The brewery is keen to point out that you ought to just pour this beer into any glass you like. Fine by us—it doesn’t fit snugly into a traditional style anyhow—it’s pretty much pale ale meets Saison, or, Farmhouse Pale Ale, if you like. We went with a tulip glass, which was filled with a turbid bronze brew smothered by a two-fingers thick off white head that clings tightly to the glass. The hops are quite evident, but it’s not a bombastic PacNW hop monster (not that there’s anything wrong with that), rather, we have a softer, more perfumy quality wafting about. Though there is a form of extreme hopping at play here—Xanthohumol, a cancer-fighting compound found only in hops—has been added to the beer in doses at least ten times higher than that typically found in beer. We also got a mildly soapy note, possibly from the massive dose of Xanthohumol, but it actually works quite nicely with the growing citrus character as the beer warms. Perhaps most noteworthy is the firm undercurrent of bready maltiness that balances the aroma. Also playing a supporting role are the slightly phenolic, softly peppery influences of the Saison yeast. Look also for almost hidden notes of anise and tangerines. At full warmth, wildflower (buttercup?) and grassy notes, and a bit of “wildness” emerge. Despite the hoppiness on the nose, grains take center stage in the flavor profile. Expect notes of crackers (think saltines and Melba toast). Indeed, this is quite a “crackery” little beer. The floral attributes of the hops re-surge mid-to-late sip, just ahead of a firm bitterness washing over the palate. The hops truly dominate the finish, as does an impression of lemon zest; but after a near disappearance of the hops between sniff and swallow, where grains take center stage, well, it’s quite an impressive arc. Once well warmed, there’s a secondary finish—a fade out of sorts, where breaths of earthy, farmhouse mustiness rise. Ah, open fermentation and its many blessings… This is a finely crafted brew, for sure. And all this offered within a very modest 5.5% ABV. Five is at once subtle and complex. Perhaps easily misunderstood as straightforward, there is great skill at work in this very pleasant beer. In short, this is session Saison, just as it ought to be.
Oregon is full of great beer, and you pretty much have to be within the state to get this beer on tap, or, nearby in the 2 others that may have it in the bottle. Enjoy the samples that we’ve sent you, as this beer is not easy to come by.