Country of Origin
The history of the season leads back to its original name “biere de saison”, which translated to english reads “beer of the seasons”. The saison was born in Wallonia (the french speaking part of Belgium) in the 1700’s. The beers were typically brewed in a farmhouse during the fall months and was left to mature throughout the winter, so that farmers and farm-workers would have a refreshing beer for the summer months. Hence the name “beer of the seasons”. The beers had to be strong enough to withstand the several months of aging, but light enough to be sessionable for the farmers, and were usually heavily hopped to aid in preserving the beer.
Saisons are often pale orange but have been seen to be anywhere from a light golden into a darker amber orange ranging from 5 - 22 SRM. A saison consists of spicy and fruity flavors up front with lingering malt, tart, and yeast flavors. Aromas of moderate hops, herbs, and lots of fruity esters.
A saison should be served in a tulip pint glass at about 48-50 ºF (9-10 ºC).
The spicy and fruit profile of a Saison pairs nicely with roasted chicken, rich cheeses, and shellfish dishes.
- Healthy yeast. You want a dry beer so proper attenuation is key to brewing this beer. Consider making a yeast starter.
- The right yeast. Use a proper saison yeast that will make those spicy and fruity aromas pop, while leaving behind that farmhouse funkyness.
- Add some adjuncts. Try adding some Belgian candi sugar, syrups, honey, or some sort of unmalted grains. But keep it under 5% of your grain bill.
Want to brew your own Saison?
Try Brew HQ's Belgian Saison recipe kit.