Seasonal Salamander

We’ve had occasion to speak of the Saison style here many times — the recent, the strange, the light or rather more alcoholised, the singular or the traditional, and of course the down-to-earth classics (I’m thinking especially of Dupont and Saint-Feuillien, the inevitable and logical stars of the style).

The time when the famous “beer hunter” Michael Jackson could write “this style is not widely known outside its region of production of Hainaut [Belgium]” has passed. As has the time when these beers were presented in Champagne-style bottles.

This style stood out because it had all the qualities that charm drinkers — fruity, spicy, moderately bitter, rather light, splendidly dry on the finish, and in sum eminently refreshing. In short, something to please everybody.

Here is a Saison called Salamandra (6.5% ABV) from the Brasserie de l’Être (Paris, France), founded just a few months ago. A true newborn beer, which immediately announces a “farmer” nose (perhaps I should say “farmhouse”…) — strong yeast, bread, hays, esters. And the mouth follows this first impression, adding orange peel.

For a Saison — a rather hoppy style —, this moderately carbonated Salamandra obviously loves malt, but it’s bitter enough and the finish is pretty dry. The malt brings colour and complexity to a well-rounded beer. Even if the flavors are not really typical, it’s a nice piece of work that doesn’t apologise for its still very artisanal aspect. One to discover with pleasure.