Summer is the season for both saison and session beers, and Spec’s has plenty of both! A saison beer (also known as “farmhouse-style”) is a pale ale that originated in Belgium for farm workers to drink in the summer. As craft brewing has taken off, several interpretations of this style have developed, but it is always light, with grassy, “funky” flavors and the hoppiness of pale ale.
“Session” is the term for a lower-alcohol beer with a balanced flavor and clean finish that can be enjoyed for several hours – a “session.” Given their drinkability and flavor profiles, these styles are perfect for summer. Here are some suggestions from the experts at Spec’s to explore this season.
Great Divide Colette – This light, earthy Saison from the Denver, Colorado brewmasters pays homage to the classic Belgian ales. It has a 7.3% ABV, and is fruity, light, and funky with a dry finish. Good with cured or fatty meats and creamy, soft-rind cheeses.
Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale – This effervescent Saison from Kansas City, MO has an 8.5% ABV, notable grapefruit hops scent, and smooth, dry finish. Good with pork and chicken and semi-soft, ripened cheeses like Taleggio.
Founder’s All Day IPA – This seasonal session brew is new to Spec’s! The Grand Rapid’s brewery is a clever take on the hoppiness of IPAs, while still being low-alcohol (only 4.7% ABV) and balanced for session sipping.