Tag Archives: Saison

Brew Review: Forgotten Flem

29 Jul

Brew: Forgotten Flem Farmhouse Ale

Brewed By: Brau Brothers Brewing Co. (Lucan, MN)

Style: Farmhouse/Saison Ale (5.3% ABV)


The spring seasonal of the Brau Brother’s down there in Lucan. Within the last 6 months or so I have seen them roll out a couple new and different brews than the original year rounders and I have tried only a couple, with this being one. I am excited to try these as I have thought the year-round brews are really solid beers and I am hoping that they can take their game to the next level with these select new ones.

The Flem poured out a darker amber color, sort of copper-like. A little darker than I expected for the style. It has a great aroma, great Belgian yeasts in there that mix with some earthy, grassy hops to give this a clean farmhouse feel.

On tasting this one the yeasts jumped out more at me. There were some definite peppery notes and some sour Belgian yeasts in there. There is a lot going on, slighty hop nuances, pepper, sour, some fruits, mostly because of the particular yeast strains and probably a little to do with the choice of hops. There is a little sweetness from the malts but its a faint trace that fades into the background. At the end there is the bitter/sour notes that linger.

Overall, this isn’t a beer that will jump out at you with any big or bold flavors or aromas but if you get deeper into it there some great complexity. It has a cool, calm farmhouse aura to it with a little sour mixed in there. A somewhat different sampling of a saison but nonetheless a quality beer.


Final Grade: B+

Brew Review: Curbside Saison

10 Jun

Brew: Curbside Saison

Brewed by: Goose Island Beer Co. (Chicago, IL)

Style: Belgian Saison/ Farmhouse Ale (6.6% ABV)


On my first real experience with the heart of Chicago I decided to find a brewery that has been a staple of micro brewing in the Midwest for a couple decades.  Goose Island Claybourn was the brewpub I decided on as it was close to a couple other places I was exploring.  Went on a solid tour with some good company and had a sample of only a few of their many offerings at the establishment.  I only had 1 piece of paper so I only decided to write down my thoughts on one of the brews I enjoyed the most.

The Curbside came to me from the bar a yellow color with a little white head.  The light golden brew had a great funky Belgian yeasty smell with some fruity hops mixed in there as well.  It also had some hefe notes with some, as the brewer told, banana and clove smells.

The taste was great.  I was thinking it was sort of a Belgian IPA mixed in with a hefewiezen.  There was a definite saison feel to the beer as it was light and something that would be great for a summer/spring day.  The hops were perfectly balanced and took a side role to the Belgian saison farmhouse flavors.  There was a slight bitter finish but it was a crisp one that left you wanting more.

A great brew, very well balanced but also unique in that it was a more powerful saison with deeper richer flavors mixed in there.  I would have tried all the beers there but my wallet was not that of a prominent Chicago lawyer so I had to stop after 4 or so.  On a side note, the tour was great, the person who led it actually tried to get you to pick out particular flavors and coach you on what you should look for but also was open to anything that individuals came up with themselves.  Pretty good food to top it all off.  Had to walk away with a growler to share with my gracious hosts for the weekend, needless to say it’s a place I would love to frequent.


Final Grade: B+

Brew Review: Surly Cynic Ale

15 Feb

Brew: Surly Cynic Ale

Brewed by: Surly Brewing Co. (Minneapolis, MN)

Style: Belgian Style Saison/Pale Ale (6.5% ABV)

Here we go with another yellow bubbly beer that comes from a can, good thing Surly tells us right on the top of that same can that this is “beer for a glass, from a can.”  Right away after pouring this into said glass, I can tell that this is not the yellow/clear piss that Grandpa James drinks and tells me that anything different is a “lady drink.”

The thing that really grabs my attention on this beer is the aroma.  This smells peppery and for some reason I can’t get the idea of a can of corn out of my head.  I think that’s the saison style coming through with the smell of the farm and the fields after a hard days work in the French speaking Belgian countryside.

The flavor is not as intriguing as the aroma but it has its good qualities.  The peppery flavor continues on here and it as easy drinking as it looks.  Good thing it only comes in pint cans because it went down almost too smooth and I found myself wondering how I only had a few sips left after only 10 minutes.  I can see why those farm workers/slaves used it in place of water.

This is a beer that is solid all around, I have not tried many saison style beers but of the few that I have had this ranks as the top.  The aroma can’t be beat and when I run out of water here in the land of the free and home of the brave (St. Paul) and the lakes are all frozen I can easily grab one of these and it works just the same.

Final Grade: B+