’Tis the saison for floral, peachy beer



Citrusy pleaser by Black Oak is meant for patio



Leftover bottles of Black Oak Summer Saison, right and middle, and Christoffel Bier, left, from a recent beer tasting.


As promised last week, here’s Part Deux of beer author Stephen Beaumont’s recent weird, wild and wacky tasting.

And because I aim to disappoint, I’m only writing about one more beer from said tasting ...

... this week.

Because it deserves all of this space.

Black Oak Summer Saison: The first bottle that Beaumont brought out in the appetizer part of his tasting is indeed available in the GTA. It was Black Oak Brewery’s Summer Saison. It’s a very light appetite-whetter by Black Oak-ers Ken Woods and Adrian Popowycz.

A quick whiff of the drink gives a nose of peach, much like the beer’s cloudy colour (it’s an unfiltered beer, so don’t be afraid of the floating yeast and barley).

The drink is floral and somewhat peachy, but has citrus flavour from what Woods calls, with a laugh, “orange zest. Better known as ‘orange peel.’”

And then there’s a hint of corriander, an attractive taste for a patio brew. There were 35 grinds of fresh corriander seeds put into what was about 3,500 litres of saison.

It’s a light beer with just over four per cent alcohol, and it actually has some flavour and far fewer calories than its fellow saisons in Belgium.

“This would definitely stand up with any saison in Belgium,” he says.

A saison’s roots are from Wallonian Belgium, typically brewed during the hot months for farm workers when “abundant microfloral activity in the atmosphere made fermentation almost impossible,” Beaumont wrote in his tasting notes.

A typical saison is six to seven per cent alcohol per volume — more hops and alcohol were used as natural preservatives to keep the beer from turning during the hot months when it was more difficult to store the beer.

Black Oak’s Summer Saison is available at their brewhouse (504 Iroquois Shore Rd., Unit 10, close to Trafalgar Road and the QEW).

Cost: Six for $12.25; 12, $22.75; 24, $43.25.

It’s also on tap in Toronto at The Bow & Arrow (Yonge and Davisville), Victory Café (Markham Street, south of Bloor), Caffé Volo (Yonge and Dundonald), Magpie Café (Dundas and Bathurst) and will be at Pepperwood Bistro in Burlington.

’Tis the saison!



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