This week, we asked The Fervent Few to create our dream beer. It took many days of debate and polls, but we finally came up with something that (almost) all of us are happy with.
First, we had to choose a style. A couple people suggested something trendy, like a Milkshake IPA. Andrés Muñoz thought we should do a Barleywine. Mat was dead-set on a Schwarzbier. But the three most-requested styles were Pilsner, Saison, and Belgian Wit. In a final poll, Saison came out on top by 10 votes.
Rick Owens was one of the first to vote for Saison. “Something about the weather this time of year in Georgia makes me crave easy-drinking Saison,” he explained. “I love sitting and drinking these beers in the warm May and June afternoons, which is probably why I have way too many stocked away for spring Saturdays. Saison Dupont was an eye-opener early on for me, as was Blaugies Saison D'Epeautre. On the domestic side, Tired Hands’ Ourison, Hill Farmstead’s Arthur, and Creature Comforts’ DaySpring are just as complex as they are straightforward, and that’s why I love drinking this style. Honorable mention: the low alcohol content allows for several glasses without it going straight to your head.”
Next, we had to figure out what kind of Saison we were going to make. C. Sean West wanted us to just buy Boulevard Tank 7 and re-label it, while Casey Street suggested the coveted Lucky Charms Saison. The three most-popular options were a fruited Saison, Brett Saison, and a Saison Dupont clone. In the end, Brett Saison won out.
“Saison is just a really versatile style,” Bryan Arndt wrote. “It gives you a lot of components to play with while still staying fairly true-to-style. It’s also a style where attention to detail and great execution (dry hopping and wood aging) can lead to an end result that’s subtle but complex—a balance that’s really hard to achieve in most other styles.”
Jaron Wright was excited about our recipe being an all-Brett beer: “I feel like Brett-only beers are few and far between. I'm glad there's overwhelming support for this.”
With the style locked in, it was time to decide if we were going to barrel age our beer or not. Aging in French oak was the nearly unanimous decision. Brad was pleased our beer resembled one of his go-tos: “Maybe not the best reason, but my favorite Saison in the world sits in French oak for 16–30 months. So it can't be too bad to follow what my personal favorite does, right?” Ian Davis was also affirmative: “Saison in French oak is this perfect mesh of delicate spice from the oak with the rustic flavors from the beer’s yeast.”
Finally, we had to decide how to finish our French Oak Aged Brett Saison. Almost everyone said it needed to be hopped. And after a little bit of debate, noble hops won out unanimously. Wayne Pelletier chose noble hops because “they are an aromatic hop variety of European origin traditionally used for Lagers. They’re not go-to hops for dry-hopping an IPA. I think they would complement a mixed-fermentation Saison aged in barrels very well. My guess is that it would be delightfully earthy, dry, and hopefully, a touch sweet.”
What beer would you have created? Let us know on Twitter, or join The Fervent Few and make your voice heard in our community forum!