Season of the Saison's?
Posted: May 08, 2009
It has become tradition for us beer lovers to enjoy wheat beers during the dog days of summer. However, I have noticed an increase in popularity by brewers and consumers alike towards the saison style for the steamy summer days. While wheat beers like Bells Oberon and Capital Island Wheat are still tantalizingly refreshing, beers like Great Lakes Grass Roots Ale and New Holland Golden Cap can be just as thirst quenching. Grass Roots is a new beer, and is Great Lakes summer seasonal. Golden Cap has been around for awhile, but has new packaging. It is now available in a six-pack instead of the 22oz bottle it was previously offered in. Both are saisons, and both are brilliantly done. The Grass Roots Ale may be the most unique and complex saison available. The saison style is an intricate one, incorporating many different elements. Most contain spices, and many have a mild bitterness. Some, like Brewery Ommegangs Hennepin, have a heavy dose of Belgian yeast in the flavor. Almost all of the saison's that I have encountered have fruity undertones, especially a lemony zesty flavor. Some are sweet, some are dry, some are both. The main characteristic they all share is that they are thirst quenching. Many other splendid saisons are available at Binnys besides Grass Roots and Golden Cap. Some of these may not be available at all Binnys locations though, so email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to confirm that your local Binnys has a particular one in stock. Brooklyn Local 1 saison is as outstanding as they come. LAmalthee from France goes great with a white fish dinner. Another French saison, Thiriez Blonde, is currently the top rated beer in the Gang of 5s top ten beers. Beware though: only about eight of our stores currently have Thiriez Blonde, because there just isnt enough to go around. If you fancy beers from Belgium, look no further than Avril, Avec Les Bons Veoux, or Foret. If you have never experienced a saison, you are missing out. Like a good wheat beer, saisons can be gateway beers for those who are not yet immersed in the craft beer world. They are light, refreshing, and enjoyed by all. There is only one thing left to ask: What is your preferred saison?