Florida Beer: Tequesta Brewing Company's Belgian Farmhouse Saison
It's #FloridaBeerFriday. Every Friday, we take a look at a beer brewed in the Sunshine State, giving analysis to the burgeoning craft beer movement of Florida.
This week we're popping up north to one of the area's long standing microbreweries, Tequesta Brewing Company, all the way up in Tequesta, naturally.
As a part of their continuously rotating series of beers, The Latest Batch is a generic term that encompasses all of the breweries small batch offerings. I was told it's so generic because they don't even name the individual beers that are made for it. Small batch indeed.
Heading up there this week, I was struck with a style that I am still surprised is not made more frequently in our sunny and warm climate: the farmhouse saison.
Traditionally brewed as a nourishing beer for all manner of farm workers in the Old World, the saison style has become known as one of the 'champagne beers' of Belgium; its high effervescence and earthy flavors make it perfect to pair with any type of food.
The farmhouse saison from Tequesta is a modest 5.2% abv brew; something to refresh with on a warm day, for sure. It's brewed with East Kent Goldings and other English hops, giving it a bit of an herbal character. Even still, it's main workhorse is the Saison Dupont yeast, an amazing warm weather yeast that can produce a lot of amazing flavors when fermenting at high temperatures. I was told that TBC's saison was brewed at around 80F, and the yeast can produce results all the way up to 95F. (This is one reason why I think this style is perfect for brewing at home).
This entry in the style is a bright, cloudy, and golden straw color. Unfortunately the head on mine was virtually non-existant, so a lot of the aroma was struggling to break free from the glass. What came out, though, was mild clove and banana and an equally mild herbal spice aroma. The flavor is super crisp, almost kolsch-like, that starts a little lemony sweet, pales out to clean effervescence, and finishes with some herbal and sage. There's a lingering body of wheat as well, and the whole thing borders on tartness.
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Doug Fairall is a craft beer blogger who focuses on Florida beers, and has been a homebrewer since 2010. For beer things in your Twitter feed, follow him @DougFairall and find the latest beer pics on Clean Plate's Instagram.