Brasserie Dupont - Saison Dupont
Serving Temperature:45-55° F
You know cans have totally taken over the craft beer space when even Saison Dupont is now available in this format. This delicate, unpasteurized, living beer is well-protected from damaging light in this container, so who are we to argue? Dupont’s flagship saison is generally cited as a benchmark – perhaps the benchmark – for saison, and it’s easy to see why, having been produced by the farm brewery since 1844. Re-fermented in the bottle, or the can in this case, the natural carbonation builds a robust cap of foam atop the radiant golden and lightly hazed beer as it sits in our glass. (Do be sure to use a glass for this beer.) Like so many Belgian ales, saison is a yeast-driven style, and Dupont’s version delivers plenty of phenolic yeast character in the aroma. Look for complex notes of grass and hay, spicy tones conjuring clove and white pepper, some earthy and musty cellar-like impressions... all of it atop a dry, bready, biscuity base with fruity flashes appearing, too. In the flavor, those fruity and doughy elements form a refreshing core, while the peppery yeast melds with a moderate dose of hop bitterness and an effervescent, lifting carbonation to keep this very dry and refreshing. For pairing options, fresh mussels or other shellfish with garlic butter sounds great to us, as well as grilled fish or fowl, bright salads, and washed rind cheeses. Santé!
In reflecting on the provenance and characteristics of classic Belgian saison in his Great Beers of Belgium, our Rare Beer Club’s founder Michael Jackson wrote, “The most famous Saison strain is that of the Dupont brewery. ‘A brewer with the Dupont yeast is touched by God,’ I was told by a proud possessor.” It’s pretty difficult not to be enamored by the beers of Brasserie Dupont.
The Dupont brewery was formally established in 1920 when the father of agronomist Louis Dupont purchased it for his son to discourage him from moving to Canada. Their loss is the beer world’s gain, and Louis found himself with an historical farm-brewery renowned for its seasonal and honey beers, with a heritage extending back to the mid-1700s. Its success only grew in subsequent years. Olivier Dedeycker, the fourth generation of the Dupont family to serve as head brewer, currently runs the show. Since the modest (now-legendary) Dedeycker began there as an engineer in 1990, Brasserie Dupont has gradually expanded its production, initiated regular export (we’ve been drinking much better since 1992), developed a rigorously certified lineup of organic beers, and branched out further with beers like Monk’s Stout and Posca Rustica. We featured the latter, a mind-blowing Gallo-Roman gruit beer, back in 2011, followed by Dupont’s La Bière De Beloeil (a glorious strong saison) a few years ago, and their Avec Les Bons Voeux strong holiday saison in 2018 – all in our Rare Beer Club. This month marks the first time we’ve featured a Dupont beer in our International Beer Club, and we’re excited for the opportunity.
Through all of this, Brasserie Dupont has maintained its time-proven methods and attention to detail. Their extended bottle-conditioning periods provide their beers with a fine-bubbled effervescence and the potential for lengthy cellaring, while their direct-flame kettles continue to instill that (seemingly magical) touch of caramelization. Details matter. Brasserie Dupont is regularly cited as one of the planet’s finest breweries, and Men’s Journal previously declared their Saison Dupont “The Best Beer in the World.” Offerings like the core Saison, the Moinettes, and Avec Les Bons Voeux continue to challenge both American palates (via that spicy Dupont yeast) and American brewers (who make great efforts to replicate its effects here). We are pleased to offer our members this especially tasty offering from Brasserie Dupont, one of the world’s truly inspirational farmhouse breweries.
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