No, Saison beer is not French. Saison is a Belgian pale ale and was first brewed in Wallonia, an area in the southern part of Belgium. This brewing style is thought to have been developed by farmers to provide refreshment for their seasonal workers, hence the name saison, which means “season” in French.
However, saison-style beer is typically made using traditional Belgian ingredients, such as certain Belgian yeast strains, French and German hops, or other spices and local herbs, giving it its distinct and unique Belgian flavor.
Over the years, the style has evolved to become more varied and complex, with adaptations from craft brewers around the world, though the classic Belgian saison style remains alive and popular, especially in its country of origin.
Where does saison come from?
Saison is a Belgian-style beer that originated in Wallonia, a French-speaking region of Belgium. It was traditionally brewed during the cooler months of the year to be stored and consumed during the summer months.
The name saison comes from the French word for “season”.
Saisons were originally brewed as “farmhouse ales”, meaning they were made by farmers on their farms as opposed to commercial brewers. The beer was designed to be a refreshing, slightly tart ale that was full-bodied, highly carbonated and highly drinkable.
Historically, the beer was brewed with wild yeasts, resulting in a unique flavor profile.
In recent years, saisons have made a comeback, with craft brewers experimenting with different ingredients and flavors to produce unique beers. Modern saisons are often much stronger than their traditional counterparts and tend to be made with a variety of hop, malt and yeast varieties, giving them unique and complex flavors.
What is Belgian style saison?
Belgian style saison, also known as Farmhouse Ale, is a type of beer originating in the French-speaking part of Belgium. It is traditionally brewed between the months of September and April and is highly carbonated with a complex, fruity aroma and flavor.
Characteristic of saison-style beer is its light amber-gold color, bubbly head, and high content of hops. Traditionally, saison beer style was a low alcohol beer because of the hot summer climate and served as a refreshing beverage for farmers during the hot summer months.
It has now adapted to the more potent, higher alcohol content in the modern brewing era. Belgian style saisons are known to have a slightly dry, earthy and spicy finish with a malt character and hop notes.
They are usually complex and have a slightly tart character from the use of a special yeast strain, however can also be mild and fruity. Commonly, Belgian style saisons have higher carbonation levels and a dry finish.
What is the most popular beer in Belgium?
The most popular beer in Belgium is Leffe Blonde. This pale lager is light in color with fruity and spicy notes that make it extremely popular amongst beer lovers and newbies alike. It has an Alcohol by Volume (ABV) of 6.
6%, giving it a slightly bitter yet smooth taste. Leffe Blonde has a long and rich history, first brewed by monks in the Abbey of Notre Dame de Leffe in 1240. This traditional beer is widely available in bars and pubs across Belgium, but can also be found in many other countries.
In Europe, Leffe Blonde is exported to Italy, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. In the U. S. , the beer is exported to all states, usually in the form of 12-ounce, 330- or 660-ml bottles and cans.
Is Stella Artois a Belgian beer?
Yes, Stella Artois is a Belgian beer. It is brewed in Leuven, Belgium, which is located in the province of Flemish Brabant, and is a subsidiary of the Anheuser-Busch InBev brewery. The beer has been continuously brewed since 1366, making it one of the oldest beer styles still produced today.
The recipe for Stella Artois is based on the traditional pilsner brewing method, using a combination of roasted malts and European hops. The beer has an ABV of 5. 2%, and is highly regarded for its refreshing, crisp, and hoppy character.
You can find Stella Artois in bars, supermarkets, and online retailers around the world.
What is a Saison beer taste like?
Saison beers, also known as Farmhouse Ales, have a distinctive taste that often features notes of tartness, earthiness, and spice within a dry, lightly-hopped backdrop. Most Saisons are light to medium in body with a medium carbonation, and often have a slight citrusy aroma as well as flavors of various spices (such as coriander, orange peel, peppercorns).
They usually finish clean and slightly bitter, making them a refreshing choice for many beer drinkers. Some brewers produce more hop-forward Saisons, while others create variations with more malted barley sweetness and yeast flavors.
Ultimately, the taste of Saison beers varies depending on the brewer and the style they’re brewing.
Is a Saison a wheat beer?
No, a Saison is not a wheat beer. The two styles of beer have some similarities, such as being pale in color and having a fruity aroma, but the main difference lies in the malt bill. Wheat beer typically uses a higher proportion of malted wheat and fewer specialty malts than most other beer styles.
This gives wheat beer its unique flavor, including a more noticeable wheat aroma, a softer body, and a slightly tart taste. A Saison, on the other hand, is typically made with a base of pale and crystal malts, along with a variety of hop varieties to provide a spicy, fruity taste.
It also features yeast characteristics like earthiness and clove-like spice, as well as a smooth and dry finish. The final result is a beer that is both highly aromatic and flavorful, but it is not a wheat beer.
What’s the difference between a Saison and a sour?
The main difference between a Saison and a sour beer is the type of yeast used during fermentation, as well as the type of grains. Saisons are brewed with several different strains of wheat, barley, oats, and rye, while sours typically use wheat and oats.
The yeast used for saison beers is categorized as a “Belgian farmhouse” yeast, which provides a unique set of flavors and aromas, like clove, pepper, and fresh cut hay. Sour beers on the other hand use a different type of yeast, which produces lactic acid, giving the beer its sour taste.
Sours also feature fruit flavors as well as other acidic ingredients like vinegar. On the other hand, Saisons feature more subtley spicy flavors and aromas, and typically do not include any added fruit flavors.
Do Belgian ales have hops?
Yes, Belgian ales typically use hops in their brewing process. Belgian ales are usually brewed with a complex combination of malts and hops. The hops chosen for brewing Belgian ales typically come from spicy, earthy hops from the continental part of Europe, such as German, Czech and English hops.
Some of the hops commonly used by Belgian brewers include Saaz, Tettnang, and Styrian Goldings. Hops are typically added at the end of the boil or during fermentation to impart hop aroma without contributing to much bitterness.
In any case, Belgian ales usually have a lower hop bitterness than many other beer styles, so you won’t find an extreme hop presence in these beers.
What are the 2 most common flavoring ingredients for Belgian beers?
The two most common flavoring ingredients for Belgian beers are coriander and bitter orange peel. Coriander has been used in Belgian beer brewing since the 14th century, and its pronounced lemony flavor helps to balance the sweetness of the beer.
Bitter orange peel, popular in cuts such as Curaçao, provides a tart and zesty flavor which also helps to offset the sweetness of the beer. Both ingredients are also quite aromatic, adding to the complexity and uniqueness of the beer.
How long ferment Belgian ale?
Belgian ale, like all types of beer, can take anywhere from a few weeks to months to ferment, depending on the beer and yeast used. A simple Belgian ale for example, using a single type of yeast, may only take a few weeks, while Belgian ales that incorporate multiple yeast strains can take up to a month or more to ferment.
The end result will also depend on the duration of fermentation, when the yeast has had enough time to break down the sugars, and produce the specific flavors for the beer. After fermentation is complete, the beer should be allowed to condition for a few weeks.
The longer the beer can age in the bottle, the more developed and complex the flavors will be.
How is Belgian beer made?
Belgian beer is made with a unique brewing style native to the region that has developed over hundreds of years of brewing tradition and expertise. Brewers use techniques such as spontaneously fermented beers, open-air mashing, aging and blending, as well as a variety of specialty malts, spices, and yeasts to create complex and often sour flavor profiles.
To make a Belgian beer, the process begins with selecting quality malt and hops. Belgian-style brewers then mash the malt in an open pot, allowing it to absorb and ferment natural bacteria, fungi, and other wild yeasts.
After the mash is boiled, hops and other spices, herbs or fruits are added, depending on the desired flavor profile. The wort is then fermented both in open and closed tanks, depending on the style of beer, and may be fermented multiple times.
Finally, the beer is conditioned, some styles for months, resulting in a beer that contains complex flavor profiles, ranging from fruity, spicy, and sour, to tart, nutty, and earthy.
What are Belgium beers?
Belgium beers are renowned for their high quality and diversity. The country is home to one of the most varied and iconic beer cultures in the world. Stouts, pilsners, saisons, fruit beers, and many other styles of beer can be found in Belgium.
The country also has a long-standing tradition of beer brewing, with many of the best Belgian beers undergoing several centuries of refinement. Generally, Belgian beers are divided into two main categories: ales and lagers.
Ales are flavored with hops and are typically served warm, while lagers are lighter, crisper, and usually served cold. Some of the most celebrated Belgian beers include Westvleteren 12, a strong dark ale prized for its complex flavor and full body, and Hoegaarden, a light, malty wheat beer spiced with coriander and orange peel.
What should I know about Belgian beer?
Belgium is renowned for its wide selection of delicious and unique beers, with more than 1,400 recipes in the country’s brewing history. The country is home to a thriving artisan beer culture and a number of top breweries, making it an ideal destination for beer lovers.
Belgian beer is often brewed with a special mixture of spices and ingredients, such as coriander, orange peel, and licorice root. This gives Belgian beers their distinctive, often spicy flavor. Many Belgian beers are aged in wooden barrels and bottle-conditioned, which adds complexity to the flavor and contributes to the high alcohol content of many Belgian beers.
The range of Belgian beers available is truly eclectic, with styles including Trappist ales, pale ales, lambic beers, witbiers, fruit-flavored beers, saisons, gueuze, and sours. Many breweries produce their own unique blends, making each beer an interesting exploration of flavor.
In addition to the huge variety of beers available, Belgian beer is served in its own unique glassware. Beer glasses come in a range of sizes and shapes, and the glass used for each beer often helps to accentuate the flavor and aroma of the beer.
From Trappist ales to fruited sours, Belgian beer is a fascinating and enjoyable part of the local culture. For those who want to get the most out of their experience, a visit to Belgium is a must. It’s a great way to sample a huge variety of beers and experience the quirky and fascinating culture that has made Belgian beer so famous.