Friday, December 13, 2013
Right now, I'm staring out the window, watching it snow steadily and beautifully. As serene as that is, however, I can't keep my mind off the fact that Puxatawny Phil (the infamous groundhog) must have been very, very wrong.
It was in this state of mind during the last blizzard that I wandered down the beer aisles at Bier Cellar seeking a departure from the dark and warming beers I've been filling my snowy days with. I was really looking for something that would allow me to forget it was winter altogether.
Turning the corner I came across Somerville Brewing Company beers (also known as "Slumbrew") I found the Slumbrew Flower Envy Saison and knew immediately that I should pick it up. The label featured daisies, green grass, and a hop farm in the distance. It reminded me of summer and made me envious of all the green. So I brought it home.
The Flower Envy Saison is a saison coming in at 6% ABV, and is brewed with Noble Hops, Belgian aromatic malts and wheat. It pours a great light yellow and cloudy, and, like most saisons, the aroma that hits you when you pour it is almost the best part. I found myself just inhaling deeply and imagining that I didn't really have to move my car for the Parking Ban, but that I was sitting under a tree reading a book. It smells like citrus and light fruits, like fresh air coming off a field, and slightly of yeast. All very bright and refreshing.
The taste does not disappoint either. Slightly tart, the saison is smooth and goes down very easily. The taste is almost earthy - there's that little bit of edge and freshness to it that keeps it interesting throughout. The hops are there but mild, just highlighting the other spicy and floral notes that come through as you sip. Exactly what I was looking for - summer in a glass.
Saisons have a special place in my heart, because when I was introduced to them, it really shook up my impressions of the kinds of flavors that could be found in beer. While notoriously hard to describe (this is where you start hearing terms like "leather" and "barnyard" from beer connoisseurs) they have a slightly spicy freshness, paired with an earthy or a funky note. This one hits all of those points for me.
Somerville Brewing Company (from Somerville, MA) was started by Caitlin Jewell and Jeff Leiter in 2011 and their beer became available in Maine in early 2012. For all of you hyper-local drinkers out there, I'd recommend this as a delicious diversion from your usual routine. Just because it's "from away" doesn't mean that it isn't worth a drink. Cheers!
Carla Companion is a craft beer lover and investigator of all things beer. She started a craft beer website and blog thebeerbabe.com in 2007, sharing her thoughts as she explored what was new in beer, as well as brewery visits, trips and "beer adventures." Moving to Portland in 2009, she found herself surrounded by the Maine beer community and has been exploring it ever since.
In her blog, Carla profiles craft beer (and some mead and cider, too) being brewed in Maine, as well as looks into the people, places and stories behind the beer that makes the community so vibrant. Join Carla on her beer adventures and advice on where to get the best, newest, and most interesting fermented drinks around.
Carla can be contacted at askthebeerbabe [at] gmail.com or on twitter at @beerbabe.