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A Love Letter to Saisons

Dear Saisons,

I trust this letter will find you well. The first thing I must communicate to you is my gratitude for your existence. Your straw hued liquid; beautiful aromas and flavors of spice, citrus and funk; and wonderful ability to quench the direst of thirsts demonstrate your selfless and loving nature. And for that, I am eternally thankful.

Some wonderful renditions of saison brewed stateside from Funkwerks, Blackberry Farm, Casey Brewing and Blending, and Crooked Stave

To my great enjoyment, I live in a day where your gold liquid is brewed worldwide. In your youth, centuries ago in the Wallonia region of Belgium, your low alcohol content and refreshing acidity would satiate the hard-working saisonniéres, or seasonal workers, in the farm fields that were often growing the very ingredients that went into your creation. Indeed, the average consumption for these manual laborers was five liters per day!  And that was an average for the year. One can only imagine what they would and could drink on a hot summer day.

Upon creation, you were the perfect expression of time and place. The very farmers who brewed you also raised the grain and hops that were the foundation for you. What brought you to life often started as wild yeast but was subsequently harvested from each brew and used in successive batches. Certain farms would become known to have exceptional yeast and would sell theirs to neighboring brewers.

Dupont, Blaugies, and Fantome: Three wonderful farmhouse breweries from Wallonia.

Local water sources were not reliably potable. Thus, you were initially brewed as a means to merely sustain those farm hands. You saved lives. You nourished. And if there were extra, maybe you would be used as payment to those same workers. Or perhaps you would be sold to the farmer’s neighbors for their consumption. You were there for them, and now, you are there for us, lovers of beer.

It is now the ideal season to drink you. And I will. A lot. All spring, summer, and fall.

Thank you, Saisons.  I love you.


Tim Jerding

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