Saturday’s Saison. Farmhouse. Rendezvous. at Trinity Brewing in Colorado Springs brought together both new and traditional interpretations on the classic style from breweries across the U.S. The annual festival serves as a reminder of the changing of the beer seasons as thick, rich stouts and barleywines give way to lighter, funky and more sessionable brews.
Saturday’s event was the perfect way to get reacquainted with the style, which seems capable of covering nearly every flavor profile in the beer world, including sweet, sour, tart, dry, refreshing, light, heavy, funky or hoppy. The style allows room for brewer interpretation and the opportunity to showcase their creative sides.
The variety of Saisons and Farmhouse-style beers that were shared during Saturday’s Rendezvous has us excited about the upcoming Spring and Summer releases. Here’s just a few of Saturday’s highlights.
Trinity Brewing’s entire operation was only open to lucky ticket holders on Saturday, allowing ample room to spread out and explore the variety of beers pouring throughout the restaurant and barrel room. Trinity served 5 beers in the bar area, which included the debut of their Hopped Toddy. The Toddy’s a rich, warming 13.8% ABV braggot that was brewed with black & orange pekoe tea, fresh ginger and lemon zest, and underwent 9+ months of aging in Bourbon barrels.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, Trinity’s Blow Up Your TV collaboration with Black Bottle out of Fort Collins, came off as lightly spiced, with a touch of fruit from the Brett and Lacto. Check your better beer stores around town and snag a 375 mL bottle of this delicious brew today.
Across the room from Trinity were our friends at Backcountry Brewery, who made the trip down the mountain from Frisco. Brewers Alan Simons and Wes Burbank were pouring their Imperial Saison and the popular Brett Is A Douche, which uses the Imperial Saison as a base, but undergoes a secondary fermentation with Brett. The beer is constantly evolving and seems like a completely new beer every time we sample it. As ski season winds down up on the hill, don’t miss the opportunity to make a quick run up to see what kind of trouble these guys are brewing up. Awesome stuff.
TRVE Brewing was positioned along Trinity’s bar and they continually remind us why we named them our Favorite Brewery of 2013. The Denver, black metal themed brewery is absolutely killing it. On Saturday, they served up their new Melissa Petite Saison, Crossover (a collaborative effort with Black Fox) and our personal favorite, Manannan, a sour brown ale fermented in Whiskey barrels with Brett and Lacto.
Staged next to TRVE was Castle Rock’s Rockyard Brewing. When not jamming on his didgeridoo, Jellyman was happily pouring samples of Spirit of Danny, Buddha Nuvo and the upcoming (and very tasty) Dawg House Red. Dawg House Red is a version of Rockyard’s Redhawk Scottish Ale, that was dropped in Hungarian Oak Cabernet Barrels, fermented with Saison yeast and Brett and finally bottle conditioned with Colorado Alfalfa honey. The resulting beer is earthy, fruity, funky and delish! Bottles have been waxed dipped and are ready to roll out the door, pending label approval. Don’t miss this beautiful, small batch brew.
In addition to the strong Colorado lineup, the out-of-state offerings were pretty stellar too. Florida’s Cigar City and 7th Sun served up a combined 5 beers, which incorporated ingredients ranging from guava to cinnamon to kumquats to grains of paradise and more. Please send more Florida love to Colorado!
On the other side of the wall, more than a dozen breweries were set up in Trinity’s Barrel Room. Nestled all the way in the back corner along the wall of barrels was the 2012 Small Brewery of the Year, Funkwerks. Co-owner Gordon Schuck brought 4 beers to this year’s event, including the newly released Raspberry Provincial. The tart and refreshing 4.2% ABV Berliner Weisse was made with 160 lbs. of raspberries and is available locally in 750 mL bottles.
Next door, Crooked Stave served up a trio of beers, along with a few treats from their distribution team, including a pair from Oklahoma’s Prairie and 5 offerings from Stillwater, the gypsy brewery based out of Baltimore, MD. Stillwater’s Classique is one of only a few canned Saisons we’ve come across and is the perfect candidate for popping after a day hike. With a low 4.5% ABV, Classique is light and easy drinking, yet still offers a fair amount of complexity with notes of fresh fruit, wheat, spice and yeast. Grab a 6′er to bring with you on your next outdoor adventure. Read more »