It’s time for the next installment of Beer Notes by my good friend Eoin. He knows his Belgian beer better than most, so I’m sure he’s got something good in store for us. For more recommendations, you can see his previous guest posts here and here. Over to you Eoin!
As the weather recently treated us to a little sunshine, I thought I would write a few notes on a beer created to refresh the working man in warmer days. You can’t always trust the Belgian weather, but I’ll share my thoughts on this beer with the hope that spring is just around the corner.
The Belgian beer style known as saison has its origins in the province of Hainaut, in the south-west of the country. This is a region known for industry and agriculture, and it is here that many different types of saison beers (or farmhouse ales) were first brewed. Traditionally these saison beers were brewed to quench the thirst of those who worked in the harvests in late summer. For this, the beer needed to be brewed in spring and maintain its flavor and freshness over the summer.
Of the various brands of the beer widely available now, one of my favorites (and my wife’s) is the St Feuillien Saison. The beer is brewed by the well-known St Feuillien brewery close to Mons, in the Hainut province, which also makes popular beers such as the St Feuillien Blonde.
The color of St Feuillien Saison when poured is amber and cloudy, with a creamy and well-packed head initially. There’s a myriad of aromas after the pour – hops, something slightly sharp, minerally, and even some citrus fruits. After that build up you’ll be glad to know that the taste is very satisfying! It has just the right amount of hops, not overpowering, with a touch of herbs somewhere in the background, balanced by a slight sharpness. And even though it has an alcohol content of 6.5%, this beer doesn’t leave you with an overwhelming alcohol aftertaste.
The simplicity of aromas and taste involved in the St Feuillien means it generally goes well with most foods. I am partial to drinking it as an aperitif. While you can buy it in most supermarkets, the Moeder Lambic bar in Brussels, which has bottles on offer, makes a great place to savor this unique beer, especially in warmer weather on the terrace.
All in all, a well-rounded and tasty beer, and winner of world’s best Saison Ale at the World Beer Awards to boot!
Thanks Eoin for introducing us to St Feuillien Saison. Here’s to spring and enjoying a glass soon!
Images via Wine Searcher, Beer Obsessed, Gli Beer and Event Seekr.