Saisons: Discovering the Refreshing Delights of a Belgian-Style Classic

Written by Carne Reed

26 September 2023

Among the rich tapestry of beer styles, Saisons stand out as a refreshing and flavourful option that combines the best of Belgian brewing traditions and experimentation. Smack Republic Brewing Co’s Maboneng Maverick Saison is a shining example of this style with a touch of South African craft brewing inspiration, featuring a delightful blend of naartjie peel and black pepper.

Origin and Characteristics

Saison, meaning “season” in French, originated in the French-speaking region of Wallonia in Belgium. These beers were traditionally brewed in farmhouse breweries to serve to farm workers during the harvest season. Saisons were known for their refreshing and thirst-quenching qualities, making them the perfect beer for hard-working laborers.

Smack Republic’s Saison pays homage to this classic style while infusing it with a South African touch. With an ABV of 4.1% and low bitterness, this Saison captures the essence of the original farmhouse ales while delivering a unique flavour experience.

Flavour Profile and Aromas

Smack Republic’s Saison offers a captivating profile that tantalizes the senses. The aroma begins with the invigorating aroma of fresh cracked peppercorns, accompanied by the sweet citrus notes of naartjie (a South African variety of mandarin). Hints of lemongrass and light floral hops add a touch of complexity to the aroma. The malt contributes toasty bread crust notes, rounding out the olfactory experience.

On the palate, the Saison reveals a delightful blend of flavours. The honey and bready malt flavours provide a solid foundation, while the light peppery spice and zesty citrus peel create a refreshing and vibrant taste. The bitterness is kept low, allowing the other flavours to shine. The beer finishes with a dry sensation, accompanied by lingering spice and citrus notes that leave a pleasant aftertaste.

Perfect Pairings and Drinkability

Smack Republic’s Saison is a pleasure to drink on its own, but also pairs harmoniously with a variety of dishes. Its versatility makes it a fantastic match for fish and chips, Caesar salad, meze platters featuring Mediterranean flavours such as olives, hummus, salty cheese, seafood, and vegetables, as well as soft cheeses with some sharpness like brie or camembert. The Saison’s crisp and refreshing character enhances the flavours of these dishes, creating a delightful dining experience.

Saisons share some characteristics with Weissbiers, including fruity and spicy flavours, bready malt, and low bitterness. They also exhibit similarities to strong Belgian Trappist and Abbey beers, but with a lighter and more approachable nature. Smack Republic’s Saison caters to those seeking a beer with low bitterness, exceptional refreshment, and a touch of complexity that goes beyond a pale lager. Check out the detailed tasting notes and pairing for our naartjie and black pepper saison here:  Maboneng Maverick Tasting Notes

Embrace the Refreshing Delights of Saisons

Saisons continue to captivate the palates of beer enthusiasts, and Smack Republic’s Saison is a testament to the allure of this classic Belgian-style brew. Its refreshing qualities, South African inspiration, and well-balanced flavour profile create a remarkable drinking experience that delights the senses.

Embark on a flavour journey with Saisons, where the rustic charm of Belgian brewing meets the invigorating spirit of South African craft beer. As a Johannesburg craft brewery, let Smack Republic’s be your guide as you dip your toe into the world of fruity and spicy notes, crisp dry finishes, and the joy of savouring each sip. After all, we think this is the perfect beer for those long Jozi summers. Discover the refreshing delights of Saisons and elevate your craft beer experience to new heights.

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