Back in 2017, I visited Trillium Brewing Company’s Fort Point location for the very first time. Part of my haul that day was a 4-pack of the Free Rise saison dry-hopped with Citra. I really liked it, and reviewed it later that August, but I didn’t realize it was part of a single-hop showcase series at the time.
When I took my trip to Trillium’s Canton location last week, I saw they had the Mosaic dry-hopped version, and I had to have a couple cans. I did a little more research, and it turns out Trillium has released several versions of this beer: The original Free Rise, the aforementioned Citra, a Galaxy one, a Nelson one and a Motueka Free Rise. From what I’ve gathered through reading and tasting, they’re all pretty damn good.
Let’s talk about the Mosaic today, though. Like the Citra, this is a very delicious saison. Like Trillium’s other forays into the style, the Free Rise ignores the tradition of making these saisons a little less alcohol heavy (the style originated in France as the daily 5 liter allotment for farmhands, so it had to be lower in ABV… unless you wanted your farmhands passing out and messing up your farm). It’s got a solid punch at just under 7.5 alcohol by volume, but it retains all of the qualities that make other saisons great. It’s crisp and carbonated with that solid saison yeast flavor, and that extra Mosaic in the dry-hop really makes it quite delicious. I wish I could drink 5 liters of this every day, that’s for sure.
I’ve now tried two of these Free Rise saisons. Can’t wait to try the next kind!
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It’s Friday, so let’s get wild with a wild farmhouse ale on the Windowsill!
The Lineage Wheat was the original release from Trillium Brewing Company’s Lineage series of wild saisons. I typically would name them all, but there have been so many, that I’ll be here all weekend. Back in September, I was lucky enough to pick up a few bottles of the Raspberry Lineage Wheat, though. That one was delicious. So how was the O.G. Lineage Wheat?
Well, Trillium made it. So you know the answer to that. It was awesome! Three types of malt combine with US Goldings hops to make a tart—not sour—saison that really refreshes the palate. It was super crisp and bright, a little bit white wine-ish, with a solid funky taste and a nice, dry finish. Good character added by the oak aging, too!
So far, this series is two-for-two for me. Have you had any of them? Let me know in the comments below!
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This one has been in the archives for a while, but it’s too cold to drink, so I have nothing new to share!
This collaboration between Stillwater Artisanal and Against the Grain Brewery started when, as Stillwater puts it on the label, “the boys at Against the Grain made a beer based on a fictional ‘sexy man’ and uhh, his sheep friend.”
If you know your beer, you know that refers to Against the Grain’s Rico Sauvin, a double IPA made with Nelson Sauvin hops. In keeping with the theme, Stillwater took that Rico Sauvin base and turned it into an even sexier Farmhouse Ale brewed with added passion fruit juice and mango juice. It’s part of Stillwater’s remix series of collaborations.
I love a good farmhouse ale, and this didn’t disappoint me. From the label to the beer inside, it was all good. Cheers!
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We hereby pause Stout Season to bring you a Sour from the archives!
Have you ever been to Brattleboro Vermont’s Hermit Thrush Brewery? I have… sort of! Back in June, I took a trip to Vermont for my good friend @galleycookinbeersnob’s bachelor party. On my way there, and on my way back, I made it a point to stop by as many breweries as possible. Every time I had to pee, I would search for a brewery near me and make a pit stop.
It was on Sunday afternoon, as I was heading back, that I realized I had to go, and found out I was near Hermit Thrush Brewery. I pulled off the highway, followed my Waze App and reached the destination, but there was no parking anywhere that I could find. I went around the block once, and still didn’t see a good place to park, so I hopped back onto the highway and continued my trip. But Hermit Thrush, which is named after the official bird of Vermont and opened back in 2014, looked really cool from the street!
Now, let’s talk about this Gin Barrel Saison, which I actually picked up a one of my local CT liquor stores. Like everything else Hermit Thrush makes, it’s a responsibly-brewed American sour. For this one, they took a saison and fermented and matured it in gin barrels from a rotating list of local distilleries. Sadly, I’m not sure which distillery’s barrels were used to house this batch of the Gin Barrel Saison. Either way, the resulting beer is nice and crisp, with a lot of that gin goodness on the nose and tongue, and a nice, refreshing sweet-tart finish. It’s interesting, for sure!
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Dug to the back of the fridge and pulled out a flower!
For real, this is the last can of Trillium Brewing Company beer left over from my trip in September. Anyway, before we get into the Amarillo Dry Hopped Sunshower Super Saison, let’s talk about gravity!
No, I don’t mean the kind of gravity that caused Newton to get conked on the head by an apple back in the 17th century. I’m talking about gravity when it comes to brewing. According to Craftbeer.com, “A gravity reading refers to the total amount of dissolved solids in water. Since we’re talking about beer, those dissolved solids are sugars.” Basically, yeast needs to eat. Wort with higher original gravity (OG), or more sugar, means the yeast eats more, and produces more alcohol and other good things. So, the higher the gravity of a brew, the higher the sugar in it, which usually means a higher ABV. It can also mean a deeper, more intense flavor.
OK, now that class is over, let’s get to the Sunshower! It’s a high-gravity farmhouse ale which, according to Trillium, is inspired by the “ethereal refreshing mid-summer moments when we experience both rainfall and the heat of the sun in New England.” If you’re from New England, you know exactly what that means, and there’s no better way to describe it. The higher ABV (caused by the higher gravity, if you recall our lesson), makes an otherwise light and effervescent brew pretty punchy, which is a nice change of pace.
Although my leftover Sunshower can wasn’t exactly straight from the cannery—I had the rest of the ones I bought right after I bought them—the beer within was still pretty nice and quite tasty. The dry hopping with Amarillo definitely brought a little more complexity to the flavors, too. Really enjoyable. Need to review a fresh one next time!
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Who knew the passion fruit had such an interesting backstory? First of all, the name comes from the fact that it’s one of the many species of passion flower. In the 1700s, the plant was named by missionaries in Brazil who were trying to convert natives to Christianity. It was also known as “flor das cinco chagas,” which means “flower of the five wounds.” It was specifically used to teach the natives about the crucifixion of Christ.
In Portuguese, it’s known as the maracuyá, which comes from a Guarini word meaning “nursery for flies.” Sounds kind of gross, no? In the Dominican Republic, it’s known as chinola, which originates from China, which is where the orange originated (they’re similar looking). Finally, in some other Spanish speaking countries, it’s known as parcha… which is where the name for today’s beer, from the Springdale Barrel Room, comes in!
The ¡Parcha! Is a nice little concoction that I am pretty passionate about (see what I did there?). Springdale took a saison, added passion fruit juice to it, and then aged the entire thing in oak barrels for six months. The resulting brew is a little more tart than most saisons, almost like a wild ale. That being said, the sweetness from the passion fruit provides some solid balance of sweet and sour. Aside from the sweetness, the passion fruit flavor really stands out, unlike some other passion fruit beers I’ve had. Pretty enjoyable bottle of parcha infused ¡Parcha!
Every September, my beautiful wife, Jeannie, goes to Boston for an email marketing conference. For her, that means long days of fun email marketing sessions. For me? It means I get to go to Trillium Brewing Company! Oh, and enjoy the lovely Boston nights with my babe, too of course. This trip, we stopped by the Trillium location at Fort Point… and maybe at another brewery we’ll talk about later in the week. Hint: It’s Tree House!
The Raspberry Lineage Wheat Trillium’s latest member of their Wild Saison series. It features a heaping helping of local MA wheat, and it is gracefully aged on raspberries. It’s tart and funky, with flavors of raspberry, blackberry and some lemon peel for good measure. Very light, very crisp. I was a big fan, for sure.
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Belgium’s Brasserie Dupont has a rich history. In 1844, a then already 85-year-old farmhouse became the Rimaux-Derrider brewery. Their specialty? Honey beer and saisons. The brewery survived World War I, and was sold to the Duponts in 1920. After World War II, the brewery was sold again, but within the Dupont family. All the while, saisons were their thing. See where I’m going with this? A 175-year-old saison specialist made today’s brew!
Thousands of breweries around the world make saisons, which makes it hard to choose the “best.” Despite stiff competition that has been around hundreds of years, the Vieille Provision is widely considered to be the prototypical farmhouse ale. It’s a simple brew, made with only malt, hops and yeast, but it’s so damn good. Must be that signature Dupont yeast strain that gives the Vieille Provision it’s funky, peppery goodness. It’s been around the U.S. since the 1980s, so go find it. Definitely a must drink!
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Have you guys seen Breaking Bad? You know, the one about the science teacher that decides to make meth on the side? Well, Simple Roots Brewing Company is kind of like that… except without the meth. It was opened in 2014 by former high school science teacher Dan Ukolowicz and his wife, Kara Pawlusiak. There’s lots more to tell about this Vermont-based brewery, so I hope to get their beers back on my Windowsill soon!
I’ve really gotten into saisons lately, and I really enjoyed this one from Simple Roots, too. It’s a little bit tart, crisp and light, and infused with dried elderflower for a very unique flavor. As the can says, this one is definitely good to drink on rocking chair, under the shade of a tree and with family and friends. Pull up a picnic table, because I really enjoyed the Elderflower Saison!
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Going back to the lab on the Windowsill today. Get your white scientist coat!
Why is the now three-year-old brewery named Aspetuck Brew Lab? The word means “river originating at the high place” in the language of the Algonquin people—a group of Native Americans from New England, Canada and some of the plains states. The water that the brew lab uses for its beers comes from the Aspetuck watershed and Aspetuck River in the hills of Redding and Easton, Connecticut. It’s one of the cleanest rivers in the Nutmeg State, which makes for some pretty tasty beer.
The Symbiosis saison is a fruity, bright farmhouse ale brewed with oats, wheat and rye, fermented with Belgian yeast and then dry-hopped with Mandarina Bavaria and Lemon Drop hops. That melding of the two styles (the farmhouse ale and the hoppyness) created a pretty nice beer. Didn’t blow me out of the water, but it was pretty good. The Symbiosis is worthy of the 3.6 rating from untappd.
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