"Sun is shining, the weather is sweet." Bob Marley could have been talking about San Diego in the spring. With the equinox this week, our Southern California paradise is already in full swing. People are hitting the beaches, tanning by the pool, and playing volleyball in the sand. No beer is better suited for this time of year than the lovely Saison. Light and refreshing, but complex with invigorating notes of citrus and spice, Saisons are an unbeatable match to the locally farmed and harvested foods, including salads, fruits, and fresh seafood.
Here are some delicious examples from our local craft breweries:
Bagby Beer 'Tis the Saison
6.3% ABV: Made in the Belgian-style, this cleverly named beer refreshes after a day of surfing and beachwalking. Lovely and bright with spice and citrus, try this at the upcoming Bagbyfest! Happening on the Bagby beer compound, Saturday, March 28 noon-4 p.m, $60. Contact bagbybeer.com/events for tickets.
Lost Abbey Carnevale
6.5% ABV: One of my favorites out there, with Amarillo and Simcoe hops and a dash of Brettanomyces. Apricot, peach, lemongrass, clove, spice, nut, and hay all come jumping out of the glass among a funky, yeasty bread dough background. It is a glorious combination of aromas and flavors.
Modern Times Lomaland
5.5% ABV: A "bright, rustic Saison" with notes of hay, citrus, and a subtle hop finish. A part of their year-round collection, Lomaland can be found on draft or in their stylish cans. If you haven't checked out their North Park tasting room, go.
Port Brewing Brother Levonian
ABV: 6.5%: A little tougher to acquire, but not impossible, this beer is a dedication to the memory of Dave Levonian, homebrewer and friend of Port Brewing. Apricot, hay, dried grasses, earth, bread dough, and a little funk. With a portion of the proceeds going to a college fund for Dave's daughter, it is a fitting tribute and a delightful beer to share with friends.
Societe Brewing The Gleaner
6.8% ABV: Inspired by the paintings of Jean-François Millet, this Saison was produced to celebrate Societe's 2nd anniversary. Made with California sagebrush, The Gleaner is "coming soon to the tasting room." Meet me there?
Urbn St. Hayloft
6.9% ABV: Spicy and earthy with notes of apricot and citrus, this dry Saison matches our climate perfectly. Start your evening by pairing Hayloft with one of Urbn's delicious salads and then dive into the rest of Urbn's fantastic foods and brews.
Must mention: Lost Abbey Red Barn
6.7% ABV: Another Farmhouse/Saison from Lost Abbey, it is available year-round, unlike Carnevale. Perfect for our SoCal weather, Red Barn is made with organic ginger, orange peels, black pepper, and grains of paradise. Refreshing and a must for the Spring.
Which local craft brewery would you like to see make a Saison? Let us hear from you! Comment below or drop an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
With 15 years in the restaurant and beverage industry and more than 700 reviews under her belt, Laurie Delk is a one-stop guide to all things craft beer, wine and spirits. You can follow Delk on Twitter @100beers30days or Instagram @sandiegobeer. Send ideas for featured drinks to email@example.com.