Imagine a long day of manually plowing fields, baling hay, and tending to crops during a hot summer day on the hilly countryside of Belgium. Now imagine finishing such a backbreaking day with a well-deserved, deliciously crisp beer. There is nothing better. In the 1700s French farmers foresaw the glory and grandeur of finishing a hard summer day’s work with a beer worthy of being enjoyed by those who earned it. Appropriately named, the saison (“season” in French) was brewed and fermented all the way through the cold days of the winter season (before refrigerators existed). The beer was purposely done with a crisp cool flavor in mind. By the time the dog days of summer rolled around these French farmers were armed and ready for the heat with their refreshing saison supply. Today we’re rolling up our sleeves pulling our gardening gloves tight and plowing through the five saisons we think are worthy of being enjoyed after a hard days work.
Aspen Brewing Company: Cloud 9 Saison
Hailing from (you guessed it) Aspen Colorado, Aspen Brewing Company’s Cloud 9 saison is one that embodies the rocky mountain flavor of Colorado. With it’s crisp pilsner malt paired with surprising potent hop sensation, this saison is perfect for beer lovers of all shapes and sizes. It’s notes of hay as well as orange peel will make those who drink it want to watch the sunset mountain side with their loved ones after a long day of conquering a killer hike. But, please drink responsibly while climbing mountains.
Funky Buddha Brewing: Undefeated Saison
Even with the name being derived from the Miami Dolphins undefeated season in 1972, I (a die hard Jets fan) have to put my bias aside and give this saison its due credit. Funky Buddha Brewing’s Undefeated Saison is about as delightfully unique as any beer can be. Barrel aged in champagne barrels and fermented with champagne yeast, this bubbly saison is a sweet creation that deserves to be celebrated. Literally, it’s made with champagne yeast… Drink it during celebrations. I will definitely be drinking it to celebrate the Jets’ next Super Bowl win (which will most likely never happen).
Brewery Ommegang: Hennepin
The namesake of this beer being famous explorer Father Hennepin is rather apropos. Brewery Ommegang set out on a quest to bring the people a new fresh saison flavor. With it’s unusual pairing of spicy pepper and sweet ginger snap Hennepin is a beer that will leave the drinker stunned in an intriguing world of sensory overload. These challenging seemingly conflicting flavors all seem to march off together in unison toward a dry appealing finish that will leave the drinker floating on air.
Boulevard Brewing: Tank 7
A personal favorite amongst all saisons, Boulevard Brewing’s Tank 7 is a complex array of flavors that seem to come together in perfect harmony. In Boulevards fermenter tank (lucky) number 7 a spectacular combination of grapefruit, dry hop, and pepper are mixed to craft a saison that is sweet, spicy, and dry. Tank 7’s complexity will bring a delightful pop to any drinker’s palate and make them believe in the merit of the old adage “sugar, spice, and everything nice.”
Great Divide Brewing: Colette
A saison that holds true to the roots planted in Belgium, Great Divide Brewing’s Colette is a beer that passes on the traditional way that the original farmers used to Ferment their saison. This saison is brewed with barley and rice while fermenting at the high heat like the farmers that had no control over the weather did before them. Colette is a crisp tart saison with sweet fruity notes. It’s several different yeast strains and dry finish makes this saison subtle yet undeniably refreshing. It is the perfect beer to enjoy after a long day working the field.