Saison is French for Season. Described alternatively as a French and or Belgium Farm House Ale, originally this style was made at the end of winter, heavily hopped to preserve it through the summer months so it could be doled out to farm workers at the autumn harvest.
Head Bewer Steve Nally has channeled orange as the new black in the 2016 iteration of our autumn seasonal.
As in past years the citrus flavor of the hops has been augmented by two weeks dry “hopping” over orange peel, this year we also added fresh lime zest to the mix, which has accentuated the orange flavour.
The silent hero of this beer is a malt profile that’s been designed to hold up its own end in this potentially hop-heavy brew – and we think it’s worked – delivering a perfectly balanced beer in the glass.
Upfront the aroma is dominated by orange. Once again flaked wheat added to the malted grains has given a lighter finish to the body, and we’ve chosen not to filter. Here the malt is a strong supporting actor to the hops which provide the staring role in this style. At the flavour forefront of this effervescent brew is zesty grapefruit and orange, which comes through as crisp and refreshing on the palate. The finish is clean and dry, delivering the bitter sweet memory of summer in a glass. Read what Matt from Kiwi Beer had to say about it.
We were thirsty. Very simply this was a beer style we were crying out to try … there was very little Saison made in New Zealand, even less imported and the easiest way to get a taste it seemed was to make it ourselves. After several years poring over style books and tasting notes (and three wet runs) Steve finally had a result he was happy with, and it seemed everyone else was too. The marketing department snatched it and put a label on it hence guarantee its place in the seasonal line-up. Happily there are now more excellent local examples of this most excellent style, it’s one we’re always happy to see back.