Saturday marked the annual Saison Festival held at Trinity Brewing. Jason Yester and Trinity organize this festival, bringing in beers from all over Colorado and a few from out of state as well. Most of the breweries brought special beers that we probably won’t get to see again, and many others brought their fantastic flagship saisons. Many of the breweries haven’t seen distribution down to Colorado Springs yet, so this was a real treat. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, Saisons are one of my favorite styles because they lend themselves to experimentation and a vast use of ingredients that are complemented by the style. Our Focus on the Beer photographer, Dan Flanders, shot almost all of these great photos. He also made a video (at the bottom of this post), if you haven’t seen it yet, you need to check it out. Isaac Grindeland and myself, Eric Steen, took notes on the beers we sampled and tried to come up with a list of favorites, as well as our favorite straight saison of the day. So, we’re going to talk about our favorites, we’re going to talk about Crooked Stave, and we’ll also talk about the version of Buddha Nuvo that we sampled.
We were all given these very large and beautiful Trinity goblets. A lot of the pours were a hefty 6oz or more so to be totally honest we didn’t make it through every beer. I tried, but the pours were so large that it just wasn’t possible to hit them all and be responsible adults 🙂 The glass was a wonderful take-away gift but I also thought it was perfect because Saisons tend to have tall heads of foam and you need to put your nose in the glass to get the aroma. Little tasters probably wouldn’t have complimented the beer well enough, although I would
probably have been able to try each beer. It was a good decision to use these ultimately.
You can see here that the Trinity space did get full, but it never got anywhere obnoxiously packed. I was actually really surprised that there weren’t more people here, considering this was one of the more fun and exciting festivals I’ve been to. Quaint was nice though, there was plenty of time to talk to the brewers about their beer.
Isaac kept telling me that I needed to go try Epic Brewing’s Beer. Epic is located in Salt Lake City and hopefully they’re doing well because both their Straight Up Saison and their Sour Apple was fantastic. After trying their Straight Up Saison I ran over to Isaac and told him that we needed to do a test to see if we liked this one or the Funkwerks Saison more. We didn’t get to try every beer at the festival because the samples were so big, but these ended up being our favorite straight saisons that we were able to try. So, we put them side by side. In the end we like the strong citrusy aroma of Epic more than the muted aroma from Funkwerks, however ultimately we both barely decided that Funkwerks was our overall favorite. Possibly it was the slightly more bitter quality, possibly it’s because it had a tiny bit more spice, possibly because it was slightly less carbonated…We’re not totally sure, but both beers were damn good. Funkwerks has been a favorite of mine since the Great American Beer Festival, and I always go back to it at every time I see it.
Kjell Wygant of Rockyard Brewing can often be found playing his didgeridoo. Doesn’t matter if it’s at a beer festival, in the brewery, or during traffic. I’ll look forward to more of this in the future.
So, we got to try the beginning stages of the Buddha Nuvo collaborative beer. Many brewers across Colorado had a hand in making this beer and it seems to be shaping up really nicely. The version we tried at the festival was a pre-Brett and pre-barrel aged version so we’ll soon have a beer that is bursting with even more flavor. This beer was a real treat. It had a really really thick mouthfeel from the massive amounts of pumpkin put into it. There was a lot of flavors coming from the yeast and there is a subtle lemon citrus flavor that isn’t as strong as lemon would normally be. I’m thinking that’s the Buddha’s Hand fruit. Also, to me the beer tasted quite strong, I’d say it felt at least 10%, although it’s probably even higher as the expected ABV is to be about 12%.
I guess lastly we should mention our favorites of the festival. Again, we didn’t get to try all the beers, not even between the two of us. There was just a lot of beer available and a lot of beer poured in each glass. Isaac’s top four were the 1) Funkwerks Saison 2) Epic Straight Up Saison 3) Epic Sour Apple and 4) Boulevard Saison Brett. My favorites were 1) Funkwerks Saison 2) Trinity’s Pappy Legba 3) Crooked Stave’s Slayer 4) Epic’s Straight Up Saison and I need to add a fifth 5) Pumphouse Brewery’s 2010 Sour version of their Springtime Saison.
|Cheers to Saison Beers!|