Friday, July 18, 2014

Northbound Sandbar Saison

Northbound Sandbar Saison. 5.6% ABV. 20 IBU. Is this the first Belgian-style beer brewed here? It might be. (A quick glance at BeerAdvocate says that last year's anniversary ale was a Belgian strong dark.)

Appearance: straw yellow color, slim white head.  A little clouded.

Aroma: Saison yeast funk greets the nose immediately. Little bit tart, little sweet, little spicy.

Taste: Light/medium bodied. Citrus and spice flavors. Belgian yeast flavors grace the whole affair, and it exits the palate with a dryness. Clean and crisp and refreshing. All the hallmarks of a true saison are here. I like it a lot. It's good saison and you can drink it.

Here's what the brewer says: Sandbar Saison
5.6% ABV. 20 IBU.
"We're getting to the point where we need to bring in different yeast varieties to brew more varieties of beer. I brought in a Belgian Ale/Saison blend so we could brew a couple of Belgian style beers, a saison for July and a Belgian Dark Strong for August.
This yeast is very versatile. It's the same yeast we use for the Anniversary Ale. Fermenting at higher temperatures this yeast produces fruity and spicy esters characteristic of a traditional Farmhouse ale/saison. Fermenting at a lower temperature produces a cleaner yeast profile. This beer was fermented in the middle range.
There is some wheat in the recipe to complement the fruit and spice notes of the yeast and a little bit of biscuit malt to round out the malt, and a little bit of Belgian Candi sugar for a crisp dryness. It starts with a crisp fruitiness and finishes with a dry spiciness."

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