Tagged: farmhouse

Brewery Vivant Farm Hand

FARM HAND: 86 Points

Great Summer Slammer

Great Summer Slammer

This Farmhouse Ale is available year-round in 16 oz. cans.

Brewer’s Description: “There was a time in old world France when nearly every family farm had a brewery. A necessary part of farm life was to provide a ration of beer to laborers, as beer was safer to drink than the water of the time. (Has to do with water carrying bacteria and alcohol killing said bacteria. Yay beer!) Farm Hand is our interpretation of what these rustic beers must have been like. It is slight in body, mildly sweet, and has a slight cloudiness from the simple un-malted grains similar to the period.”

My Description: This is a great Summer beer; it is smooth, very refreshing, and easy drinking. It begins with a weak, white colored head that lingers for some time leaving behind no lacing. The aroma is subdued with notes of citrus peel, grains, grass, and some funkiness. Farm Hand is lighter bodied with a slightly higher carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile follows the nose closely with citrus being a dominant flavor along with notes of wheat and yeast phenols with a hint of spice. There isn’t too much flavor going on but this beer is designed to be drank on the farm for sustenance not as a sipper. The slightly bitter finish is a welcoming addition and overall it is a pleasure to drink on a warm day. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with soft cheeses, spicy pastas, or grilled white fish.

ABV: 5.5% Color: Hazy Straw Sweetness: 1.5/10 Bitterness: 2/10

North Coast Le Merle

LE MERLE: 95 Points

Flavorful

Flavorful

This Farmhouse Ale is released year-round in 12 oz. and 750 ml. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Le Merle is a rustic ale, pale in color, inspired by the rich brewing traditions of the Flanders region. Abundant hops and a Belgian yeast strain contribute exotic aromas of tropical fruit.”

My Description: North Coast manages to create a wonderfully balanced Farmhouse Ale. It begins with a good sized, white colored head that fades to a thin film that holds for a minute leaving behind some lacing. The aroma in welcoming and slightly complex with notes of citrus, black pepper, floral, and some hints of funk. Le Merle is medium bodied with a slightly higher carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is highly enjoyable and very refreshing. An overall earthy presence is accompanied by notes of orange peel, tropical fruit, and yeast esters. The finish is slightly bitter and the alcohol is nicely hidden making this very easy to drink. An easy choice for the Summer, this Farmhouse Ale is crisp, smooth, and flavorful. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with grilled asparagus, sautéed shrimp, or a fruit parfait.

ABV: 7.9% Color: Golden Sweetness: 1.5/10 Bitterness: 2/10

New Holland Monkey King

MONKEY KING: 80 Points

Basic Saison

The Quiet Farmhouse

This Farmhouse Ale is available year-round in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “A soft, medium body saison with subtle pepper character and fruity undertones.”

My Description: This is a Farmhouse ale that plays it more on the safe side to target a larger audience that doesn’t have the palate to enjoy the bolder end of the style. I don’t care for caution when it comes to craft beer! It begins with a good sized, white colored head with a good retention level that holds most of the way leaving behind a minimal amount of lacing. The aroma is pleasant enough with notes of white pepper, subtle fruit undertones, and coriander but not much else. Monkey King is light/medium bodied with a slightly higher carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is rather bland. There are notes of wheat malt, citrus peel, coriander, and a hint of clementine but they are faint and have to be searched. The aftertaste is minimally bitter with a soft pepper finish. If you love farmhouse ales than this won’t satisfy but it makes for a good session beer. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with shellfish, spiced tacos, and soft cheeses.

ABV: 6.6% Color: Straw Gold Sweetness: 1.5/10 Bitterness: 1.5/10

Boulevard Tank 7

TANK 7: 99 Points

World Class

World Class

This Saison is available year-round in 12 oz. and 750 ml. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Most breweries have at least one piece of equipment that’s just a bit persnickity. Here at Boulevard we have fermenter number seven, the black sheep of our cellar family. Ironically, when our brewers were experimenting with variations on a traditional Belgian-style farmhouse ale, the perfect combination of elements came together in that very vessel. You could call it fate, but they called it Tank 7, and so it is. Beginning with a big surge of fruity aromatics and grapefruit-hoppy notes, the flavor of this complex, straw-colored ale tapers off to a peppery, dry finish.”

My Description: This ale becomes addicting at first sip. It is so smooth and flavor profile is delicious. It begins with a large, white colored head with an excellent retention level that leaves behind a wall of lacing. The aroma sucks you in immediately with pleasant notes of yeast spices, pepper, light fruits, and bread notes. This beer smells clean and even though the aroma is complex, it doesn’t feel jumbled. Tank 7 is medium bodied with a higher carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is just as complex as the aroma and expertly well balanced. Bready malt notes build the foundation with yeast spices taking center stage. Hints of malt sweetness and grapefruit hops can be detected and the alcohol is beautifully hidden. The funky notes and barnyard notes are subdued here allowing for the spices to shine through. The aftertaste is moderately bitter with lingering pepper notes that delight. This beauty is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with herb roasted chicken, grilled pork tenderloin, or funky cheeses.

ABV: 8.5% Color: Straw/Gold Sweetness: 2/10 Bitterness: 3.5/10

Samuel Adams Harvest Saison

HARVEST SAISON: 86 Points

For the masses

For The Masses

This Belgian Style Saison is available in the Autumn Variety pack in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “With every autumn comes the hope of a bountiful harvest and this distinctive take on a traditional saison delivers with a crop of barley, oats, rye, and wheat, a malty aroma and golden amber hue. The crisp taste of this Belgian style brew is a perfect match for a brisk fall day.”

My Description: This is more of a cautionary brew by Samuel Adams, in the sense that they spiced it up while leaving out the funk to please more of a general beer drinking audience. I love the true Saison style with lots of barnyard notes and dominating hay and hop flavors, this beer doesn’t really have those characteristics. However, on its own it is still a pleasure to drink and the flavor profile is satisfying. It begins with a good sized, white colored head that fades to a film that holds most of the way leaving behind a noticeable amount of lacing. The aroma is dominated with yeast spice notes along with bananas and hints of noble hops. Harvest Saison is light/medium bodied with a slightly higher carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavors follow the nose nicely with spice notes dominating as well along with hints of hay and some minor citrus notes. I can also pickup on the spice notes that come from the rye grain as well, very nice. The aftertaste is slightly bitter with some lingering pepper notes. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with kale salad, grilled asparagus, or sautéed shrimp.

ABV: 6% Color: Hazy Golden/Orange Sweetness: 2/10 Bitterness: 2.5/10

The Lost Abbey Red Barn Ale

RED BARN ALE: 92 Points

over yonder

over yonder

This Saison is available year-round in 750 ml. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “This Farmhouse Ale traces its roots to the small rustic breweries of Southern Belgium. The word Saison comes to us from the French language and it means Season. Lightly spiced with Organic Ginger, Orange Peels, Black Pepper and Grains of Paradise, this brew promises to quench your thirst on the hottest Southern California days or wherever your travels may take you.”

My Description: This beer is very subtle; the funkiness, the spice notes, and the earthiness are all there but they are not over powering. This ale begins with a very large, white colored head with an excellent retention level that holds the whole way leaving behind a wall of lacing. The aroma is clean and pleasant with notes of grass, citrus, and faint barnyard spices. Red Barn Ale is medium bodied with a slightly higher carbonation level and a very dry finish. A well balanced flavor profile delights with a slight complexity. Upfront, there are notes of citrus, yeast spice undertones, earthy hops, and soft pepper notes. This transitions smoothly into an aftertaste that is minimally bitter but does take over the minor malt sweetness. The alcohol is nicely hidden with only minor hints shining through which adds a welcoming layer. Overall, this a well blended Saison that is refreshing and enjoyable. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with spicy pasta dishes, fish tacos, or sautéed zucchini.

ABV: 6.7% Color: Hazy Gold Sweetness: 2/10 Bitterness: 2.5/10

The Lost Abbey Avant Garde

AVANT GARDE: 91 Points

French Farms

French Farms

This Bière de Garde Farmhouse Ale is available year-round in 750 ml. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “At the Lost Abbey, we pride ourselves on producing beers of the highest quality and distinction. Avant Garde is our commitment to brewing beers to no particular style. Some might want to label this as a beer brewed in the Biere de Garde tradition of Northern France. We would prefer to say it was brewed in the Avant Garde style of beers that will reward all those who seek the not so ordinary. Deep gold in color with hints of biscuits, caramel and fresh baked bread, this beer is sure to delight the senses and palates of consumers everywhere.”

My Description: Not overly complex, this is a great Farmhouse Ale that holds back on the funkiness while still delivering that outdoors flavor. It begins with a large and dense, white colored head with an excellent retention level that lasts the whole way leaving behind a great amount of lacing. The aroma is subtle and welcoming with an earthy presence along with notes of grass, some barnyard hints, and unripen fruits. Avant Garde is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a very dry finish. The earthy background continues into the flavor profile as well. There are also notes of yeast spices, pepper, a honey sweetness, and faint citrus notes including lemon. This beer is very easy to drink; it goes down smooth and the alcohol is beautifully hidden. The aftertaste is minimally bitter but enough to make sure this beer doesn’t get sweet. This is great for a warm summer day. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with potent cheeses, warm sandwiches, or grilled salmon.

ABV: 7% Color: Hazy Orange/Brown Sweetness: 1.5/10 Bitterness: 2/10

Stone Saison

STONE SAISON: 92 Points

Definitely Stone

Definitely Stone

This Farmhouse Ale is available seasonally in the Spring months in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “In spring 2011, Stone bought the farm, literally, taking over 19 acres of fertile Southern California soil where we now grow pristine fruits, vegetables, herbs and more for our Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens restaurants. A taste of our homespun farm-to-tableism is provided in this farmhouse ale stoked with lemon zest, plus lemon thyme and lavender straight from Stone Farms. This spring-to-summer saison is citric and herbal on the palate with a dry, peppery finish. Thanks to the infusion of fresh West Coast ingredients, this isn’t your everyday saison. It’s our saison—100% Stone. Celebrate the sunny season with an authentic taste of our farm and, with it, our commitment to quality.”

My Description: This Farmhouse Ale has Stone written all over it with their signature hops and bitterness taking center stage, in a good way of course. It pours a good sized, white colored head with a good retention level and it leaves behind a nice amount of lacing. The aroma is welcoming with notes of pale malts, lemon zest, some earthiness, and hints of floral and funk. In fact, the funkiness that is normally associated with a Farmhouse Ale is kept at a minimal in Stone’s version. Stone Saison is medium bodied with a slightly higher carbonation level and a dry finish. Smooth, tasty, and not overly complex, the flavor profile gives this beer a sessionable characteristic. Upfront, there are notes of pale malts and lemon along with floral and citrus hop notes. There is also another floral flavor that is most likely the lavender that this beer is brewed with, a very nice touch. The beer finishes moderately bitter with a pepper spice flavor that linger slightly. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with a Caesar salad, deviled eggs, or roasted chicken.

ABV: 6%  Color:  Gold/Straw  Sweetness: 1.5/10  Bitterness: 4/10

Sweetwater 17th Anniversary

17TH ANNIVERSARY: 85 Points

Good but not quite there

Good but not quite there

This Farmhouse Ale is a limited release for their 17th Anniversary. It is available in 22 0z. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “This year’s anniversary ale has everything in it but the pitch fork and a bale of hay. With over two months of fermentation and cellaring time, this saison plows the field as it harvests spicy farmhouse overtones from its primary Fraunch saison yeast. That funky monkey delivers a strapping alc 9 % by vol, seeding a perfect foundation for secondary Brettanomyces fermentation, which hoes a cornucopia of tart and effervescent flavors. Distinct citrus notes from the finishing hops cultivate a naturally freaky fresh palate tweaker. Here’s to the next 17 trips around that burning ball in the sky.”

My Description: This beer is enjoyable and a good take on the style but it just isn’t attenuated enough because there is a noticeable sweetness that hurts the overall drinkability of this ale. Granted it has a higher IBU than most Saisons but I need this beer to be a lot drier.  It begins with a good sized, white colored head with a decent retention level but it leaves behind hardly any lacing. The aroma is slightly complex with notes of coriander, orange peel, earthiness, some funk, and a touch of pine hops. Saison is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. Spice notes dominate the flavor profile with notes of pepper and maybe cloves. Tart notes are subtle and the sweetness is definitely apparent, which is balanced nicely by a bitter finish that satisfies. However, the sweetness is just a bit too much for the style. Citrus, malt, and some hints of light fruit such as pears round out the flavor profile along with a slightly noticed alcohol taste. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with jerk chicken, sauteed snapper, or BBQ ribs.

ABV: 9%  Color: Gold/Amber  Sweetness: 3/10  Bitterness: 3.5/10

Jolly Pumpkin Weizen Bam

WEIZEN BAM: 91 Points

Wild yeast meet Hefe yeast

Wild yeast meets Hefe yeast

This Farmhouse Style Ale is released seasonally in the Summer months in 750 ml. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “The fourth in our Bam Farmhouse series, and perhaps our most adventurous; a traditional farmhouse style hefeweizen. Weizen Bam seamlessly blends traditional German style hefeweizen yeast with our own local wild and sour cultures, for a melange of the most flavorful sort. Ruddy golden, with yeast driven esters of banana, spicy clove, and nutmeg all wrapped up with a generous dose of good-natured rapscallion delight.”

My Description: It excited me to learn that this beer uses German Hefeweizen yeast along with the wild yeast that Jolly Pumpkin normally uses. However, it feels like the wild yeast dominates the Hefe yeast so much so that the German notes are hard to detect. None-the-less, this is a great beer for the Summer and very refreshing. It pours a large and fluffy, bright white colored head with an awesome retention level and it leaves behind a nice amount of lacing. The aroma delivers plenty of Farmhouse notes such as hay, some barnyard funk, light citrus notes, cloves, and a hint of bubblegum. Overall, the aroma is pleasant and inviting. Weizen Bam is light/medium bodied with a higher carbonation level and a dry finish. A complex and wild yeast flavor profile dominate with apparent notes of sourness, lemon, green apples, grass, and some funk. Wheat malt is also detected as are faint spice notes like cloves, unfortunately the spice notes are too faint and hard to detect unless searching for them. The aftertaste is smooth and clean with little to no bitterness. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with sauteed shrimp, grilled asparagus, or baked Sea Bass.

ABV: 4.5%  Color: Hazy Gold  Sweetness: 1.5/10  Bitterness: 2/10

The Bruery Saison Rue

SAISON RUE: 98 Points

Great Harmony of Flavors

Great Harmony of Flavors

This Belgian Style Farmhouse Ale is released year-round in 750 ml. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Saison Rue is an unfiltered, bottle conditioned, Belgian/French-style farmhouse ale. This is a beer of subtlety and complexity, with malted rye, spicy, fruity yeast notes, biscuit-like malt backbone and a slight citrus hop character. With age, this beer will dry out and will become more complex with rustic notes of leather and earth from the contribution of a wild yeast strain. Being a saison, Saison Rue is ambiguous unto itself as it is a different beer when fresh and when aged.”

My Description: The Bruery has created a delicious and satisfying Farmhouse Ale; the flavors are on point, the quality is great, and the beer is attenuated nicely. It pours a large, white colored head with a great retention level and it leaves behind a wall of lacing, very nice. The aroma is extremely inviting with typical farmhouse notes of hay, lemon, apples, bananas, yeast spices, and a touch of sour. Saison Rue is roughly medium bodied with a higher carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is just as complex as the aroma, if not more. A clean pale malt backbone holds up delicious notes of lemon, grass, light fruits, and some earthiness. The spices in this beer blend beautifully; yeast notes of clove and pepper are matched by the rye malt creating a plethora of spice notes without overpowering each other. The alcohol is almost completely hidden and the tart notes really add a refreshing quality. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with roasted garlic chicken, endive salad, or grilled salmon.

ABV: 8.5%  Color: Deep Gold  Sweetness: 2/10  Bitterness: 2/10

MAGGIES’ PEACH FARMHOUSE ALE: 85 Points

Nice Peach Note

Nice Peach Note

This Farmhouse Ale is released seasonally in the Spring in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Maggie’s Peach Farmhouse Ale delivers a wholesome host of peach flavor and a refreshing spiciness that will get your juices flowing. Brewed with Georgia grown peaches and a lot of love, this Old World style of beer will take you back to a simpler time.” “Just like Granny used to brew.”

My Description: Be careful pouring this Saison, I didn’t shake the bottle at all and the head was around 6 inches. After the white colored  head settled down a bit, it held on the whole way leaving behind a good amount of lacing. The aroma is peachy with some barnyard funk and some yeast spice notes, it smells rather pleasant. It is medium bodied with a higher carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile of this beer is almost more fruity than Saison but overall it was enjoyable. The peach flavor stood out the most with the farmhouse flavors playing a supporting role. These flavors include some funk, floral notes, a subtle spice undertone, and a hint of sweetness. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with coconut shrimp, grilled zucchini, or shrimp fajitas.

ABV: 5.3%  Color: Hazy Gold  Sweetness: 2.5/10  Bitterness: 1.5/10

FARMHOUSE ALE: 92 Points

Put down the scythe!

Part of their Big Beer Series, this Saison is available in limited quantities and available at different times during the year. Each release is slightly different, the bottle I reviewed was released in 2011.

Brewer’s Description: “Our Farmhouse Ale is an homage to traditional European beers brewed for quenching the thirst of farm workers, or “Saisonaires.” A unique Belgian Saison yeast is used to impart a mixture of spicy, fruity, & earthy notes along with lip-smacking palatability.”

My Description: If you plan on farming and drinking this ale, then I suggest you do so when the day is over because you’re going to end up scything your foot off; this is a strong beer but it is refreshing and the alcohol is well hidden. The head is good sized but fades quick and leaves some sub-par lacing. The aroma smells fresh and clean with a lot going on; you will get fragrant notes of Belgian yeast, banana, bubblegum, some tart and some lemon, with a touch of spice. It is medium bodied with a slightly higher carbonation level. The taste is somewhat complex with a lot of flavors going on. Up front you will taste some tart with a touch of sweetness. The aftertaste is slightly bitter and dry with earth notes, some pepper, and some spice. Overall, the flavors work well together, the beer is smooth, and the alcohol is minimal at best. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with sauteed mushrooms, grilled shrimp, or french fries.

ABV:9.3% Color: Hazy Orange Sweetness: 2.5/10 Bitterness: 2.5/10

STONY BROOK RED: 97 Points

Flemish Red

Flemish Red

This Belgian Style Farmhouse/Wild Ale is available year-round in 750 ml. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “This unique brew builds from the inspiration of Flemish reds.  It begins with an earthy sourness and hints of dark fruit but the tartness gives way to a rich maltiness and touch of toasted oak.  These flavors are rounded and deepened by the barrel aging for a layered & alluring brew.”

My Description: This is truly an excellent beer that shows it is made with great care and quality. The flavors are intense and enjoyable, the aroma is inviting, and it definitely satisfies. It has a large, beige colored head that fades quick but holds for a while leaving very little lacing. The aroma is amazing and inviting with notes of dark fruits, a malty sweetness, and a touch of barnyard funk. It is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavors in this beer almost remind me of drinking a very earthy white wine. Upfront, there are notes of dark fruits like cherries and raisins which provide a touch of tart. There are also notes of oak and malt that add some overall complexity. The aftertaste is minimally bitter and very clean. The alcohol is nicely hidden and it is a very smooth beer. This beauty is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with spicy sushi rolls, grilled chicken salads, or a light flatbread.

ABV: 9%  Color: Reddish/Brown  Sweetness: 3/10  Bitterness: 2/10

SCYTHE & SICKLE: 91 Points

A delicious harvest

This Specialty/Farmhouse Ale is released seasonally in the Autumn months in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Brewed with balance in mind, Scythe & Sickle reveals a smooth and creamy mouthfeel with light toastiness and gentle sweetness. Bright amber in color from the mixed malts, the beer is balanced with delicate hopping to counter rather than overpower the malt profile.”

My Description: This beer is released in the Autumn months because that is when the grain harvest is. So the idea is to use freshly harvested barley, wheat, oats, and rye to make a beer that is flavorful and vibrant to the season; I say mission accomplished. It has a large and frothy, light beige colored head with a great retention level and it leaves behind an amazing amount of lacing. The aroma is fresh and clean with notes of floral hops and grains. It is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. This beer has a minor malt backbone with an apparent rye spice throughout. There is a smooth grain flavor with notes of floral/earthy hops and there are also a few fruit notes that I cannot pinpoint. The aftertaste is slightly bitter and will linger for a few seconds bringing balance to the beer. This is a good session beer that is easy drinking and tasty. It is best served around 45°F and it pairs nicely with burgers, fish tacos, or grilled sausage.

ABV: 5.8% Color: Orange/Amber Sweetness: 3/10 Bitterness: 3.5/10

BIERE D’HOUGOUMONT: 93 Points

From Paris with love

Napoleon’s Waterloo Farmhouse

This Biere de Garde is released in limited quantities for a limited time in 750 ml. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Our Limited Edition Biere d’ Hougoumont is brewed with traditional French ale yeast, eight malts, French Strisselspalt hops, and aged on white oak and hard maple wooden staves. A traditional Biere De Garde style, this malty French-style farmhouse ale is brewed to be aged.”

My Description: The description of this beer is accurate in terms of it being a malt forward farmhouse ale. There is some bitterness that brings balance but overall the sweetness shines through. It has a good sized, off-white colored head with a decent retention level but very little lacing. The aroma is my favorite part of the beer, it smells amazing. There are notes of yeast, maple, sweet malt, light fruits, and a touch of welcoming barnyard funk. It is medium bodied with a moderately low carbonation level and a semi-dry finish. Immediately malt flavors come through with notes of maple and a hint of Brett (funk). The aftertaste is slightly bitter with a nice spice addition. The alcohol is beautifully hidden and the texture is very smooth. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with grilled shrimp, roasted eggplant salad, or maple glazed chicken.

ABV: 7.3%  Color: Bronze  Sweetness: 3.5/10  Bitterness: 2/10

HENNEPIN: 94 Points

Not just for farmers!

This Belgian Style Farmhouse Ale has an IBU of 24 and is available year-round in 12 oz. and 750 ml. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “A moderately hoppy, farmhouse-style ale with a champagne-like effervescence, Hennepin has a crisp start followed by malt sweetness balanced with a firm bitterness. Hennepin has a bounty of great flavors: ginger, spice, orange and toasted grain. Hennepin makes way for a dry finish with a slight bite of ginger.”

My Description: This Farmhouse Ale is quite modest with the sourness and quite generous with the flavors. If this type of Saison suits you then I suggest picking up a big bottle because overall, the quality and taste will surely satisfy. It has a big, bright white colored head with a good retention level and some pretty good lacing. The aroma is slightly complex with notes of Belgian yeast funk, citrus, lemons, bananas, earth notes, and a minor touch of alcohol. It is roughly medium bodied with a slightly higher carbonation level and a creamy presence. The beer has a welcoming toasted bread backbone accompanied by flavor notes of bananas and spice notes such as cloves and ginger. The sourness is minimal and the alcohol is barely noticeable. The finish is smooth and crisp with a touch of citrus hop notes and hint of tart. Overall, this beer is complex and delicious. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with old bay seasoned shrimp, sushi, or grilled salmon.

ABV: 7.7% Color: Light Orange Sweetness: 3/10 Bitterness: 2/10

BIERE DE MARS: 85 Points

hmmm, Brettanomyces

Part of their Lips of Faith Series, this ale has 22 IBU’s and 195 Calories. It is available in limited quantities in 22 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Brettanomyces, a wild yeast strain, added for bottle-conditioning creates a refreshingly sour flash across the palate. Lemon peel coupled with the lemon verbena imparts fruitlike character and a citrusy finish.”

My Description: This is a pretty good brew for the Spring season; it’s refreshing, flavorful, and a nice change from your everyday beers. It has a decent off-white head that fades quick but holds a thin film the rest of the way. The lacing is good though. The aroma is mild with notes of lemon, citrus, grain, and a hint of sourness. It is medium bodied with a slightly higher carbonation level. Up front there will be flavor notes of citrus, lemon, grain, and a slight hint of tart and sour from the Brettanomyces. It has a semi-bisquity aftertaste with a touch of spice and a hint of bitterness. Overall, the flavors are nice but I feel the beer could have been more enjoyable. It is best served around 42°F and pairs nicely with salads, grilled fish, or fish tacos.

ABV: 6.2% Color: Hazy Orange Sweetness: 3/10 Bitterness: 2/10

BAM BIÈRE: 95 Points

Farmhouse Love

Farmhouse Love

This Farmhouse Ale is available year-round in 750 ml. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Golden, naturally cloudy, bottle conditioned and dry hopped for a perfectly refreshing balance of spicy malts, hops and yeast..”

My Description: This is one of the finest examples of a Saison; it is smooth, delicious, and traditional because these beers were designed to be lower in alcohol so that farm workers could guzzle these all day without getting drunk. It has a ridiculous head that is massive and off-white in color. The retention level is amazing, it never fades and it leaves behind lacing that glues on the glass. The aroma is pleasant and clean with notes of sour funk, lemon, grass, and what appears to be a hint of pears. It is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavors work harmoniously together. There is a strong lemon funk throughout that is accompanied by a mild and welcoming spice note.  There are hints of wood and floral notes with a touch of malt that add to the enjoyment of this beer. The aftertaste is slightly bitter and helps bring balance. This very smooth farmhouse ale is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with grilled salmon, shrimp stir-fry, or a fruit salad.

ABV: 4.5%  Color: Hazy Gold  Sweetness: 2/10  Bitterness: 3.5/10

 COLETTE: 93 Points

Colette

This is a Belgian farmhouse ale that is available between April and July in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Brewed with barley, wheat and rice and fermented at high temperatures with a special blend of four different yeast strains, Colette is fruity and slightly tart, with a dry finish that makes it that rarest of treats – a beer as refreshing as it is complex.”

My Description: If this is what the peasant farmers were drinking back in the day then give me a shovel and let’s start diggin’. This a damn good beer for anyone to drink. For this type of ale, it has a nice head that is white in color and holds the whole way through, producing decent lacing but nothing to brag about. The aroma is pleasant; it is fruity with some tart notes accompanied by the scent of yeast and bubblegum. The first sip will show you how bold and refreshing this beer is. It is refreshing and tasty with a clean spice flavor. Other taste notes include yeast, bubblegum, with some minor alcohol. It finishes with a dry feeling that begs for another sip. I did not get much tart flavor, just some tart in the aroma but that doesn’t hurt the beer at all.  It is best enjoyed around 40°-48°F and it pairs nicely with sausage, gourmet cheese, and lamb chops.

ABV: 7.3%  Color: Hazy Pale  Sweetness: 3/10  Bitterness: 1/10