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Banjo
09-09-2010, 04:23 PM
Saisons in the midst: St. Somewhere Brewing gives this old school style new life
September 8, 2010 at 4:30 pm by Thomas Barris

http://blogs.creativeloafing.com/dailyloaf/2010/09/08/saisons-in-the-midst/

Saint Somewhere on my mind
Saison style beers are known for their crisp floral notes, fruity esters and yeasty “funk”. These ales are based on a traditional style of brewing that was first used in southern Belgium. Saisons or “season” ales were brewed in winter or spring so they would be fermented and ready to drink in time for the harvest. These brews had to be filling, tasty and able to quench one’s thirst so that during the harvesting the worker would be full, hydrated and happy. A common worker was allowed to enjoy eight glasses of Saison during one work day, and the taste of these ales varied from region to region, depending on what the farm had on hand for ingredients (thus also being referred to as “farmhouse ales”).This style of brewing had fallen into obscurity, but came back in a big way due to the huge resurgence of the American craft brewing scene, which helped give this beer new life.

Saint Somewhere Brewing, located on the outskirts of Tarpon Springs, is a local brewery that takes the saison style to the limit and beyond. When thinking of American Craft beer, most “beer geeks” will immediately rattle off breweries like Dogfish Head, Rogue and the local favorite, Cigar City Brewing. All of these breweries make delicious brews and have their own specific style of brewing, yet Saint Saint Somewhere owner and brewmaster Bob Sylvester offers something that falls into a category of its own, utilizing a traditional style of brewing that was used over one hundred years ago. The brewery, in operation since 2007, has gained much notoriety throughout the craft beer world.

Sylvester makes three styles of farmhouse ales: Saison Athene, Lectio Divina and Pays du Soleil. They may be brewed in the same old school, open-fermentation style, but they couldn’t be more different.

At 7.5% ABV, Saison Athene is a new take on a classic style of beer. This golden, straw-colored, herbal and zesty ale has a strange complexity that leaves you wanting more. The taste has zesty lemon, orange and green apple notes with a peppery herbal flavor in the mix. The finish is a combination of sweet and sour with a hint of classic Belgian yeast. This brew pairs well with light salads, lean meats and variety of cheeses.

Lectio Divina, or “the divine reading”, is an amber-colored farmhouse ale with an ABV of 8%. This brew hits your taste buds with a burst of delicious sugary tartness followed by a slightly spicy taste. Lectio continues to surprise you with more complex fruit notes, herbs, yeasty funk and a nice boozy quality. It will pair well with most meats, fish, like salmon or grouper, and makes a great aperitif.

Pays Du Soleil, 8% ABV, is the new ale on the block, pouring an amber-red cloudy color full of fruity and yeasty aroma. This is a true Florida beer with palmetto berries and hibiscus flowers added during the brewing process, making it a fruity, astringent, funky brew with the regular saison spices coming through on the end notes. It drinks well at room temperature, releasing its complex spice, fruit and yeasty characteristics. Pair this with steamed clams, lean meats, and salads.

Saint Somewhere Brewing is classic brewery in the modern world, and with its eclectic style of farmhouse ales, it truly is a one-of-a-kind. And they’re not just for the beer snob types, but can be enjoyed by any palate.

Cheers!
Thomas Barris
“The Wild Cicerone”
http://blogs.creativeloafing.com/dailyloaf/2010/09/08/saisons-in-the-midst/