Essential Info

  • Color: Pale orange to amber, unfiltered
  • ABV: 6%-8%
  • Commercial Examples: Brasserie Ommegang Hennepin, Brasserie Dupont Saison Dupont, Boulevard Brewing Co. Saison-Brett

Like Oktoberfest, Saison is another beer style that evolved out of necessity. Originally brewed in Wallonia, Belgium, well before refrigeration was available, it was brewed stronger at the end of the cold season to be robust enough to last through the summer but still thirst-quenching enough to drink in hot weather. Like Lambics, Saisons can get input from wild Brettanomyces yeast (or added lactobacillus), though the flavor profile here is less overtly sour and more lightly fruity, citrusy, and spicy with some light malt and earthy hop bitterness edging out a dry finish. Spices and herbs may also be added, since variety is the spice of life in Belgian brewing, and Saisons are very much a product of that philosophy.