Another winner from Green Bay, Wisconsin. Ya der hey!
Green Bay Brewing Company, Green Bay, WI – 6.3% ABV
I’ve become a bit of a fan of saisons over the last couple of years. I remember trying one (I don’t recall which one offhand) back in the late 90’s after reading about Belgian beers in magazines and Michael Jackson’s book “Great Beers of Belgium”, only to be greatly disappointed. What I’ve come to realize is that it was either quite old (I picture it sitting neglected and forlorn on the shop’s shelf as the years passed by) or had otherwise not been treated well during its journey from the brewer to my hand (heat exposure and poor storage conditions come to mind), and by the time I bought it was nowhere near in the condition intended. At the time, this bad experience caused me to avoid the style altogether for many years. Luckily, I finally gave the style another shot, especially as 2 things had changed: 1. beers imported from Belgium are almost always fresh and in good condition these days, at least where I shop; and 2. many US craft brewers have picked up the style, and as they so often do, put their own unique spin and variation on their brews.
A stemmed glass seemed appropriate for this beer. It poured a bright amber-golden color with a slight haze and large bubbles rising into the pale off-white head. The foam starts about 3 fingers tall but recedes to a half finger width.
Heady aromas of lemongrass, yeast, floral hops, and an earthy note.
Moderately-light bodied with a very effervescent carbonation bite that playfully tickles the tongue.
I get lemongrass up front, with hints of black pepper, floral hops, and a faint earthy yeast note. Starts out on the tangy and slightly sweet side. Malt character is mild underneath the other flavors. A mildly astringent bitterness creeps in late. Refreshing, complex and drinkable. Lingering grapefruit rind note appears in the finish. Nice complexity, and the tasty and interesting flavors take this saison in a slightly different direction from most. I thought it was outstanding, really.
I would suggest pairing with a good, soft ripened cheese.