May 21, 2013

But, What Is It?

Quiet and inside my head is where I try to keep the beer nerd. But, when one of my more picky taste testers asked me, “Can’t you just make regular beer?”, I had to lock my jaw to keep the nerd from losing his fucking shit all over this poor guinea pig. “Define that for me”, I garbled through clenched teeth.

I imagine he meant lager, to which the answer is no, because I don’t have a fridge to dedicate to that. If he meant non-funky, I mean, I dunno. Sure, fine, next time. Or next, next time. Who knows. Enjoy the free beer, though.

Saisons are quite possibly the snobbiest beer style. It’s French. Which I stress because it’s beer. And that’s how everyone reacts.

“This is, ahem, French beer? Bah-ha! Wine is their drink! Don’t you know anything?”

Say it in a French way, or in actual French. Extra pretentious. Saison just means “season”. That isn’t sexy. It doesn’t roll off the tongue and isn’t foreign in a good way. Describing their flavor and where they came from and what’s going on with them today, it just comes out as a stream of BS. But I love them, and it turns out most other people do too.

Case in point, the Party Brew. It’s awesome. Small party too, so I got away with 2 gallons for myself.

The beer is a lovely golden amber hue, smells of citrus, lemon, yeast, spice. Tastes crisp, silky, citrusy, moderate bitterness. Nice rye pepperiness, but not much of the grainy quality I wanted.

In related news, my father-in-law was just gifted a used, complete all-grain brewing kit. Pot, mashtun cooler, carboys, and even a pump. It’s really swank, and a super generous thing for someone to gift. On top of that, the first thing he wants to put through it is a saison like what was served at the wedding. And the best part, I get to plan it all out. Sheee-it. Two kits, two recipes, and three beers. I won’t go into details but you watch.

In HopYard news, we have hops growing! The Sterling are growing faster than the Cascade, and the Willamette lag behind. Actually, the Sterling are down right thriving. They basically sprouted in the fridge while I was waiting for the weekend to put them into Mother Earth. Crosby Hop Farm were my source, I bought them through Northern Brewer. The bags they sent had an extra Cascade and a Willamette rhizome. I’ve set them up in pots to see if I can coax them into growth and one did. I lost track which, almost 100% sure it’s the Willamette. Gabrinius be praised!