Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Taster Thursday - Thursday Aug. 8

So this is my raspberry Saison. Someone recently said I shouldn't have added raspberries to a Saison style, but Saisons have evolved since it's origin.

Saison, which means "season" in French, dates back to the late 19th century of Southern Belgium. Where the beers were traditionally brewed in farmhouses in the late Autumn/Winter months and stored there until Summer to aid in hydration to the workers on hot Summer days. 

Because it was a Summer drink and helped with hydration it most likely was a lower ABV, similar to a session ale, something around 3-3.5%. Most Saison's brewed today are higher in alcohol volume and range widely from 4-10% pending it's brewing process, from traditional style such as Saison Dupont to something more funky, like Fantome Saison. Recently Men's Journal named Saison Dupont, as one of the best 25 beers in the world and that beer comes in at about 6.5%

A typical profile of a Saison is usually based off a Pils malt, but with more dry character and is usually paired with herbs and spices giving it a complex and sometimes wild or funky taste. While candi sugar or honey is typically the sugar additive that lightens and sweetens the ale.

I had interpreted all of these characteristics to go well with a berry, especially it being a Summer beverage. Based off my experience with baking pies from scratch, it's typical to incorporate spices, citrus, and herbs together with berries as you would in a cobbler or fruit pie. I thought this would be a refreshing berry Summer beer.

It may have been a gamble, and not typical to what most would expect, but I do want to experiment with beer profiles and flavors and carry over my cooking and baking knowledge to beer. And I must say I'm delighted with how this second beer turned out. The color was a perfect reddish amber, it was a hint more on the tart side, giving nod to a wild ale, yet it remained crisp and refreshing. Also because it was not too sweet, you could easily pour yourself another, and another... but watch out at 7% ABV, it will make you tipsy.

I would definitely make this tasty beer again. Yum. 

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