Usually, when someone says Belgian, I run the other way. Belgian beers aren’t usually my thing. I’m a hophead. I love my pale ales and IPAs. I love the bitterness and refreshing drinkablity. I also love stouts and their sweetness.
But the breadiness and wheat flavor of a Belgian beer rarely does it for me. But this Saison (also known as a farmhouse ale) showed up on my doorstep yesterday (along with… people), and I was immediately intrigued. Saisons are a great drinking beer. Light and straw colored, smooth and usually very easy on the wheat flavor.
I’ve never heard of Pretty Things brewery. They aren’t available in NJ. This bottle came from the Philly area, and it was brewed in Massachusetts.
The first thing noticed, as usual, was the color. Yellow and opaque. I couldn’t see my fingers on the other side of my glass. Reminded me of an IPA. The smell is that of a light Belgian beer. Not too strong, but made me a bit nervous to take a sip. If this was anything like a Chimay, I was in trouble.
But the first sip… .ooooh. Easy drinkin’. There’s bread and sweetness at first followed up with a nice hop middle. It ends with that famous Belgian taste, but that flavor doesn’t over power the beer. It’s a great beer for sitting on the deck and watching bees steal pollen from those innocent little flowers. (Seriously, bees, what did flowers ever do to you? I mean, I like honey, but couldn’t you ask nicely? Instead, you steal. Damned bees.)
But wow, this is a tasty beer. It’s very smooth. Usually Saisons are released in the spring, and there’s a reason for this. It’s not meant to be chugged all day on the beach, but it’s not supposed to be heavy on your stomach. It’s a middle beer. It signals the transition of the seasons. It’s a serious beer, with multiple flavors, a ton of complexity. But at the same time, it’s bright.
And at 6.4%, it’s not going to do you in for the afternoon. You can start with this beer, and not expect to fall asleep afterward.
If this is the type of product Pretty Things is putting out, I’m interested in tracking down the rest of their products. I think it’s time for me to check out their website.