Schlafly of St. Louis has a nice presence here in Kansas City, and I have been a fan of their beers since I found out about them shortly after I moved here in ’07. In addition to a wide variety of year-round beers, Schlafly makes a lot of seasonals and special limited release beers, too. Looking at the website I was surprised to see how busy they are and what a wide variety of events and fun stuff they are up to!
Their Saison seasonal is released at the end of August, and while this may not be the most timely review, I just bought a six-pack not too long ago. Saison is a classic Belgian style of beer traditionally brewed at the end of the cool weather to be drunk through the hot summer months. As such, the beer had to store well, but still be light enough to quench a summer thirst. Generally speaking, Saisons have lighter body, moderate carbonation and are well balanced, neither hoppy nor malty.
The beer pours a hazy dark orange color with a nice creamy head. On the aroma is that unmistakeable Belgian yeast as well as a little bit of the fruity aromas that remind me of a Belgian witbier, predominantly orange, although this beer is not spiced with orange or coriander as a wit would be. According to Schlafly’s website, their Saison has 22 IBU’s and is 6.2% ABV.
This Saison is definitely a thirst quencher. It has good carbonation, but is soft enough that it is easy on the tongue and throat when swallowed. It’s light in body, but not watery, and has a slight amount of peppery phenol flavor in the second half of the flavor. To my palate, there is a lot of orange in this beer. As Saisons should be, there is balance between the hops and malts, with neither one standing out in front of the other. Because of its neutrality, Schlafly’s Saison would be a great beer for someone new to Belgians and trying to get out of the macro beer routine. It would also be nice with light foods like grilled fish and vegetables or salads. On the other hand, the simpleness of this saison, along with its very neutral characters could be seen as a flaw by someone looking for a complex saison, so keep in mind that this is a good drinker, but if you’re looking for something to really ponder and concentrate with, this isn’t the beer for you.