envy-inducing bottles. This week, the chef unveiled his first ever reserve beer list in Concord, with showpieces like a 2001 Cantillon Grand Cru, a 2005 Drie Fonteinen Oude Kriek lambic, and even, Bond’s own black truffle porter.
“People around Boston have these seriously deep beer cellars,” Bond says. “They get into beer for a while and spend a lot of money and then get into something else and eventually sell off some of their collection. That’s why Skinner is holding these auction more often now. We’ll go to the Skinner auctions a few times a year and keep adding to this list. Some things might just be an individual bottle, while others we’ll be buying in bigger lots. But these are things you’ll never be able to buy from a distributor. These are fun, exciting things you can’t really find anywhere else.”
Bond treats his growing collection like expensive Champagne or Bordeaux, storing it in a temperature controlled, humidity-free cellar than never rises above 60 degrees. Bondir’s offerings also lean heavier on Belgian producers with a reputation for complexity and age-worthiness. And that’s a good thing, considering prices on these bottles range anywhere from $25 to several hundred dollars a piece.
“There’s enough history behind aged Belgian ales where you know what you’re going to get, for the most part,” Bond says. “The American brewers are younger, so there’s less predictability. Some we’ve tasted before and we trust like Lost Abbey, Stone, and Ommegang. But even though these beers can be very expensive, there are a lot of knowledgeable beer fans out there who understand what’s behind it and how rare these offerings are. My whole goal for this is for my guests to come in and experience something unique.”
BONDIR RESERVE BEER LIST:
Ommegang 3 Philosophers – 2003 (750ml) $25
Drop dead complexity with heavenly smoothness, full body, creamy. Sweet dark malts, little roasting flavors, prune and cherry. Trace hop notes to balance sweetness
Ommegang Art of Darkness – 2003 (750ml) $25
Rich fig, burnt currants, and apple skins in sublime carbonation. Some pepper spice and espresso on the finish.
Ommegang Chocolate Indulgence – 2003 (750ml) $25
Moderate dark maltiness with notes of raisin and earth. Medium bodied with decent carbonation centered around full chocolate flavors.
Ommegang Seduction – 2003 (750ml)$25
Semi-sweet chocolate, cherry pie
Ommegang Adoration – 2003 (750ml)$25
Baking spice, dried fruits, sweet malts with clove and cherry
Drie Fonteinen Oude Kriek – 2005 (750ml)$125
Funky orchard, barnyard, sour cherry, and baked bread
Drie Fonteinen Hommage – 2013 (750ml)$135
A blend of lambic beers brewed with an addition of 30 percent whole fresh Payottenland raspberries and five percent sour cherries.
Brouwerij De Molen Rasputin – 2008 (750ml) $60
Pours black with a tan-to-brown head that lingers. Cola-sweet, rum, molasses, lightly cocoa, lots of brown sugar. A little thin on the tongue after the initial thickness, coats only lightly.
Hanssens Artisanaal Oude Kriek Lambic (750ml) $80
Citrus, apricot, champagne, crisp, sour, horsey funk
Cantillon Grand Cru Bruocsella – 2001 (750ml) $190
Notes of funky pear and assertive crisp tartness.
Stone 7th Anniversary Al -e 2003 (22oz.)$40
Resinous and piney hop right up front with some alcohol lingering.
Stone Double Bastard – 2003 (22oz.) $40
Flavors run all over the place: caramel, burnt sugar, chocolate, pineapple, deep penetrating alcohol, piney earth/wood bitterness with an oily hop feel on the palate. Finish goes a touch dry with bready flavors and unsweetened chocolate notes.
Stone Imperial Russian Stout – 2003 (22oz.) $40
Viscous sweetness with notes of prune, chocolate, and warm caramel. Great depth and balance with a touch of hop bitterness to keep the sweet roasted grain backbone in check.
Unibroue Maudite 15th Anniversary – 2008 (1500ml) $80
Caramel, pineapple, phenols, subtle but persistent hop note. Wonderfully complex for a crisp medium bodied strong ale. Expressive and packed with flavor.
Schilling Craft Brews – Bondir Truffle Porter (22oz) $90
Very toasty, deep truffle on the nose, rich chocolate, dank, 42 IBUs
Hanssens Artisanaal Mead the Gueuze (375ml) $40
The aroma is honey rich, balanced by traditional “horse-blanket” musty sourness of gueuze. The palate is fruity, tart but not too sour thanks to the welcome presence of honey.
Hanssens Artisanaal Oude Gueuze (375ml) $40
Tart apple and vinegar. Slightly acidic white wine feel. Whole wheat bread and almost milky center.
Oude Kriek Lambic (375ml) $40
Citrus, apricot, Champagne, crisp, sour, horsey funk
Oudbeitje Lambic (375ml) $40
Sour, bright berry note, lower carbonation
Harviestoun Ola Dubh Special Reserve 2007 (330ml) $30
Medium to full-bodied, and smoky malt and toffee notes. Finishes with molasses, raisin, and even some licorice, tobacco flavors.
24 Walden St., Concord; 978-610-6554 or bondirconcord.com.