Saison Dupont 6.5% ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale
The hot August sun beats down upon his back as he is bent over collecting the left over harvest stalks that were missed by the first wave of “saisoniers.” He has been working since early morning, his clothes clinging to his sweaty frame. He hears a bell clanging and straightens up. “What is this?” he thinks. He sees the others walking towards the farmhouse and follows suit. As he gets closers he sees that a barrel has been uncorked and its contents are being poured into wooden mugs. He gladly takes a mug and drains it quickly as the toil of the day has made him quite thirsty. He is surprised at the flavor and taste that this liquid provides. It is not the tepid water he was expecting and tastes very different from the occasional wine he is fortunate enough to encounter. This beverage is crisp and effervescent. His mug filled again, he sips on this serving and enjoys the buzz that the first mug is already providing. Having finished his second helping and resisting the urge for a third, he goes back to his spot in the field. The remainder of his work day goes by quickly and joyfully, though he misses more stalks than normal.
The Saison or Farmhouse Ale came about in the Belgian region as a brew that was made during the winter. It was kept until the following summer as it re-fermented and then was traditionally served to the field workers of the farmhouse where the beer was brewed. These workers were called “saisoniers.” The Saison Dupont is made in one of these few remaining authentic farmhouse breweries. The Brasserie Dupont has been making this brew since 1844.
While I have had a farmhouse ale before, the Southern Tier Grand Arbor, that was a modern take on this style. I enjoyed that brew. This beer I had more trouble enjoying. I can definitely see how it is a summer brew, as it is crisp and effervescent. But the bitter quality of the beer took hold and over powered the rest of the brew. It isn’t bitter like an India Pale Ale, but the bitterness mixed with the yeasty flavor is not something that was palatable to me. I had trouble finishing off the glass, which is never a good sign. I will not be buying a Saison or Farmhouse Ale again for awhile. I do want to try it again, in say 10 years or so, to see if my palate has changed and I may enjoy it then.
Special thanks to, you guessed it, my sister and brother in law. This beer was one of the dozen wonderful beers that they sent me for my birthday. It’s nice to enjoy a birthday gift for months.