Saison beer originated in southern Belgium’s French-speaking Wallonia region; its name is French for “season.” It was originally brewed at the end of winter to last through the warmer summer season. An alternate name for this Belgian beer, Farmhouse Ale, refers to the tiny farmhouses dotting the land in which this style was first brewed, and also reflects some of the aromas and flavors, which may include a mild earthy, musty, tart, sour or “barnyard” character from naturally occurring Brettanomyces yeast. Perfect for a refreshing summer brew, golden to orange-amber Saison ale has fruity, citrusy, spicy aromas and flavors moderated by soft malts and mild hop bitterness. The finish is generally dry. The best Saison beer makes a versatile pairing for a wide variety of cheeses.
Characteristics: Crisp, complex, fruity, spicy, sour, light-bodied
ABV range: 4.5-8.5% IBU: 20-40
Popular Belgian-style Saison/Farmhouse ales: Dupont Saison Dupont, Dupont Foret Saison Organic Ale, Dupont Avec Les Bons Voeux, The Bruery Saison Rue, Brewery Ommegang Hennepin Ale, North Coast Le Merle, Brooklyn Sorachi Ace, Jolly Pumpkin Bam Bière, Flying Fish Farmhouse Summer Ale
Serving Temperature: Cool, 46-54°, to cellar, 55-57°
Cheese Pairing Ideas: Asiago, Colby, aged Chèvre, Fontina, Gorgonzola, Parmesan, Triple Crème
Food Pairing Ideas: Salads, shellfish, fish, chicken, curries