Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A saison (more or less) for Durango

Unbeknownst to me, while I was pleading not long ago for someone in Durango to brew a saison, Durango Brewing Co. was busy doing just that.

To celebrate its 20th anniversary, DBC will release a Belgian-inspired ale with saison characteristics in a few weeks, probably in early March. The brewery is using a Wyeast farmhouse yeast; pilsener, wheat and chocolate malt and Czech saaz hops in the beer.

Managing Brewer Scott Bickert cautioned that the beer (as yet unnamed) is not a classic saison. It shows some saison characteristics, some witbier characteristics and some Belgian golden ale characteristics.

Stylistically, saisons are light in color with strong carbonation, some tartness and funk in the taste and a dry finish.

The Belgian-style ale is still fermenting, but it looks like it will land around 7.5 percent ABV. It was lightly hopped to an IBU rating in the high teens.

Bickert said the brewery intends to brew more than one batch, hopefully keeping the Belgian-style ale available through the rest of 2010.

The price has not been determined, but given that it will be bottled in Champagne bottles, I don't expect it to be cheap.

DBC's upcoming release helps fill a hole in Durango's available beers. Saison is one of the most intriguing styles in today's beer world, but awfully tough to find in these parts. It's great to see a local brewery tackling this type of brewing.

I have high hopes for the taste. If all turns out well, I expect it to be a strong contender for Beer at 6512's Beer of the Year 2010.

American variations on Belgian-style brewing stands as one of the most promising fronts in modern craft brewing. I'm glad DBC has stepped up to the plate.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting article/tasting review on belgian styles in the NYT today.