I tried a perfect summer beer today from Avery Brewing Company – their Sixteenth Anniversay Saison Ale. Those foxy chicks on the front represent the three major ingredients in the brew – jasmine, peach and honey. These three are combined with Rocky Mountain water, malted barley, Belgian candy sugar, hops and Belgian yeast.
French for season, the name saison was given to low-alcohol pale ale styles brewed in the French-speaking region of Belgium. The name came about because the beer was brewed in the fall or winter so that the hardworking farm hands could have some summer refreshment – now they’re brewed year-round. Historically, they had low alcohol (around 3% abv) and were often a safer choice than water for the farmers (most commerical brews today clock in at 5-8% abv – the Avery in question is 7.69% abv). Extra hops were added to help preserve the ales through the summer since the low level of alcohol wouldn’t provide too much protection from spoilage.
My all-time favorite is Saison Dupont from Basserie Dupont in Tourpes, Belgium – it’s full-bodied, fruity and spicy with a nice dose of funk. It’s a little much for summer and that’s where Avery comes in. The Sixteen Saison has light spice and a touch of sweetness from the peaches, but it’s very clean with a super dry finish.
Op uw gezondheid or maybe a votre sante!