Tag Archives: Saison

603. Prairie Artisan Ales Eliza5beth

Prairie Eliza5bethI have really enjoyed almost everything from Prairie with the sole exception being The Beer that Saved Christmas. This was a fairly limited release from Prairie that I picked up at Bier Cellar in Portland.  One of the reasons I wanted to grab this beer is my oldest daughter’s name is Elisabeth.

Eliza5beth pours a pale orange color with a thick bright white head. The aroma was very similar to the prior review of Crooked Stave Vieille with a light funk and some lemon. Taste is kind of sweet to start and has a slightly funky brett finish. The brewer’s says it is brewed with apricot but I’m not sure I have ever had an apricot by itself so not sure what it tastes like.

This beer was incredibly easy to drink for a 7.5% ABV beer and is a very approachable brett beer.
Pros: 

Cons:
Alcohol Content: 7.0% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Prairie Artisan Ales
Brewers Description: Eliza5beth is a golden farmhouse ale that we aged on apricots to allow sourness and light fruit flavors to add complexity to the beer.

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602. Crooked Stave Vieille Artisanal Saison

Crooked Stave VieilleCrooked Stave was one of my favorite new breweries of 2013. They started in 2010 but were not available in Maine until they attended The Festival. After The Festival some of their beer landed in local beer stores and today I can still find it occasionally in Vermont beer stores. I would like to find a trading partner in Colorado so I could try some of their more rare beers but for now I am happy to be able to get their 3 core beers on a fairly regular basis.

These bottles are small 375 ml bottles and not inexpensive at $6 or $7 each. Vieille pours a nice orange with a thick bright white head. Aroma has a nice earthy funk and a bit of lemon. Very enticing beer as were the others from Crooked Stave. Taste is much more straight forward than the other two beers I reviewed from Crooked Stave but still excellent. I didn’t get a lot  of oak and just enough funk to make it fun.

Overall I have enjoyed everything I have tried from Crooked Stave and would love to try some of their hard to find beers.
Pros: 

Cons:
Alcohol Content: 4.2% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Crooked Stave
Brewers Description:

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557. Prairie Artisan Ales Hop

Prairie HopI’m becoming a big fan of Prairie Artisanal Ales. It took me a while to even try their beer but since I did I have not had a bad one yet. Hop is still a saison but hoppier than most.

Pours a great orange color with a very thick white head. Aroma is a nice mix of hops, earthy spice. Taste has a lot going with plenty of hops that are kept in check by the peppery spice and saison yeast.  Really interesting to mix the hop with the saison style to create something different, complex and tasty. 
Pros:

Cons: 
Alcohol Content: 8.0% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Prairie Ales
Brewers Description: Prairie Hop is our hop driven saison. This beer is packed with Simcoe and Citra hops. Notes of peach, mango, and tangerine can be found in the flavor and aroma of this beer. The beer finishes dry which helps the hops jump out of the glass flavor wise.

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554. Prairie Artisinal Ales Funky Galaxy

Prairie Funky GalaxyJust a couple of posts ago I was talking about dark colored saisons and how I had not had many of them. I bought this beer without knowing what style it was and didn’t realize until I poured it that it was another dark saison. Been really impressed with Prairie since they came to Maine. I also tried several of their beers at Hill Farmstead’s Festival of Farmhouse Ales.

This one pours almost pitch black color with a huge biscuity tan head. Aroma has an odd mix of citrus hops, roasted malts and funk. Taste is similar with the only addition being a bit of chocolate. Overall the mix of hops, funk and roasted malts simply do not work for me. No question this is a nice beer but not a style that I enjoy.
Pros: 

Cons: 
Alcohol Content: 8.0% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Prairie Ales
Brewers Description: Funky Galaxy is a black ‘farmhouse ale brewed with 3lbs per bll Galaxy hops. The beer is conditioned with 2 brett strains and wine yeast.

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549. Hill Farmstead Edith

Hill Farmstead EdithMost saisons I drink are light in color and body but this one from Hill Farmstead is a black saison. The only other dark saisons I have had were from Oxbow’s Freestyle series and their Saison Noel.

This beer is very dark, almost black, with a thick tan head. Aroma has plenty of funky earth smells. Taste has a large amount of funk and roasted malts. Overall this is probably my favorite dark saison but I still prefer the lighter saisons as I think it works better without the roasted malts. This mirrors my thoughts regarding black IPAs, there still quality beers but I prefer the lighter counterparts. 
Pros:
Very funky
Cons: 
Alcohol Content: 6.0% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Hill Farmstead
Brewers Description: Edith (1897-1992) was our grandfather’s sister, and Hill Farmstead Brewery rests upon the land that was once home to her and her 13 siblings. In her honor, this black saison is crafted from American malted barley, German roasted malts, European hops, our farmhouse yeast, and water from our well. Unfiltered and naturally carbonated, this is the ale that I dream to have shared with Edith.
12º P
Ingredients: Pale Malt; Roasted Barley; European Hops, Farmhouse yeast, Brettanomyces, and our Well Water.

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539. Hill Farmstead Vera Mae

Hill Farmstead Vera MaeIf someone were to walk up to you and say “try this beer it is brewed with dandelions”, what would you say? Now imagine the beer is from Hill Farmstead and brewed with dandelions from the fields around the brewery. This probably changes some of your minds about how good the beer will be.

This saison is brewed with wildflower honey and dandelions and is amazing. Vera Mae pours a nice pale orange color, slightly hazy and a very thick white head. All of Hill Farmstead’s beers are beautiful but this one is one of the best. Aroma is outstanding with a bit of earthy hay and sweet honey, other stuff going on but hard to describe, trust is smells great.

Taste is very complex with the earthy flower bitterness, slightly sour and a bit of funk. Also get the honey sweetness and saison spice. Wow so much going on and it all works together somehow to make an amazing beer. I have bottles of both 2012 and 2013 and plan on opening the others in a few months to see how the beer has progressed. Not sure it could get much better than it already is. 
Pros:
Complex and flavorful
Cons: 
Alcohol Content: 6.0% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Hill Farmstead
Brewers Description: Vera Mae is crafted from organic Vermont spelt, American hops, wildflower honey, dandelion flowers from our fields, our distinctive farmhouse yeast and water from our well. Unfiltered and naturally carbonated.

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536. Crooked Stave Surette Provision Saison

Crooked Stave SuretteMy second beer review from Crooked Stave and it is another great beer. This beer also comes in the small 375 ml bottle and I believe it was $7 so not a cheap beer.

Appearance is a nice hazy orange with a white head full of large bubble. This sticks to the glass leaving some nice lacing. Aroma is fruity, slightly funky and quite wine like. Taste is also fruity apple, lemon and slightly sour and little more funk than the St Bretta.

This beer is very complex and may be appealing to beer, wine and liquor drinkers as it seems to have something for everyone. 
Pros:
Complex and flavorful
Cons: 
Alcohol Content: 6.2% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Crooked Stave
Brewers Description:

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533. Prairie Ales ‘Merica

Prairie MericaFirst time I had this beer was at Hill Farmstead’s Festival of Farmhouse Ales. As you might be able to tell I take regular trips to Hill Farmstead and try to make it to all of their events as Shaun and the crew at Hill Farmstead do an amazing job with their events.

I found this bottle on another tour through Vermont at the Hunger Mountain Coop in Montpelier and brought it home with some other great beers.

This beer has an amazing orange glow with a very thick white head. Aroma is so complex it is hard to describe but it certainly has some funk but also has some spice, earthy hops and a bit of lemon. That doesn’t accurately describe everything that is going on with this beer but if the picture to the right doesn’t make you thirsty than you may as well move on.

Taste again is very complex, if you read the brewers description below you will understand why this beer is hard to describe. So much going on but it all works very well together. Prairie recently changed from full 750 ml bottles to 16.9 ounce bottles on this beer and I have to say I wish I had the larger bottle. Really great beer and certainly worthy of being served along side the saisons from Hill Farmstead and other World class breweries at the FoFA.
Pros: Very complex
Cons: 
Alcohol Content: 6.5% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Prairie Ales
Brewers Description:‘Merica is a single malt, single hop farmhouse ale. It’s brewed with floor malted pilsner and 3lbs per bbl Nelson Sauvin hops. The beer is conditioned with 2 brett strains and wine yeast. The Nelson hops provide white wine flavors while Brettanomyces add a juicy quality to the beer.

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527. High & Mighty Beer Pas De Dieux

High & MightyHigh & Mighty is new to Maine and this is the first beer from them I have seen. I am not up on my French so no idea what “Pas De Dieux” means and I am not interested enough to Google it. The packaging is certainly not going to excite anyone but the big black letters on a while background do stand out.

The beer is a straight up saison, no funky flavors, nothing added to make it different just a solid standard saison. Color is pale orange with a thick white head. Aroma has some lemon, earthy and peppery spice, smells like a saison.

Taste is good but not great. Again it has the lemon, earthy, spice from the aroma but not much else. I am probably too critical of saisons as I have had some of the best from breweries like Oxbow and Hill Farmstead, when I have one that is not exceptional it seems like a disappointment. 
Pros:
Refreshing
Cons: Simple
Alcohol Content: 4.5% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: High & Mighty
Brewers Description: 

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519. Rising Tide Brewing Lyra

Rising Tide LyraRising Tide is certainly one of my favorite Maine breweries and recently they have been rolling out the special release beers on an almost monthly basis. Lyra is one of their “warehouse” saisons, because they are located in a warehouse and not a farmhouse.

Appearance is  nice copper color with a thin white head that dissipates quickly with almost no lacing. The aroma is a strong grape/wine which I am sure comes from the barrels used to age this beer. Taste follow suit with plenty of white wine grape character but also a bit of spice. A bit of alcohol comes through but nothing that is too harsh.

Overall this was a nice beer from their small batch series and if you have not tried Rising Tide yet than you certainly should. Thier core beers are excellent and the list of special release beers is pretty long. They also sell growlers at the brewery which is my favorite way to drink beer, 
Pros: 

Cons:  
Alcohol Content: 8.9% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Rising Tide
Brewers Description: 

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