Saison means season in French and refers to a beer brewed in the winter and fall for the late summer harvest. The beer had to be strong enough to make it through the summer without spoiling but weak enough so that people could still harvest crops while drinking it. These are typically medium to strong summer ales, yellow-orange in color, highly carbonated and well hopped. They are also dry and fruity with a touch of acidity. These beers typically use hard water found in the Walloon area of Belgium and Northern France. They often use high mashing temperatures to produce high percentages of unfermentable sugars. Some brewers also allowed some wild yeasts in to produce lactic acid and give the beer a touch of tartness.
Saisons may be pale or dark and come in table (3.5 to 5.0% alcohol by volume), standard (5.0 to 7.0% alcohol by volume) and super (7.0 to 9.5% alcohol by volume) strenghts. The International Bittering Units range from 20 to 35.
Pale, standard strength Saisons are drier, more alcoholic, hoppier and have a more pronounced yeast character than a Belgian blond ale. While similar to a Biere de Garde, Saisons lack the Biere de Garde malt character and have more of a spicy, bitter character. The bigger, pale Saisons have similarities with the Belgian tripels but the Saisons are grainier, more rustic and have a spicier yeast character.
Learn more about Saisons. Read: Phil Markowski Farmhouse Ales
Cuisine: Curries, Thai food
Entrée: Pork buns, fish tacos, shrimp, smoked salmon, sushi, prosciutto, curries, grilled meats, lighter seafood dishes, steamed mussels, Rijsttafel
Cheese: Fresh goat cheese, herbed flavored cheeses, medium cheeses, Brie and Camembert, nutty cheeses
Dessert: Fruit desserts, fruit sorbets
Other: Salads, sdalads with fruit and nuts
Drink from 45 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit in a Libbey Tulip Glass. Buy Libbey Tulip Glass from Amazon.com