Monday, February 07, 2005

Saison sighting

As if I needed more proof that Belgian farmhouse ales are poised to be the next big thing (think West Coast pale ales in the '80s or hefeweizen in the 90's), I recently found myself making my way through a couple saisons at none other than the Marin Brewing Company. Coming in less tart and with a less complex profile than one might find in other farmhouse ales, it nevertheless had many of the qualities you'd want in such a style: very pale, hazy appearance, slightly fruity aftertaste, elevated alcohol content, and unmistakable peppery yeast aroma. All in all, pretty impressive for your standard Californian brewpub, better known for their piney, grapefruity-bitter pale ales and fruit-infused wheat beers than anything with the terms "earthy" or "sour" in the description.
And to top it all off, Des found out that the saison is the perfect beer outside of the pilsner for a refreshing shandy. Nice! I'll be curious to see if saisons will find their way onto standard pub menus as the weather warms up and people are looking for an alternative to rasberryweizen ick.


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