Monday, June 13, 2011

Summerset Saison

In regards to summertime beers there are many great style options out there. most are traditional like the basic Pils or Hefeweizen, however if you've spent any time in the vicinity of a craft brew house in the last few years you know the new word for summer in the U.S. Saison.

Saisons are farmhouse ale that are traditionally brewed in the winter, to be consumed throughout the summer months. Not so long ago it was close to being an endangered style, but over recent years there's been a massive revival; especially in the US.

This is a very complex style; many are very fruity in the aroma and flavor. Look for earthy yeast tones, mild to moderate tartness. Lots of spice and with a medium bitterness. They tend to be semi-dry with many only having touch of sweetness.

Hoppers Brewmaster and Secret Agent Donovan Steele has come up with a brilliantly timed addition to their Storehouse Reserve series called Summerset Saison.

For his Saison, Dono used a traditional saison grist of light crisp pilsener malt, malted spelt and some raw oats. A Belgian yeast strain known for its complex earthy/spiciness and powerful aromatics was added for extra depth.

To accentuate the natural crisp citrus aromas the yeast produces, Dono decided to break with the normal approach and add some powerful Citra hops for late boil aroma and flavor. It's a great pairing. It really blends the flavor profile of the Citra up against the yeast and grain qualities. That meant dry hopping it after primary. Not unheard of but not typical for a Saison ale. This beer is dry with a light orange hue.

For those not familiar with Citra it smells like tangerine combined with a fruit punch bowl with citrus rind. It's an amazing hop. A great beer for summer or for those that enjoy a rustic ale with amazing hops.

Summerset Saison should be bottled within the next few days and released by the weekend. We'll let you know, of course.

Cheers!

15 comments:

Ricky H. said...

That sounds very nice. Brilliant idea of dry hopping Citra, I love that hop and I assume it would taste great in a Saison. Now, if only the beer nut could keep the Citra in stock I would brew with it more.

---Ricky H.

kent said...

This sounds great. Excellent label!

I've never used Citra but it sounds like a fun hop to use. Dry hop an IPA with a big dose of that. Mmmm.

The Beer Nut said...

Ricky,
Trust me, we are trying. A quick google search on "Citra hop shortage" will give you the reason why we can't keep it in stock.

Here is just one example of a brewery having to back off distribution on a beer because they can't get any citra. Not an isolated case. Donovan from Hoppers only got a very small amount this year also.

http://beernews.org/2011/06/beer-notes-new-belgium-flying-dog-victory-dogfish-head-flossmoor-station-and-more/

Hopefully in October when the new crops start becoming available we will get more in.

shead said...

I just bottled an all Citra IPA a couple of weeks ago. I love this hop. Crazy awesome aroma. Dank fruity taste. Im very excited for this saison!

Douglas said...

Sounds awesome!

Matt said...

Saisons are a new favorite of mine, I absolutely love EPIC's Straight Up Saison. I'll be excited to try this one :)

Matthew said...

Will this be available at Hoppers or via DABC?

Mikey said...

@ Mathew. Only at Hoppers, Bayou & Beerhive.

Ricky H. said...

Beer Nut,

I know that their is a shortage, you all told me before. I just, (not kissing butt here) don't like shopping for beer making supplies anywhere else. I've seen Citra hops on a few websites, but I am wary of ordering them. Who knows what storage and shipping procedures these random assed website has. Anyway, I'll keep checking and when you have some in is when I'll brew my Citra American Pale Ale again. I'm sure I can keep myself busy brewing 'til then.

---Ricky H.

T said...

The Summerset Saison is now bottled and for sale at Hoppers!

Prost!

Mikey said...

Wahoo!

shead said...

Drinking one right now. Nice and refreshing. I'm getting a lot of champagne similarities in the nose and taste. The Citra is there but nice and mellow. Interesting and tasty saison!

Ed said...

Five stars.

Michael said...

I agree... 5 stars. This beer is amazing. The best seasonal local beer to date for me.

Anonymous said...

ditto 5 stars - excellent seasonal brew - after an awesome day in BCC climbing I made an out of the way trip to try it out - ended up buying four more bottles.