Beer Notes: Home Grown Saison

Amsterdam Brewing Company (Toronto, Ontario)

Saison / Farmhouse Ale (6.0%)

Home Grown Saison

Look: Hazy, honey coloured. Airy and light white head settles as a small, puffy collar. Long streaks of lace.

Smell: Light honey malts. Red fife wheat and spelt are prevalent, bringing a vague sourness and earthy character. Hints of apple, pear, sweet white wine. Mild funk.

Taste: Crisp, dry and earthy. Soft honey sweetness countered by sharp lemon, orange and vinous notes. Finish is very dry, lingering lemon in the aftertaste.

Mouth: Medium to full body. Relatively soft carbonation, fairly viscose, earthy and a bit chewy.

Opinion: Very rustic take on the style. The grain bill is quite hearty, Cascade hops are well used and keep the beer from feeling too heavy. Not a lot of funk, but enough yeasty life on the tongue to give it some pop.

Food: Charcuterie, green or white grapes, creamy cheeses, lighter nuts, soft white bread.

Note: Amsterdam Brewing Company provided me with a bottle of Home Grown Saison for evaluation.

Beer Notes: End of Saison

Beyond The Pale Brewing Company (Ottawa, Ontario)

Imperial Saison / Farmhouse Ale (8.4%)

End of Saison

Look: Chill-hazed, light apricot orange colour. Small, loose, frothy white head hangs around as a cap.

Smell: Lightly toasted malt and fresh grasses. Tons of yeast esters…banana, clove, apple, pine, wintergreen, lavender. Very complex and appealing.

Taste: Very intense at first. Bitter citrus flavour is front-loaded, then mellows out nicely. Surprisingly light syrupy sweetness, notes of apple and pear, very dry and peppery finish with a hint of mint.

Mouth: Viscose, grainy, medium-bodied. Aftertaste is grainy, yet crisp. Distinct ethanol heat.

Opinion: Deceptively easy-drinking, but also very satisfying. Similar to Hennepin in many ways. Great as a sipper.

Food: Creamy cheeses, light rye bread, mild sausage, strawberries, kettle chips.

Earl Grey Marmalade Saison: Voulez-Vous Boire Avec Moi?

A spiced farmhouse ale, Earl Grey Marmalade Saison from Dominion City Brewing Company in Ottawa, Ontario pours a hazy tangerine shade of orange with a small white head that leaves a few spots of lace and hangs around as a collar that persists until the end of your glass. Aromas of light pilsner malt and honey are accompanied by notes of orange zest, bergamot and an inviting sweet scent that brings to mind wildflowers in the rain.

Earl Grey Marmalade Saison
Yes, This Beer Goes Well with Buttered Toast.

The taste of Earl Grey Marmalade Saison is clean, with a minimal amount of “farmhouse funk” and based around sweet, bright malts. There isn’t a whole lot of tea flavour at first, but there’s no mistaking the dryness it imparts. This medium-bodied ale is also surprisingly bitter, likely from the addition of orange zest and pith. The peppery Earl Grey character really sneaks up on you, becomes prevalent in the finish and lingers throughout the aftertaste along with a mild earthy note.

Beer Notes: Nu Saison

Beyond the Pale Brewing Company (Ottawa, Ontario)

Saison / Farmhouse Ale (4.8%)

Nu Saison

Look: Hazy Lemon yellow, large white head leaves a yarn thick collar and soapy film.

Smell: Earthy, grany pilsner malts, light plum-like fruit note. Light floral and honey tones.

Taste: Again, definitely grainy. Lots of citrus, more bitter than most saisons, Mix of citrus peel, peppery dryness and cereal sweetness in the finish/aftertaste.

Mouth: Medium body and carbonation. Earthy with a light syrupy feeling.

Opinion: Tame for a BTP beer flavour-wise, but absolutely nails the core style. Refreshing, summery addition to their regular lineup. I’d like to see them play with this one a bit.

Food: Creamy, earthy and blue cheeses. Light sausage (summer, hunter salami), spinach salad, cherry tomatoes.

Patio Saison: Sunshine on My Shoulders

Patio Saison from Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company in Vankleek Hill, Ontario is a hazy golden-amber colour and yields a large, billowy white head that is retained as a small cap and leaves large rings of lace on your glass. This Belgian-style farmhouse ale has strong aromas of light, honey-sweetened malts and freshly picked cloves with a mild citrus note and a faint perfumy whiff that comes from the addition of elderflower.

Patio Saison
This Beer Debuted in 2012 as Wild Oats Series No. 19

The taste of Patio Saison is anchored by a blend of pilsener and wheat malts that create a soft caramel sweetness. Subtle citrus zest and peppery flavours contribute to a well-balanced dryness, while the ale finishes with a moderate bitterness and leaves notes of pith and clove in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel has definite earthy and grainy qualities, though long-lasting fine bubbles produce an air of creaminess and my tongue was left feeling a bit slick and syrupy between sips.