Each year, New England Brewing releases two farmhouse style beers, one for summer and one for winter. These non-identical twins are somewhat more in tune with European saisons than your typical Aussie version, due in main to the brewery’s open top fermenters which leave them at the mercy of mother nature and the conditions she provides on brew day and beyond. The summer version is born in a warm temperature, has a warmer fermentation, more yeast action and ends up being a lighter coloured beer with more pungent, spicy esters. The winter version is their dark child: a black saison.
It’s built on an eclectic concoction of malts and grains: pilsner malt, chocolate malt, roasted malt, roasted wheat, wheat malt and rolled oats. When combined with a Saison Dupont yeast, a trio of slightly unfashionable hops and a touch of dextrose for good measure, you’re left with a beer that’s dark, dry and delicately balanced. You’ll find a touch of roast and chocolate character, pleasant creaminess, a touch of spiciness and some cherry fruit character to hit the sweet spot. There are certainly a lot of interesting things going on in the darkness of New England’s farmhouse but it’s all a rather lovely experience that should win a fair few new fans this winter.
Published June 2, 2016 2016-06-02 00:00:00