Drinking on a Monday is a short column where I share that one bottle that I open after the most dreadful of all weekdays.
Saison’s are taking a stronger hold in the craft beer market. With the release of Stone’s first seasonal Saison, Firestone Walker’s Opal and of course Modern Times Lomaland, its not difficult to find a solid, refreshing farmhouse ale at any of your local bottle shops. But with this style becoming more and more popular, hopefully it will bring more attention to the saison’s that are a little more less familiar. I took a trip to Ramirez Liquor after their grand opening on Olympic a few weeks ago and one of the beers I made sure to pick up was Surette from Crooked Stave. Its a barrel-aged saison, and it showcases a lot of the things that I want from a farmhouse style.
The aroma on Surette is all belgian yeast and funky, cirtusy tartness. There’s a bit of oak there as well, but its really the sourness that takes the front seat. It pours a sort of dimmed golden orange colour, not unlike a dried apricot, with a nice thin white head that leaves some light lacing around the glass. The sip is lightly tart. There’s some nice citrus off the bat with some lemon peel that quickly evolves into tart & viney but its not overwhelming. There’s a light carbonation that compliments the medium body. The tartness fades from your palate after a few seconds, leaving a surprisingly refreshing finish complimented with a hint of apricot, oak and bready dryness.
This is an exceptional beer, and with more and more SoCal breweries doing saisons, I hope its not long before we start seeing similar ales coming out of our local breweries (in 12 oz or 16 oz bottles please!). This is one you’ll likely have to track down at one of the better bottle shops in the city, and if you see it, don’t pass it up. It might be awhile before you see it again. Farmhouse Ales are great for the spring weather we are having, so make sure you hit up a patio with a Saison soon!