Daily beer project

Epic Brewing Sour Apple Saison

Posted in American Craft Beer, Epic Brewing, Utah Beer by dailybeerproject on June 2, 2010

Before trying this beer, I didn’t know what a saison was. Or rather, I knew that “saison” is French for “season,” so I assumed it was some type of seasonal beer. But I didn’t know any details.

According to the lazy blogger’s source for all information about everything:

Saison (French, “season”) is the name originally given to refreshing, low-alcohol pale ales brewed seasonally in farmhouses in Wallonia, the French-speaking region of Belgium, to refresh farm workers during harvest season….Modern saisons brewed in the USA tend to copy the yeast used by Brasserie Dupont, which ferments better at blood warm temperatures (29 °C (84 °F) to 35 °C (95 °F)) than the standard 18 °C (64 °F) to 24 °C (75 °F) fermenting temperature used by other Belgian saison brewers.

Despite the spicy character of many Saisons, the use of actual spices is uncommon, though not unheard of. Any spice character in a traditional Saison is the result of esters during fermentation by the traditionally used strains of yeast. In America, brewers will often add orange zest, coriander, ginger, and crushed peppercorns to a Saison to simulate the ester spiciness.

Okay, so that’s what the beer is, but here’s the part that makes you want to be a farm worker: “these ales were traditionally brewed in the autumn or winter for consumption during the late summer harvest for farm workers who were entitled to up to five liters throughout the workday during harvest season.” Any job where I can consume five liters of saison during the workday sounds absolutely awesome.

Especially since this Sour Apple Saison from Epic is absolutely awesome. I bought it the day it was released, within hours of its release, and they were already selling through it like crazy. I bought a single bottle (dumb), but others were buying it by the box (smart).

I would describe this beer as mild and delicate without being weak. The sour apple is certainly the most prominent flavor, but the fruity esters from the yeast and the spice from the seasonings is subtle, delicious, and just right. A sipping beer to be certain, but one you could sip for hours at a time and not get sick of it. It doesn’t come cheap at $7 and change for a 22 ounce bomber, but I’ve paid twice that or more for the same amount of wine (sparkling or still) and not enjoyed it half as much.

I’m going to steer clear of applying superlatives, but this is among the best beers that I’ve ever consumed. In fact, it’s among the best beverages of any kind that I’ve ever consumed. Chapeau, Epic.


3 Responses

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  1. […] of Imperial Red that morning, so I’ll have to wait for the next batch. There was still some Sour Apple Saison, and they were planning to put more Cross Fever Amber in the cold case this […]

  2. […] the liquor store, a few cents less than Full Sail. They’re not knock-your-socks-off good like Epic’s Sour Apple Saison, but I can’t afford $7 a bottle beer every day, […]

  3. Retrospective « Daily beer project said, on January 5, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    […] Beer: Epic Sour Apple Saison. This is the Utah-made beer I most enjoyed drinking. It’s expensive, so it’s more of a […]

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