What is a Saison?
Saisons which can also be called farmhouse ales are a style that until recently was in danger of going extinct. Generally, it is brewed in the winter months to be drank in spring to early summer. There is no one definition – expect high carbonation, tarty or spicy and for it to be a lighter beer.
What does that mean to you?
This is an immensely drinkable beer and is often varied based on spices or fruit. It also has a dry finish to it, similar to champagne. It can be great for drinking on the patio with friends or paired with an elegant meal.
What to look for in a good Saison
Visually: Slightly hazy – light to pale gold.
Aromatically: The scent will not be overpowering, minimal hop smell and the malt offers balance. Depending on the Saison it could be spicy/peppery or fruit forward (lemon or citrus).
Taste: It should be tart and spicy with a dry finish. It is pleasant and crisp but not overpowering, the spices and other flavors come out with each additional sip.
ABV: On average it will be around 7% – it is not quite sessionable but you can certainly enjoy more than one.
Style Variations: Unlike like other styles there isn’t a true sub-category. Saisons can be influenced by fruit choices or by barrel aging whether it’s a simply oak barrel or particular wine barrel.
Colorado Breweries for Saison Recommendations:
(Note – due to the season Saisons may not be readily available… but sooon)
Great Divide Brewing Company
Cellar West Artisan Ales
River North Brewery
Casey Brewing and Blending