Last June, I was lucky enough to spend three glorious, beer-drenched days in Portland, Oregon. At the end of my visit, I spent 20 chilly minutes browsing the incredible selection in the cold beer room of the downtown Whole Foods where I picked out a few bottles and cans to bring home to BC. One of my random picks was a bottle of Seizoen from Logsdon Organic Farmhouse Ales. I knew nothing about the brewery or the beer at the time, but I liked the label and the fact that it was sealed with beeswax. It was the most expensive beer I bought (a little more than $10) so when I got home, I put it in the back of the fridge with the intention of saving it for a special occasion.
It stayed there till September when, one evening, I was craving a beer and realized I had nothing in the house—except for the Logsdon Seizoen. That was enough of a special occasion for me. I scraped off the beeswax, popped the cap, poured some into a tulip glass, and took a sip. My mind was instantly blown—what an incredible beer! I tapped out a tweet or two between sips, including one that said it was “seriously the best beer I’ve had in a looooong time.” BeerThirst’s Tom Orange responded that they were going to be bringing Logsdon Organic Farmhouse Ales up to BC soon, and ever since then I’ve been waiting for my second chance to taste this beer again.
BeerThirst delivered on their promise in December. I was thrilled to hear it was on tap at the Alibi Room, especially since I was heading to Vancouver that very weekend. It turns out that the Seizoen was already tapped out by the time I got there, but they had Logsdon’s Seizoen Bretta on, so I got to have a taste of that funky, soured variant. It was good, but I was still salivating over the memory of the regular version. (By the way, Beer magazine named Seizoen Bretta the best U.S. beer of 2012.)
Then, in January, I finally spotted a bottle in a private liquor store in Victoria. This time, at least, I opened it when my wife was home so that I could share it. It was just as good as I remembered (and my darling wife, though she loved it, too, only made me share a little of the 750-ml bottle).
Hood River, OR
7.5% ABV / 750 ml
Saisons are one of my favourite beer styles because of the complexity of flavours they exhibit, most of which are generated from the Belgian yeast strains they use. This Seizoen (the Flemish word for the French “saison” or English “season”) is no exception. It pours a gorgeous, hazy pale orange with a thick, creamy head that actually continues to grow for a while after the pour, thanks to the robust, natural carbonation, which apparently comes from pear juice added to the beer just before it goes into the bottle.
The aroma is bursting with citrus, herbs and spice, which also come through prominently against a slightly sweet malt backbone when I take a sip. There is a spicy effervescence that dances on the tongue, and then a touch of sourness at the finish, not as much as the Brett version I tasted at the Alibi Room, but just enough to encourage another taste.
With some other beers I have noticed that complexity seems to disappear after a few swallows, but this one seems to grow more and more complex as I drink it. The flavours I tasted initially are still there, but then I begin to find new ones I didn’t notice before. The carbonation stays consistent throughout, right down to the final, glorious sip.
I still hope to taste this beer on tap because I’d like to see how the draft version compares to the superb, bottle-conditioned prototype. Hopefully it will make an appearance on the rotating Beerthirst tap at the Garrick’s Head in Victoria soon (hint). In Vancouver, Portland Craft and St. Augustine’s also have it on tap from time to time, as do the Pumphouse Pub in Richmond and Hop and Vine in Burnaby.
And I look forward to trying the rest of the Logsdon Organic Farmhouse line-up, which includes: Kili Wit; Cerasus (a kriek); Peche ‘n’ Brett (a 10% ABV peach beer with added Brettanomyces yeast—sounds amazing!); Fresh Hop Seizoen (could it get any better?!); an oak-aged Seizoen Bretta; and Far West Vlaming, an oak-aged Flanders Red Ale.
Rating (out of 5 mugs):
Availability: the Lower Mainland, Victoria and Kelowna. Check this convenient link from the brewery.