Why Saison?

Originally Posted - Saturday, February 6, 2010


Why Saison? From a personal perspective, the Saison style has fascinated and perplexed me for years. Before we examine why, we need to examine what is a Saison.


With most Belgian styles you can map out a trend of all commercial examples. All styles have a certain alcohol content, flavor profile, etc. But what about Saison? What, if any, commonalities are there to the style? Well, if there is one common characteristic to the style it is the attenuation. Saisons have attenuations exceeding 90%. This lends a dry finish to a flavorful beer. And what is the flavor? That depends on the beer. Saison Dupont is a very bitter yet fruity example. Saison Papaix is more dry with a mineral edge. Fantome is less fruity but more of a lactic acid edge. Essentially, a Saison is a dry beer with a character unique to the brewery where it is made.


So, why Saison? Saison is a style that has yet to reach it's potential in the U.S. Many American examples are over-spiced and under-attenuated and lack the true character of the style. Many Belgian examples are unfortunately well past their prime. We believe we can do better. Beer lovers deserve a truly authentic Saison



Brett Dream

Originally Posted - Saturday, January 30, 2010


Work has begun on our brettanomyces-laced Saison (aka Brett Dream). This beer is a golden Saison of about 6.5% alcohol fermented with our house multi-strain yeast blend then aged on Brettanomyces Clausenii. Our goal is an interesting blend of tangerine, pineapple, pepper, and brett funk. We'll see what happens..



Embracing the unexpected

Originally Posted - Saturday, January 23, 2010


Sometimes when you least expect it you run into something that changes your expectations. A couple of weeks ago Brad and I attended the Big Beers, Belgians, and Barleywine festival in Vail. If you’ve never been, it’s a very small intimate festival, lots of great seminars, and an eclectic mix of breweries and beers. I love festivals like this, it not only gives me a chance to recalibrate my palate with beers I’ve had before but to try new and experimental beers. I have to say I do have a bias, usually I hit the bigger breweries at the expense of the small guys. My friend and fellow Siebel graduate Jeff Albarella had just started working at Carver Brewing Company so  we stopped by early to say hello. Jeff immediately told us we have to try the El Oso Agrio. That first sip was completely unexpected. This was no ordinary sour beer. The aroma was a strange mix of watermelon, calvados, wood, red wine, bourbon, and a whole lot of things I can’t begin to describe. The flavor is the same, sour but not over the top like many examples, more of an oak aged cellar quality but different than any sour beer I’ve ever had. Evidently, that beer started out as a Barleywine before some being put into barrels to sour sit on fruit. This took it in a whole new direction. Definitely a hidden gem I was happy to find.