The Saison beer is originally from Wallonia (French-speaking Belgium) and it was first brewed by farmers in the winter time, stored in a cold place and enjoyed by seasonal workers during the harvesting season. The Saison style was born before the invention of the refrigerator, when the Belgian brewers were forced to brew beer in the fall or winter to prevent the fermentation process to be damaged by the summer heat.
Today Saison beers are brewed throughout the year and not only in Wallonia . Most of the beers are light golden to amber, unfiltered with high fermentation and with an alcohol content between 5% and 6.5%.
The seasonal beer has usually a lighter color. Since it was a summer beer it is believed that the original alcohol content was 3-4% by volume. Today’s Saison’s are a bit more stronger and may have up to 8% alcohol. The taste is similar to a Pale Ale, with a high carbonation, fruity aromas, highly hopped and often an addition of spices or fruits such as orange peel. The addition of honey in the seasonal beer is also becoming popular, which gives the beer a pronounced sweet character.
It has moderate sweetness with light, grainy, spicy wheat aromatics, often with a bit of tartness. Some coriander, with a complex herbal, spicy, or peppery note in the background. Moderate zesty, citrusy orangey fruitiness.
Very cloudy to very light gold in color.
Pleasant sweetness and a zesty, orange-citrusy fruitiness. Crisp with a dry, tart, finish. It can have a low wheat flavor. Optionally has a very light lactic-tasting sourness. Herbal-spicy flavors, which may include coriander and other spices; subtle, not overpowering.
Medium-light to medium bodied; effervescent character from high carbonation. Minimal bitterness at the end.