Woodstock Summer Saison

Woodstock Summer Saison

The ‘Saison’ beer style originated from beers brewed during the cooler and less active months in farmhouses in Wallonia, the French-speaking region of Belgium, and then stored for drinking by the farm workers during the summer months. Each worker was entitled to a staggering 5L per day!! Where do I sign up??

There’s no single definitive ‘Saison’, instead, the term really seems to group together a collection of aromatic and refreshing, summer ales. This leaves recipe development quite open to creativity as far as choice of hops but also in choice of herb and spice additions. Typically it is brewed with a pilsner malt, is highly carbonated and dry with aromas of oranges, lemons and floral hops. A hint of peppery spice is present too usually coming from the yeast.

What could be better suited to quench the thirst on a hot summer afternoon than a beer designed to refresh a tired, hot, farm worker?

An excellent commercial example that I recently tried is Wild Beer Epic Saison

I decided to brew a Saison on the spur of the moment and did not have a Belgian or French Saison yeast to hand. To mimic the fruity esters, spicy notes and phenols produced by the yeast I used crushed black peppercorns, coriander seeds and fresh orange zest in the last five minutes of the boil. I’ve gone for a very neutral and dry finishing American ale yeast that should allow the aroma and flavour of the spices and huge hop late addition to shine through.

I’ve mixed the hops up too, using Centennial to bitter, Saaz as the flavouring hop and the cascade for aroma.

I can’t wait to try this one.

Brewer: Woodstock
Batch Size: 19.00 l Style: Saison (16C)
Boil Size: 29.11 l Style Guide: BJCP 2008
Color: 3.8 EBC Equipment: Pot 33 L – BIAB
Bitterness: 41.9 IBUs Boil Time: 60 min
Est OG: 1.047 (11.7° P) Mash Profile: BIAB, Light Body
Est FG: 1.008 SG (1.9° P) Fermentation: Ale, Two Stage
ABV: 5.2% Taste Rating: 30.0


Amount Name Type #
4.00 kg Pilsner (2 Row) UK (2.0 EBC) Grain 1
20.0 g Centennial [11.0%] – Boil 60 min Hops 2
40.0 g Saaz [3.1%] – Boil 30 min Hops 3
0.25 tsp Irish Moss (Boil 10 min) Misc 4
50.0 g Cascade [5.5%] – Boil 5 min Hops 5
19.00 g Coriander Seed (Boil 5 min) Misc 6
2.01 g Javanese Cubeb Pepper (Boil 5 min) Misc 7
1.00 Orange Peel, Bitter (Boil 5 min) Misc 8
1 pkgs Safale American (DCL/Fermentis #US-05) Yeast 9