I’m an unabashed saison lover. I love the variety of aromas and sub-styles, I appreciate their history, their crispness, and I really like the generally low ABV.
Domestically, the saison market has been fine. Nothing exceptional, but some damn good ales that I’d be proud to share with friends—notable a version I had from Boulevard Brewery last year.
URP listener Topher (thanks!) recently sent me the Arthur saison from Hill Farmstead Brewery in Vermont, and it gave me hope that domestic brewers are on track for a world class beer. I review the beer below.
Pours a hazy gold that looks like liquid straw. I’d put the SRM between a 3-4. Decent head that dissipates quickly, though laces remain on the glass. I entered the password in my camera and much of the head was already gone.
Right off the top is citrusy lemon and mild Bretty funk. Smell could pass as a tarty-sour. No banana spice or expected bitterness on the nose.
Definitely lemon and balanced bret with just the right amount of funk. Not barnyardy-sour, but more tart. It’s got a creamy lightness that has just the right amount of carbonation. Very nice first drink that gets better on the finish and deeper into the bottle. I had mine with some rare BBQed tritip and it held up well. I’d also drink it with poultry, fish, or a damn burrito.
Fantastic representation of what a domestic saison should be. Creamy lemony effervescence without any garbage thrown in there. Highly recommended and no complaints.
Style: Saison/Farmhouse Ale.
Towards the top of the saison/farmhouse ABV range, Arthur sits at 6%.
Unfiltered and naturally carbonated.
Not available in CA (as far as I can tell…please someone tell me I’m wrong).
750mL at Hill Farmstead brewery runs an astonishing $10. That’s a ridiculous price for a beer of this quality.
Scores a World-Class 96 on the Beer Advocate.
Hill Farmstead looks like an incredible brewery, but man, I hate their growler policy. Lighten up, folks!