Good news - we believe we have everything in place to brew our first batch of beer on Thursday, October 15th! This will be a Saison using the recipe Peter created when he won a gold medal for this beer a few years ago - at the Great American Beer Festival. The malt is in place, the yeast will be all grown up, and hops will find their way to the kettle. I can't tell you how cool this is going to be, for me and Peter both. For some time it's all been spreadsheets, handshakes, phone calls and dreams. Come Thursday, we'll actually add malted barley to the mash tun, hops to the kettle and yeast to the chilled wort! By the time we leave, we'll have made beer.
About the beer: Saisons are Belgian wheat beers with a lot of yeast character. In his book, The Brewmaster's Table, Garrett Oliver sums up the style with this simple description:
Dry, sharp, spicy, complex, refreshing, hoppy, slightly strong.Oliver goes on to say:
These were originally provisional beers for the farmhouse table - light, brisk, refreshing and sustaining. Nutritionally, they were as important as milk or bread... it needed to be robust enough keep for months, yet light enough to quench the thirst of farmhands.Saisons differ from the German Hefeweizen style (another popular style of wheat beer) in that the yeast isn't riddled with banana and clove, but with pepper and spices. Saisons are unfiltered, presenting a hefty haziness to them, which aides in body and the beer ability to quench the deepest thirst. Hops are fairly assertive, too, with added floral and crack-pepper notes, but always kept at bay as to not offend the palate.
Saisons are also a perfect match for food - a wide swath of food, too. Continue with the Garrett Oliver theme, check out this nugget:
If I were forced to choose one style to drink with every meal for the rest of my life, saison would have to be it.Clearly, we hope Garrett is never forced to prove this, but his point sums up our belief in this style of beer. In fact, its place at the table, after a long bike ride, or with a good book is why Peter and I plan to make our Saison Odonata Beer's 'flagship' beer, sold year-round.
So, stay tuned. In just a few short weeks we'll have our flagship packaged and ready for sale. While we're going to focus on the Sacramento region, we will also be selling this beer in fine places throughout the Bay Area and maybe a little bit beyond. Given that Odonata Beer is just Peter and me, we're going to ask for your help in getting our name out - asking your local bottle shop, restaurant and cafe buyers to stock this fun, exciting new beer.