In regards to summertime beers there are many great style options out there. most are traditional like the basic Pils or Hefeweizen, however if you've spent any time in the vicinity of a craft brew house in the last few years you know the new word for summer in the U.S. Saison.
Saisons are farmhouse ale that are traditionally brewed in the winter, to be consumed throughout the summer months. Not so long ago it was close to being an endangered style, but over recent years there's been a massive revival; especially in the US.
This is a very complex style; many are very fruity in the aroma and flavor. Look for earthy yeast tones, mild to moderate tartness. Lots of spice and with a medium bitterness. They tend to be semi-dry with many only having touch of sweetness.
Hoppers Brewmaster and Secret Agent Donovan Steele has come up with a brilliantly timed addition to their Storehouse Reserve series called Summerset Saison.
For his Saison, Dono used a traditional saison grist of light crisp pilsener malt, malted spelt and some raw oats. A Belgian yeast strain known for its complex earthy/spiciness and powerful aromatics was added for extra depth.
To accentuate the natural crisp citrus aromas the yeast produces, Dono decided to break with the normal approach and add some powerful Citra hops for late boil aroma and flavor. It's a great pairing. It really blends the flavor profile of the Citra up against the yeast and grain qualities. That meant dry hopping it after primary. Not unheard of but not typical for a Saison ale. This beer is dry with a light orange hue.
For those not familiar with Citra it smells like tangerine combined with a fruit punch bowl with citrus rind. It's an amazing hop. A great beer for summer or for those that enjoy a rustic ale with amazing hops.
Summerset Saison should be bottled within the next few days and released by the weekend. We'll let you know, of course.