Wednesday, June 27, 2012

BrewVic Saison Meet

Finally a return to blogging. I moved house again at the start of this month and this has led to the inevitable slowdown in brewing and blogging, but its good to be back. Last week the BrewVic saison meet was held at my place, and it went off well. We had good attendance and lots of beers to try. There were around ten of us who brewed saisons specifically for the event using a variety of recipes, techniques, and yeasts. We began with a quick talk on the history of the saison, which emerged from time immemorial on the farmhouses of Wallonia to nourish and refresh the harvest workers. We then tried a couple commercial examples like the classic saison DuPont and the excellent local saison Deckhand, from Lighthouse brewing. Finally, we moved to the homebrew tasting, taking notes and allowing the brewers to talk about the details of their beers, followed by a round table discussion. There was a great variety in the ingredients used in the beers, from rye, to orange, to pepper, to brettanomyces and one thing that impressed me was the overall quality of the beers in general. Another thing that stood out was the different characters of the yeasts used, there was a pretty even split between people using the DuPont yeast (Wyeast 3724/WLP565) and the Brasserie Thiriez yeast (Wyeast 3711). The DuPont yeast really kicked out that classic saison fruitiness, whereas the Thiriez had that intense satisfying dryness that the DuPont couldn't quite achieve. This was a great event and it was awesome to see so many Victoria brewers getting together, hopefully we will have more events like this one in the near future.