Best Saisons: Discover the Farmhouse Favorites

Hey beer enthusiasts! Ever heard of Saisons? These rustic, farmhouse ales are bursting with character and history.

Picture this: a refreshing, spicy beer brewed by Belgian farmers to quench their thirst after a hard day’s work. Intrigued? Let’s dive into the wonderful world of Saisons and find out why they’re a must-try for any beer lover.

1. Saison Dupont

Saison Dupont is the gold standard of Saisons. Brewed in Belgium, it’s known for its complex flavor profile featuring notes of spice, fruit, and a dry, slightly bitter finish. It’s like a symphony in a glass, each sip revealing new layers of flavor.

2. Boulevard Tank 7

Hailing from Kansas City, Boulevard Tank 7 is an American take on the classic Saison. It starts with a citrusy aroma, followed by a peppery, fruity taste and a smooth, dry finish. Imagine a summer picnic in a bottle.

3. Funkwerks Saison

Funkwerks, based in Colorado, delivers a Saison that’s fruity, spicy, and refreshingly dry. With hints of orange and ginger, it’s like a refreshing breeze on a hot day.

4. Saison Brett by Boulevard Brewing Co.

Another gem from Boulevard, Saison Brett, is a wild-fermented variant. It’s funky, tart, and slightly earthy, making it a delightful twist on the traditional Saison.

5. Goose Island Sofie

Goose Island’s Sofie is aged in wine barrels, giving it a unique vinous character. It’s bright, effervescent, with notes of citrus and vanilla, perfect for those who love a bit of elegance in their beer.

History and Background

Origins of Saisons in Belgium

Saisons, also known as farmhouse ales, originated in Wallonia, the French-speaking part of Belgium. Historically, these beers were brewed in the winter months and stored for consumption during the summer.

They were hearty enough to nourish farmhands but light and refreshing enough to quench their thirst after a long day in the fields.

Evolution Over Time

As brewing techniques evolved, so did Saisons. The traditional ingredients—barley, spelt, and hops—remained, but brewers began experimenting with different yeasts and spices.

This experimentation led to the wide variety of Saisons we see today, each with its unique twist while maintaining the essence of the original farmhouse ale.

Key Regions and Their Influence

While Belgium remains the heartland of Saisons, the style has spread worldwide. American craft brewers have embraced Saisons, adding their creative spins.

In Europe, especially in France and Italy, brewers are also producing exceptional Saisons, often incorporating local ingredients and techniques.

Characteristics of Saisons


Saisons typically pour a hazy, golden color with a frothy white head. The haze comes from the unfiltered nature of the beer, adding to its rustic charm.


Take a sniff, and you’ll get a bouquet of fruity and spicy notes. Think citrus, pepper, and sometimes a hint of earthiness or funk from wild yeast strains.

Flavor Profile

The flavor of a Saison is where it shines. Expect a delightful mix of fruity esters, spicy phenols, and a dry, crisp finish. Some might have a hint of tartness or funk, making each sip a little adventure.


Saisons are usually highly carbonated, giving them a lively, effervescent mouthfeel. They’re light to medium-bodied, making them incredibly refreshing and easy to drink.

Regional and Stylistic Variations

Belgian Saisons

Belgian Saisons are the original, typically brewed with traditional ingredients and methods. They’re known for their complex flavors, blending spice, fruit, and earthiness. Saison Dupont is a prime example, setting the standard for the style.

American Saisons

American Saisons are a playground for creativity. Brewers in the U.S. often experiment with different hops, yeasts, and adjuncts, resulting in a wide range of flavors and styles.

Boulevard Tank 7 is a perfect example of an American Saison that pays homage to the Belgian roots while adding a unique twist.

Other Regional Variations

Beyond Belgium and the U.S., other regions have put their spin on Saisons. In France, you’ll find Biere de Garde, a close cousin to the Saison, known for its malty profile.

Italian brewers often incorporate local spices and herbs, adding another layer of complexity to the style.

Pairing Saisons with Food

Best Food Pairings

Saisons are incredibly food-friendly, thanks to their complex flavors and high carbonation. They pair wonderfully with a variety of dishes, from light salads and seafood to spicy Asian cuisine and hearty roasts.

Imagine a plate of grilled shrimp or a spicy Thai salad paired with a crisp, refreshing Saison—it’s a match made in heaven!

Why These Pairings Work

The high carbonation in Saisons helps cleanse the palate, making them perfect for rich and flavorful dishes.

The fruity and spicy notes in the beer complement a wide range of flavors, enhancing the overall dining experience. It’s like having a versatile culinary partner that elevates every meal.

Homebrewing Saisons

Basic Recipe

Want to brew your own Saison at home? It’s easier than you might think. Here’s a basic recipe to get you started:


  • Pilsner malt (around 70% of your grain bill)
  • Wheat malt (20%)
  • Vienna or Munich malt (10%)
  • Noble hops (like Saaz or Hallertau)
  • Saison yeast (preferably a Belgian strain)
  • Water


  1. Mash your grains at 148°F (64°C) for 60 minutes.
  2. Boil the wort, adding hops at the beginning for bitterness.
  3. Cool the wort and pitch the yeast.
  4. Ferment at around 68-75°F (20-24°C) for a week.
  5. Bottle or keg, carbonate, and enjoy your homemade Saison!

Tips and Tricks

For a perfect Saison, patience and temperature control are key. Fermenting at higher temperatures (up to 85°F or 29°C) can enhance the fruity and spicy flavors. Don’t rush the conditioning phase; letting your beer age for a few weeks can really smooth out the flavors.

Common Challenges

Common challenges in brewing Saisons include managing the high attenuation of the yeast, which can leave the beer too dry if not monitored.

Another challenge is achieving the right balance of spice and fruitiness without any off-flavors, which requires careful temperature control during fermentation.

Trends in Saisons

Current Trends

Saisons are making a big comeback in the craft beer world. Brewers are experimenting with wild yeast strains and barrel aging to add complexity.

Fruited Saisons, with additions like berries or citrus, are also gaining popularity, offering a refreshing twist on the traditional style.

Future Predictions

Looking ahead, we can expect more hybrid styles blending Saisons with other popular beer trends, like hazy IPAs or sour ales.

The use of local and seasonal ingredients will likely continue to grow, reflecting the farmhouse roots of the style. Saisons’ versatility and refreshing qualities make them a perfect canvas for innovation.


To wrap it up, Saisons are a delightful and versatile beer style with a rich history and a bright future. Whether you’re enjoying a classic like Saison Dupont or trying your hand at brewing your own, there’s always something new to discover in the world of Saisons.

So next time you’re looking for a unique and refreshing beer, reach for a Saison and savor the farmhouse charm. Cheers!

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