Ah, Saison. Saisons are one of our head brewer Zach’s favorite beers to both brew and drink, which bodes well for the rest of us given that we’re firmly in the same camp. Saison is the blonde bombshell in the backless dress at the metaphorical beer-style dinner party, and if you’d like to hear someone far more articulate than myself sing it’s praises, read the mouth-watering saison chapter of Garrett Oliver’s seminal beer-and-food-pairing Bible, The Brewmaster’s Table:
“…a sunny orange color; explosive carbonation producing an impressive rocky head; bright, spicy, fruity aromatics; a refreshing hop attack; and a dry, slightly tart finish… I consider these beers truly glorious and endlessly interesting.”
Our interest in saison lies in it’s openness for interpretation, a shapeshifter of a beer style that can be sour, hoppy, dark, light, classic, fruity, funky, clean… the list goes on. The specific strain of saison yeast that we use lends itself particularly well to hops and has a light funkiness, and our newest Special Release calls upon Zach’s love of fruity New Zealand hops to provide that bright, juicy hop backbone.
When I asked Zach why he decided to make this beer, he gave me a compelling answer: Having first brewed it in Akron before moving to Pittsburgh to join The Brew Gentlemen team, the keg “conditioned” in the back of the U-Haul during his trip from Akron to Pittsburgh. It was the first beer he tapped once he moved into his new house, and upon trying it he knew that it needed to be made on a production scale. Following our pattern of naming our Special Release saisons with the ever-creative “_____ Saison”, Nelson Saison was born.
Nelson Saison is a cousin to our previous Special Release saison, New World Saison (which will be making a grand return upon its rebranding as Loose Seal, one of our Spring seasonals) – a modern farmhouse ale, more well-hopped than the traditional Belgian style. This beer’s bursting with citrus, white grape and pineapple character from the liberal addition of Nelson Sauvin hops, it’s backed up by a light, crackery malt base, and it’s without a doubt one of the best beers we’ve made yet.
Nelson Saison will be released officially on draft Wednesday, February 18th in the taproom, with bottles soon to come.