Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Bruery - Saison de Lente

Whoa, was that 2 running posts in a row? That's a first. Let's get this back on track.

For a while, I've been hearing about a Southern California berwery called The Bruery. They're based out of a town called Placentia, which is located close to Anaheim. After hearing that their beer was really good, I decided to try it. Thanks to my friend Brian (who is also running Hood to Coast), I got the chance.

I got both the Saison Dupont and this Saison de Lente as graduation presents. Having only had Stone's Saison du Buff, I really had no idea what I was getting into. I didn't know anything about the characteristics of a saison- what they looked like, what they tasted like, etc. Now, I'm starting to get a much more definite picture of what a saison is, and it's looking like it's a beer I'm going to be drinking a lot more of in the future.

Saison de Lente comes in a huge bottle and is advertised as being a great Spring beer. As I poured it, I could see why. The smell had a touch of that earthy funk to it that I experienced with the Dupont. The smell didn't blow me away like the Dupont. This was crisp and clean, with a slight citrus hop smell and kind of just smelled like spring.

This beer had something I've never seen before. When I poured it, the head ballooned up in the glass. For at least 30 seconds, the entire glass was foam. It was crazy. As the foam settled, it left a beautiful golden and very murky color. The murkiness is due both to the yeast in the beer and to the fact that it's an unfiltered beer. In looks, it was similar to a hefeweizen, just maybe a tad lighter in color. As the head dissipated, it began to take on a rocky appearance like the Dupont. However, as it settled more and more, it began to look more like the webbing of a tunnel spider than the head of a beer. In all my experience with beer, never have I seen one settle like this.

About five minutes later when the beer settled, I had my first sip. While this beer definitely didn't have as much funkiness in the flavor as the Dupont, it caught some. It also had come sweeter citrus notes that came out and then faded away into a dry and bitter (but not jarring) finish. There's also a huge peppery taste at the finish that goes well with the bitterness. I love hops, but for some beer, there's such a thing as too much. Often times, the finish is so bitter on a hoppy beer that it kills all other flavor. The Bruery has done a nice job of balancing the flavors in this saison and made it a very solid beer. While I don't know if I would recommend drinking an entire bottle by yourself (after a while, the bitter finish becomes all you taste), I would definitely recommend trying this. It's a good representation of the saison style and a good output by The Bruery. I'm definitely looking for more of their beer.

Final Grade: B+

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