It is not too often that I can celebrate both a label design and a saison but Brouwerij West can make both happen.
Here are the details… “Time Scoop is a classic non-sour saison, brewed with malted barley, raw spelt, Pacifica and Wai-iti hops from New Zealand. It is full of tropical fruit aroma, fresh sea air and a dry finish that will leave you wanting another of these can conditioned gems.”
Perfect timing for the name of this new Saison from Liberation Brewing in Bixby Knolls, Cautiously Optimistic. Below is the story behind it…
“Loosely inspired by one of my favorite saisons, this one features Floor Malted Bohemian Pilsner Malt, German Spelt Malt, and Sterling from the Pacific Northwest. I used my favorite Belgian saison strain and fermented this beer as dry as I could.
It kinda smells like what I imagine walking through a field of wheat smells like. I get a little hay, flower petals, and light pings of coriander, and ocean breeze minerality. The beer is delicate and super refreshing. I know dissolved CO2 is dissolved CO2, but Belgian yeast really does some residual magic in the bottle versus force carbing and serving it on draft.”
Saison De Madre is a returning Long Beach Beer Lab brew in a new batch for the “rustic Table Beer using unmalted @tehachapigrainproject wheat and fermented with house yeast isolated from our house @lbbread sourdough starter.”
According to the the brewery, “Batch 2 is a fresh iteration of a rustic saison style with crisp pilsner cracker and soft wheat edges. The yeast lends a characteristic white pepper with soft clove and stone fruit notes lingering on the palate
Indie Brewing has been hitting an IPA stride but today gonna focus on their Belgian side : Voilá. A combination mixed fermentation tart ale plus tropical Saison. Keep in mind the lesser sold styles when you support your local.
Cactus honey is the first ingredient that my eyes locked on when I saw this new label from Cellador Ales. But this “rustic Saison” also has some malt cred with grains from Admiral Maltings. The third piece of note is that ABV, this might need to be a shareable beer.
And I might also vote it for best beer description as well, ” Ale Conditioned in Oak w/ Sauvignon Blanc Grape Must 8% ABV. We received a thousand pounds of Sauvignon Blanc grapes from Paso Robles, Central California. We pressed them and did a skin contact partial fermentation with the grapes for 10 days, spontaneously fermenting the juice using only native wild yeast from the grape skins. We then blended our aged hopped Saison base from hand picked barrels and allowed our house wild yeast to continue the fermentation until completion. This ale has notes of breezy citrus, fleshy apricot, and is intensely floral with aromas of rustic aged hops. Each component of this liquid art balances flavors harmoniously, with a lively carbonation. The wild yeast lays foundation for added depth, nuance, and complexity. Our goal was to create a Saison that blends influences from Orange wine (skin fermented white wine) and Lambic Beer, with the intent of making a true Homage style Saison. Restrained acidity, rustic funk, and bright fruit characteristics.”
Beer fans know that glassware accumulates very quickly. One shaker pint turns into multiple festival glasses, a specific Pils glass and goblets too numerous to count. But, I saw this glass and beer pack and thought that maybe, possibly, I could somehow squeeze another one in. This Dupont Avec les Bonx Vouex looks like a perfect host gift or just a gift for yourself if only for the fantastic beer included.
So with a recent tasting of Saison Dupont still on my mind, I picked up a local version from Brouwerij West, Saison Extra to compare and contrast.
This is farmhouse for sure. Filled with hints. Tiny touch of Brett character here. Tiny bit of Hefeweizen character over here. Surprisingly this is a really wet beer. Mineral notes fill the end notes. The Saison pours a slightly hazy yellow color.
Compared to the Dupont, this is more restrained in many respects and touches on some of the strong suits of the Belgian beer but that wetness makes it it’s own creation.
You can spot a Russian River label from a mile off. Both the sour side and the hoppy side are distinct and unchanging. And not to cast aspersions on them but these new Saisons have really classy and timeless looks to them…
…and both of the duo promise great old-school Saisons inside. And will make for an interesting taste test of both.
I don’t think this new collaboration between Allagash and Brasserie Dupont will reach L.A. But if I see a bottle of Heartset, I will grab it. It is described as “a robust saison bursting with classic Belgian aromatics—think banana, clove, honey, and more.”
And if I don’t see it, maybe I will finally re-visit one of those fancy Dupont bottles instead.