Farmhouse ales, aka saisons, were, back in the day, brewed with local-to-the-farm ingredients in, you guessed it, farmhouses. They were meant to slake a worker’s thirst during the warm summer months and, as such, many of these beers are low in ABV. Though most modern-day breweries aren’t located on farms, there has been a resurgence in this style of beer, which is often described as funky, fruity, and spicy. The following six beers are some of our current favorites.
Fonta Flora Brewery | errday
Errday. That’s how often you’re going to want to drink this beer, a mixed-culture petit saison. With your eggs. On the weekend. At happy hour. It’s light (3.8 percent), crisp, refreshing, and not so potent that you can’t get back to work and finish out the rest of your day if you ‘accidentally’ have one or two with your lunch.
Bam Biere | Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
Don’t be misled by the pumpkin in the name of this beer. This isn’t a pumpkin beer (the pumpkin is part of the name of the brewery). This beer is oak-aged, but what really jumps out at first sip is a tart grapefruity taste; a little bit of lemon as well. Poured in a glass this beer is light in color, has a big frothy head, and at 4.5 percent it’s a solid pick for a long night of fun.
XX Bitter | De Ranke
The label hints at bitter so don’t be surprised when you take that first sip and get a mouthful of bitterness—you were warned. That said, this beer is layered and even the novice craft beer drinker should be able to also pick out hints of malt and caramel. This unfiltered and unpasteurized beer is sturdy—meaning it pairs well with strong cheeses (think bleu cheese or a sharp cheddar), roast beef, a steak: things that maybe you’d normally think to pair with wine. It’s also damn good on its own.
Thiriez Extra | Brassierie Thiriez
You might have to do a little extra searching to find this beer. You won’t find it in a gas station cooler, and your local bottle shop might not have it in stock, either. But if you happen to come across it, or any of the beers coming out of Thiriez, pick ‘em up. You won’t regret it. Especially when it comes to this farmhouse ale. It’s both light, hoppy, balanced, and refreshing without being overly bitter.
XL Pale Ale | De Dolle Brouwers
Unfiltered. Re-fermented. Unique. Brewed in Belgium. This beer is a little on the tart side which makes it feel refreshing. Oddly enough its flavors also provide a bit of a warming feel. We picked up hints of clove and coriander, too. If you like your beers to be layered in flavored, this is a solid pick. X Pale Ale is a beer that can be happily drunk year-round but it’s a beer we’ll be leaning heavily on to get us through the rest of winter.
Spontane Wild | Logsdon
If Logsdon’s domain name, farmhousebeers.com, doesn’t clue you in to how much they’re committed to this style of beer, then you’re not paying attention. This brewery is making some of the best farmhouse beers in the country. We’re stoked on its Spontane Wilde and wish we could all partake in its curbside pickup or delivery. As if there wasn’t enough to love about the Pacific Northwest, now you can add this brewery, which is northeast of Portland in Washougal, WA, to the list.
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