GIB brewmaster Vern Lambourne is at it again. His latest limited edition release from the Granville Island microbrewery, a saison (French for “season”), is a textbook and skilled example of one of the more subtle and sophisticated beer styles. Originating in Wallonia, the French-speaking region of Belgium, the saison was historically a low-alcohol pale ale brewed in farmhouses during the harvest season for field labourers.
Nowadays, the modern style usually punches at a higher ABV (5-8%) and is typically bottle conditioned. Once considered an “endangered” beer style as it fell out of vogue with drinkers during the dark industrial lager years, the saison has been lovingly brought back from the brink of obscurity by craft brewers from around the world and a growing segment of sophisticated beer drinkers who are joyously embracing the style, particularly those whose tastes follow the seasons.
6.5% ABV 30 IBU
After a flat pour from the bottle, the beer is a cloudy golden yellow with an thick off-white head.
The aroma is fruity esters (banana and citrus) and Belgian yeast with a subtle note of coriander.
The flavour is mild fruity banana with moderate bitterness and a bit of peppery coriander spice on the finish. It’s astonishing that this beer is 6.5% ABV, as it goes down very easy. Beware!
Very refreshing. Medium body. Fairly short finish.
Another fine effort from one of the legendary microbreweries that helped start the craft brewing renaissance we enjoy today in Canada. Vancouverites should consider themselves lucky as they are the few that get access to these small batch brews.
Total Score: 20/25
Availability: This is a limited edition brew in 650-ml bottles only. You won’t find it in government liquor stores. Look for it in private stores in Greater Victoria and the Vancouver area, as well as right at the brewery itself.