Erpe-Mere, a Lovely Saison

While Season Ales have shown a real development in the past few years — even in Canada, the USA and New Zealand —, the phenomenon has found a singular expression here, from a Belgian point of view. This Flemish Season is not Walloon… As we’ve had the opportunity to point out in previous columns, this beer type was born in the South of the country (Wallonia), primarily in the province of Hainaut (the southern part). In this small kingdom with its many communitarian concerns, it’s pleasing to see such a symbolic cross-over.

And this “Dutch-speaking” Erpe-Mere Saison has no reason to envy its brothers and sisters from the “French-speaking” part of the country. Its “Outstanding” score on Beeradvocate is sufficient proof of that.

Yellow straw, slightly veiled, nicely effervescent and with a very firm foam, this 6.9%-ABV beer was tasted by the famous Michael Jackson: “Blossomy, geranial and zesty in the aroma, sweet lemon on the palate, and a pithy, gin-like, bitterness, with some hopsack dryness, in the long, lingering finish.” Indeed, unusually for this style, this beer doesn’t use any herbs or spices, but relies especially the combination of Hellertaur hops and a complex Saison yeast.

This Saison is made by the De Glazen Toren brewery (Erpe-Mere, East Flanders). This small brewery was born of the meeting of Jef van den Steen (known in Belgium for his books on beer) and Dirk De Pauw, and has been active since 2004.

A very exciting, hoppy beer worth your time and effort to find!