Saison / Farmhouse Ale
A Saison beer, also known as a Farmhouse Ale, emerged from the small town of Wallonia in the French-speaking area of Belgium. ‘Saison’, meaning ‘season’ in French, was originally created as a refreshing drink for farmers during the warm summers. This style was traditionally brewed towards the end of winter and stored until the summer seasonal workers returned - known as ‘Saisonniers’ in French. Today, they are brewed year-round and although once on the brink of extinction, the Saison / Farmhouse Ale has made a remarkable comeback.
Saison / Farmhouse Ales are a Pale Ale which are known to be richer than other Belgian Pale Ales due to its high carbonation and spicy fruit elements. The appearance of this brew style can range from pale straw-like to darker golden-amber in color depending on which malts are used. This beer is also unfiltered which gives it a cloudy or hazy look topped with a heavy, creamy, alabaster-white head.
The aromas that are common for Saisons can range from fruity with slightly sweet elements to hoppy with notes of citrus and spices. These qualities tend to be more prevalent in stronger brewed Saisons / Farmhouse Ales. As the aromas suggest, you can expect flavors of orange, lemon, pepper and possibly cloves along with other spices. There can also be a subtle suggestion of smooth malts that ties it all together. Although citrus flavors are present, this brew should not be overly acidic or possess too much hop bitterness. Overall, Saisons / Farmhouse Ales are complex beers with a relatively light mouthfeel, high-carbonation and commonly have a dry, spicy finish. Saisons / Farmhouse Ales have IBU’s between 20-35 and an ABV range of 5-8.5%.
These beers are still brewed in small, craft breweries across the country and we are happy to offer this brew style to our Craft Beer Club members! Bad Water Brewing in Scottsdale, Arizona brings a new-age splash to ancient Belgian brewing traditions - giving our monthly members the opportunity to try their innovative Saison/Farmhouse Ale. Cheers!