Simon Saaz-On Saison
1 draught pint, 6.7% ABV
Purchased at Willibrew, Willimantic
This is an important page. For serious reals.
For this is the very first Willibrew brew reviews on CTMQ. And Willibrew is sort of a mecca for local craft beer enthusiasts, as it is held in very high regard. This place makes good beer. And I like to drink good beer. So here we are.
This is also the first review with a picture where the width is greater than the height. So this sentence you’re reading right now is probably a little annoying to read. Sorry about that. It is also the first (but not the last) review based on a flight and not a full beer. I know… it annoys me to, but really, let’s be realistic here. Willibrew is about an hour from my house and brews around 200 different beers. Surely you understand.
Although this was hardly my first visit to Willibrew, it was the first time I was there when CTMQ is what it is today. So the first thing I noticed is all the punny names for their beers… starting with Simon Saaz-On.
Saaz hops, by the way, are a natural variety of hops from what is now the Czech Republic, and which originated from the area around the town of Saaz which is in Bohemia. It is typically used in all sorts of beers I hate, namely green bottle pilasters and lagers. (By the way, the new Motueka hop from New Zealand is a variant of the Saaz.)
Fortunately for me and for this first review, Willibrew does much more with the Saaz hop than the eastern European green bottle guys do.
“An unfiltered French Farmhouse Ale is brewed with Pilsner, Munich, Rye, Oat and Maize malts, uses only peppery Saaz hops and ferments with a French Saison yeast strain.”
Malts! Yeast! More malts! All this makes for a very interesting and somewhat unique beer. The malt was there, as was the peppery Saaz hop. But for me, it is the yeast that makes this beer; adding a sweet tartness if that makes sense.
As this is the first Willibrew review on CTMQ, and seeing as I rather enjoyed it, I will now leave you rocking to some live Bad Brains circa 1979 – the song I have been singing in my head ever since I first saw “Saaz-on”… it’s called “Sailin’ On” and believe it or not, it’s considered a rather monumental record.
Overall Rating: B+
Rating vs. Similar style: A