A season ! Here is a very atypical beer for a winter evening, on a terrace in full sun or just to quench your thirst. It is one of the oldest styles brewed in Belgium but also in the world.
But what is a saison-style beer?
It is a blond beer whose particular yeast gives a rustic touch to the beer. Reference is sometimes made to a feeling of hay, but this anecdote tells the story of the season more than it describes its taste.
Historically, the places where beer was brewed were breweries. The cultivation of cereals and their processing into beers took place in the same place.
These two activities were complementary because after a summer spent in the fields, the farms were brewing in the winter and the beer was ready for the summer and its seasonal workers who come to help with the harvest. It is this complementarity that makes many historians believe that this style is much older than we think.
Thus the saison is the beer brewed in winter which quenched the thirst of the seasonal workers. At the time, the season was light in alcohol, around two to four percent alcohol. It is good to remember that it was safer to drink beer, the water of which had been boiled, than non-potable water.
The saison is therefore a very Belgian style of beer that can be found particularly in the province of Hainaut where the Dupont brewery has given it pride of place with its saison Dupont.
This also remains a recurring style in the range of Belgian breweries.