“Saison was the Gatorade of the 1800s,” said William Bostwick in Bon Appétit. Invented in Belgium, it’s a light, refreshing, low-alcohol beer that a farmer then or now could use to hydrate before heading back to the fields after a midday meal. In the U.S., saison is sometimes called farmhouse ale, and it’s “the secret darling” of many a craft brewer. It’s “blue-collar beer done right: all flavor, no pretense—a picnic in a bottle.”
Stillwater Stateside Saison Baltimore. Stillwater specializes in farmhouse ales, making both a sage-spiced version and this “smooth brew,” distinguished by its tropical notes.
North Coast La Merle Fort Bragg, Calif. “Floral and effervescent” at first blush, La Merle “finishes with a fruity fullness.”
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Jolly Pumpkin Bam Bière Dexter, Mich. This “cheek-suckingly tart” brew “seems to actually make you thirstier.” Still, the taste is worth it.
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