Saison ale recipe

Mash in @ 150F
2 row pale malt (85% grain bill), carapils (10%) and flaked oats (5%)

Kent Golding first wort hops
Styrian hops half way through the boil
Coriander seed at 20 min left (approx 25 small crushed seeds)
Styrian hop additions at 10 min left, 5 min left and at end
Columbus hops at end

Safale S-33 dry yeast pitched at 66F

Total grain: 2lb 6oz per gallon
Total hops: 0.8 oz per gallon

saison

I was very happy with how this turned out. Safale S-33 performed very well in this traditional Belgian style. I fermented for 2 weeks in primary, and then went straight to bottle conditioning for 4 weeks. Citrus and spice notes, a refreshing tang, very clean drinking, with no off flavors or aromas. I will definitely be repeating this one.

Beer tasting at Goose Island Brewhouse

On my recent visit to Chicago, I couldn’t pass up the chance to visit the taproom for Goose Island brewery. Goose Island IPA was one of the first US craft beers I tasted some years back, but I’d never tried many of their other offerings.

The taproom offered excellent views of mash tuns and fermenters, and had an industrial vibe whilst also feeling like a real bar. This was right up my street; I really like it when breweries lean in to the function of their space, and go the extra mile to show off the shiny production facilities to drinkers in an aesthetically pleasing way.

The menu was extensive. My husband opted for the barrel-aged beer flight, and I chose a mix-and-match selection of some slightly lower ABV beers, so we both got to taste eight different beers.

Everything was good, and more importantly, nothing was boring or awful. The were some standouts, including the IPA Now, which was pleasantly heavy on the pine, and the Sofie Saison, which had the perfect balance between citrus and peppery aromas and flavors. The smoked Helles beer packed a punch, and I made a mental note to pair something like this with spare ribs in the future.

I’m not big on meaty scotch ales myself, but my husband thought that the Copper Project was about the best in this category he’s had recently. The biggest surprise was the Brasserie Blanc, a beer fermented with Napa Valley Muscat grapes, and aged in a wine barrel. My last foray into a white wine cask beer was rather unpleasant, so I was somewhat apprehensive. But it was great – crisp and fruity, yet still with a hint of oak. Something that would appeal to cider fans and highly adventurous beer drinkers alike.

Overall, a lovely time stepping out of my beer drinking comfort zone, and the perfect end to a city break. I’m already looking forward to my next visit to Chicago – please feel free to leave a comment if you know of any other breweries that I should check out next time!

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