Overshores Belle Fermiere Saison
Single bottle, $3.99++, 6.6% ABV
Purchsaed at Maximum Beverage, West Hartford
I’m embarrassed. No, not that my son is making a funny face or that my other son is drinking out of a bone cup. (Don’t even front on that bone cup. That’s from Abby L’s birthday party and even though it was impossible to wash out properly, the boy loved that thing like a puppy.)
I’m embarrassed because I didn’t set this picture up properly with one of their toys. Like a barn or something like that. When I have the time and inclination, I like to match the pictures with the beer somehow. Often, that tenuous relationship is so convoluted that I don’t even bother mentioning it.
But in this case, Belle Fermiere means “pretty farmer” in french. Or roughly, “attractive farmhouse ale.” And since this saison is quite attractive, with its orange hue, floofy white head, and well-rounded flavor profile, I should have done it a better service than a picture of my Damian being a clown.
I’ve made up for my transgression below, with a decidedly pretty farmer. Fun fact: Googling “sexy farmer” gets you more hot guys than women. Go for it.
Anyway, if you’re not familiar with Overshores in East Haven, but have a thing for Belgian beers, you might want to seek them out. Their entire line-up, after almost a year into this brewing thing, consists of Belgian style beers. Now that I think about it, Brussels isn’t the most attractive town in the world… It could be called the East Haven of Europe.
Belle Fermiere is Overshores’ signature saison. Rich orange in color, this lightly hoppy Belgian style farmhouse ale is a perfect example of our house yeast’s bright tang and estery character. European noble hops balanced with American Simcoe, this is a perfect blending of Belgian tradition and new world flavors.
Perfect for pairing with soft cheese, artichoke, figs, shellfish and pasta dishes.
I can’t help but chuckle at Overshores’ food pairing suggestions. While I certainly do accept beer and wine food pairings to a degree, when they get as specific as “artichokes” and “figs,” it gets a bit absurd.
I paired the Belle Fermiere with my gullet, nothing more. It worked out fine, by the way.
I’d heard some scuttlebutt that the first bottling of this, Overshores’ first bottling effort, wasn’t up to snuff. I’m not sure what happened, but it didn’t happen to me. Before I really started exploring craft beer, I used to say that I simply didn’t like saisons. Now that I’ve had a bunch of (said-to-be) really good saisons, I will still say that aren’t my favorite style of beer.
But I’ve certainly come to appreciate them – not just for how they taste, but for how fickle they can be to brew. On the one hand, the yeasts involved do their thing at higher temperatures and with a wider range of temperatures. But to nail the flavor profile of the esters, you need to know what you’re doing and regulate it as best as you can.
I find it interesting that Overshores, who seem pretty intent on keeping things Belgian, used American Simcoe hops here. Purists may scoff, but I liked the addition. It bittered the beer up a bit and added a whiff of citrus to the floral-sweet of the yeasts. For me, the added hops made a traditional saison a little better, and I applaud Overshores for “going there.”
At this point, Overshores has released 3 different 4-packs of lighter/saisony beers and two dark bombers. Of the smaller beers, the Belle Fermiere is my favorite.
Which, to you, shouldn’t matter for merde.
Overall Rating: A-
Rating vs. Similar style: A