Vices

5 Best Saison Ales

Saison_Dupont

With Spring in the air and summer right behind, now’s the perfect season to enjoy some of the farmhouse ales, or saisons, that there currently available.

A saison is a pale ale originally from Belgium and northern France. Its origins can be traced back to when farm workers brewed their own beer for personal consumption in the farmhouses of Wallonia, Belgium. This seasonal beer was brewed in the spring, but had to last the workers throughout the summer and fall. Because of this, the beer not only had to be refreshing, but also long-lasting. The resulting brew was one that has a complex fruity or citrusy flavor. It’s also highly carbonated and can be paired with almost any dish.

There are a plenty of saisons on the market nowadays, and not just from its home in Belgium, but also from microbreweries in America. With so many options, here are five saisons that you absolutely need to indulge yourself in.

5. Fantôme Saison

Brewed by Brasserie Fantôme in Belgium, this particular farmhouse ale has been described as the “Nectar of the Gods.” This county ale is bright gold in colour and is reminiscent of champagne. It has a 8% ABV and is deliciously fruity.

4. Saison-Brett

This ale has an ABV of 8.5% and is brewed by Boulevard Brewing Co., in Kansas City, MO. Boulevard states that this “popular Tank 7, is assertively dry-hopped, then bottle-conditioned with various yeasts, including Brettanomyces, a wild strain that imparts a distinctive earthy quality. Though this farmhouse ale was given three months of bottle age prior to release, further cellaring will continue to enhance the “Brett” character, if that’s what you’re after.”

3. Saison Dupont

This is considered the classic saison. It’s brewed by Brasserie Dupont in Belgium and has a lower, 6.5%, ABV when compared to its counterparts. This dull gold ale is clean and bone dry. It blends a spicy bitterness with a light sweetness that makes it refreshing and easy to drink.

2. Anchorage Love Buzz Saison

This saison is simply described as being “brewed with spices and aged in French oak Pinot Noir barrels.” It’s from Anchorage Brewing Company and has 8% ABV. It is a golden-orange colour and is full of fresh orange, pineapple, grapefruit, coconut, and pine flavors.

1. Ann

This saison comes from Hill Farmstead Brewery in Greensboro, Vermont, who has made more than their fair share of wonderful saisons. Ann was created after the brewery took its Anna Honey Saison and aged it in French Oak wine barrels. The result was a light, refreshing ale that is a cloudy golden yellow that has a lemon/lime zest flavor with grass notes, spicy pepper, yeast, oak, and buttery Chardonnay notes.

Image: Wikimedia Commons 

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