Once considered an endangered species of beer styles, saison ales are quite popular as of late. Saisons were originally brewed in farm houses around Belgium by households for their own personal consumption and to be shared with their workers.
These beers were brewed in the months before summer to be paired with hot weather. Although they were traditionally seasonal beers you now will find breweries around the country that are making this delicious beer year round. The style is refreshing and usually off-dry.
Herbs and spices are common in a saison and make a nice balance to the citrusy fruit flavors and good amount of acidity that comes across a bit tart. These beers are known to have some complexity.
Anchor Steam recently released a saison. The Bruery and Almanac Beer Company both make one as well. Stone Brewing has a saison that recently hit the shelves and is well worth your purchase. The Commons out of Portland distributes small amounts in to our area and it’s tasting delicious. Hill Farmstead is making world class beer that has developed a cult like following and they devote a lot of time and effort to the saison style.
However, unless you are friends with a super beer geek trader your chances of getting the Hill Farmstead beers is little to none. If you are looking to broaden your horizons I suggest you give a saison a taste this summer.
– Peter Lopez