All about style-SAISONS

Sometimes called a farmhouse ale, saison was a dying style until it was embraced by craft brewers and reborn in beers like Saison Dupont.  Originally a Belgium “homebrew.” Brewed on farms in spring, for the workers to drink in summer and fall.   The saison  had to be both durable and refreshing, not easy, in an era without refrigeration. 

In general they are very complex, fruity in aroma and flavor. Earthy, yeasty, with lots of spice and a medium bitterness. The ale yeast contributes to much of the flavor and many saisons contain herbs or spice .With its acidic sourness and a typically dry finish, it adds up to a complex, satisfying beer.

Saisons also, pair well with most foods.  The fruity and spicy can bring out a barbecue, enhance Thai food or transform a simple sausage into an international meal.  The only disclaimer I have  when pairing  saisons, it may overbear a lot of delicate foods.

For a change in style, try a saison, it might change your life!  Cheers

 

 

 

bigfoot

Bust out the big furry slippers, the size 14 sneakers and the flip flops that can make you walk on water.  Bigfoot is here.  Sierra Nevada bigfoot ale is a bold, malt forward barley wine packed full of whole cone northwest hops.                     A February classic !

ANCHOR STEAM

How ’bout a steam? Anchor Steam brewery in San Francisco, Calif., brews a unique style of beer — steam beer. Steam beer is a lager, brewed with a special yeast that works well at warmer temperatures. In the late 1800s it was the word easterners used to describe crappy west coast beer. How things have changed! It was called steam beer because, due to the lack of refrigeration, breweries cooled beer on the roof in large open containers.  The cool ocean winds caused the beer to appear to “steam”. Anchor brewing is still using this traditional method of brewing. Steam beer is very smooth, with a rich distinctive flavor. So, how about a steam and cheers to west coast beer!

Tuesday Tasting

crusty

Here ya go, a new one by Rogue. Out with the old and in with the new, although the old is still being brewed and sitting right next to the new on my shelves. The new crustacean…what is it? Rogue is claiming it to really be a non style, but put the moniker of Barleywinish (sp?) Imperial IPA. Call it what you want, but to me it is still a barleywine.

Why? Well, to me one starts to call things imperial or double after the alcohol content reaches 7.5 -  8% ABV, and after 10% it is a barleywine. And don’t say to me, what about Russian Imperial Stouts? It can get into semantics about this but I don’t want to go there. I am not Chris in the Morning. So… what is it? Well, after tasting this beer I would call it a barleywine for the first half and Imperial IPA the second half.

The New Crustacean is very tight in the beginning and sweet, which brings the barleywine style out. I felt like, oh crud, this needs to be aged. I am doing that with a different bottle, of course. When it opens up after an hour or so the hops come pounding out, the ABV feels lighter, and the lingering mouthfeel not so sweet.

I found the beer overall to be good but next year will be the kick, will it hold and I am sure it will. I like that it is about 4 dollars cheaper than the old Crustacean and you can drink it now. The old Crustacean needs about 5 years on it. So it is an investment in patience rather than funds.

Drink up everyone!

MICHAEL