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Saison beer is meant for summer, and these are our go-to drinks

Summer was meant for Saisons

Summer beer
Wil Stewart/Unsplash

When it comes to beer, you can’t beat a piney, hoppy West Coast IPA or a refreshing, crisp pilsner on a hot summer day, but the warmer months truly belong to the Saison.

For those unaware, a Saison is a beer that comes from the French word for “season”. Its history can be traced to Belgium where it was a beer style that was given to farm workers to quench their thirst at the end of the summer during harvest season. Traditionally brewed in the winter for consumption in the summer, what qualifies as a contemporary Saison is hard to pinpoint.

Still brewed in Belgian and at breweries throughout the world, this subset of the farmhouse ale is often pale in color, is very effervescent (almost sparkling wine-like), and has a dry, lightly spicy, fruity, often yeasty flavor profile. Some are bottle conditioned. But, while this is a common flavor profile, the color palate varies from yellow to dark brown and some Saisons are sweeter, some are fruitier, and some are drier. Overall, regardless of their differences, they are a great choice for the warmer months.

10 Saisons and Farmhouse Ales to drink right now

Close-up of beer in a glass
Timothy Dykes / Unsplash

Now that you learned a little bit about what a Saison is, it’s time to find some so you can stock up your fridge for the summer months. Keep scrolling to see ten of our favorite Saisons to drink right now.

Saison DuPont

Saison DuPont
Saison DuPont

No Saison list is complete without the inclusion of Saison DuPont. This 6.5% ABV Saison has been brewed the same way since 1844. This popular blonde ale is known for its fruity, spiced nose and palate of grapefruit zest, orange peel, clove, and gentle yeast. It’s sweet, lightly bitter, and perfectly dry.

North Coast Le Merle Saison

North Coast LA Merle
North Coast

North Coast Le Merle is the Fort Bragg, California-based brewery’s homage to the Flanders region of Belgium. This “rustic ale” is known for its pale color and smattering of hops as well as Belgian ale yeast. This award-winning, 7.9% ABV summery beer is known for its flavors of yeast, orchard fruits, ripe bananas, and gentle hop bitterness.

Blackberry Farm Classic Saison

Blackberry Farm Classic Saison
Blackberry Farm

Blackberry Farm went all in with its aptly named Classic Saison. This 6.3% ABV Saison was brewed with European ingredients including Belgian Saison yeast, European two-row malt, and Noble hops. It’s known for its balance of sweet yeast, citrus peels, and gentle spices.

Boulevard Tank 7

Boulevard Tank 7
Boulevard

Kansas City’s Boulevard is the kind of brewery that seems to produce nothing but memorable beers. This 8.5% ABV Saison is a mix of contemporary American brewing and old-world, Belgian tradition. It’s known for its mix of grapefruit, hops, yeast, and gentle spices.

Half Moon Bay Saison

Half Moon Bay Saison
Half Moon Bay

You might not have ever heard of Half Moon Bay, but if you want to get acquainted with it, you should start with its Saison. Brewed with a special yeast strain, Pilsen malt, and East Kent and Saaz hops, it’s memorable due to its notes of bready malts, citrus peels, clove, and cracked black pepper.

Allagash Saison

Allagash Saison
Allagash

When it comes to American takes on Belgian beers, few do it better than Allagash. This Belgian-style farmhouse ale is brewed with a 2-row barley blend, malted rye, and oats. It’s also brewed with Northern Brewer, Bravo, and Cascade hops and a traditional yeast strain. The result is a sublime summery beer with notes of citrus, tropical fruits, yeast, and spices.

Jester King Le Petit Prince

Jester King Le Petit Prince
Jester King

Who wouldn’t want to drink a beer called Le Petit Prince? This 2.9% ABV beer is extremely refreshing and sessionable. This table beer is made with naturally occurring wild yeasts. It’s unfiltered, unpasteurized, and loaded with yeast, citrus peels, and light funk. It’s crisp, dry, and memorable.

Perennial Saison De Lis

Perennial Saison De Lis
Perennial

If you start drinking Saisons and want to try something different, this unique Saison from Perennial is for you. This pale-hued Saison is brewed with traditional Saison yeast and other ingredients, but there’s one special ingredient: chamomile flowers. The result is a balanced beer with herbal tea notes, floral hints, fruit, and light spices. The finish is dry and crisp.

Brewery Ommegang Hennepin

Brewery Ommegang Hennepin
Brewery Ommegang

This Belgian-style farmhouse Saison is brewed with pilsner malt, flaked corn, house yeast, and Styrian Golding and Spalter Select hops. It gets extra flavor from the addition of orange peel, coriander, ginger, and grains of paradise. This creates a unique, summery beer with fruit, citrus, and gentle spices.

Oxbow Farmhouse Pale

Oxbow Farmhouse Pale
Oxbow

Another beer that’s a mix of American and European brewing traditions. It’s brewed with traditional Saison yeast as well as American hops. To add to that, it’s like a mix of a farmhouse Saison and pale ale. A great gateway into the style for hop fans, it’s known for its mix of bready malts, citrus peels, ripe fruits, yeast, and hops.

Bottom line

Pouring beer with chips in the background
Gerrie van der Walt / Unsplash

Summer is coming. It’s a great time of year to get into Saisons. Pick up one or more from this list. Trust us. You’ll be really glad you did when you pair them with ladder ball, bocce, or a winner-take-all game of cornhole this summer.

Christopher Osburn
Christopher Osburn is a food and drinks writer located in the Finger Lakes Region of New York. He's been writing professional
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