Our take on the Belgian farmhouse ales, saisons were traditionally brewed for refreshment during the summer months. Light in color, effervescent with a billowy, well-retained head — it is very dry and strongly aromatic with light pepper and pear overtones. Heavier in alcohol at 7% abv, it finishes clean and bright, with a very light bitterness.
Saison is far more a tradition than a style. Made with wine yeast by French speaking people in the ‘grain belt’ of Europe, saison was brewed in winter to slake thirsts of farm workers in summer.
We found that in many ways saison goes far beyond white wines that were in the minds of the old Wallonians. It can be as dry and crisp but far more variable. In Belgium, every farm house had its own saison, influenced by their very own farm and the grains available to them. For Mystic Saison we worked towards the essence of saison.
Mystic Descendant is a beer descended from the cultural history of the Boston harbor area. A dry Irish stout meets an English porter and is then fermented in the fermentorium with our saison yeast with a touch of the ubiquitous ingredient from the area's past: molasses. The result is a uniqe beer; it has more dark fruit than a porter and less roast than a traditional stout, while having a different ester profile than a Belgian stout. We thus dubbed our recipe a Suffolk Dark Ale, as an homage to our immigrant ancestors.
If Mystic Saison is our local answer to white wine, Descendant is our red. The subtle molasses works with the saison yeast and dark malts to create a rich cherrywood flavor and aromatic finish. It can stand up to red meats or relax by the fire as the days get cooler and the leaves turn to welcome New England's finest season.
Mystic Barrel aged Saison:
Barrel fermentation, one of the great arts of the vintner, has been nearly lost in the world of brewing. In this method the French oak breathes as fermentation fluxes, creating a symbiosis of beer and barrel. The flavor characteristics developed are irreproducible in any other way. It is a method of making beer that evokes the days when fermentation was mystic and the results patiently anticipated. For this special release, fermentation in Sauvignon Blanc barrels from Napa creates an intriguing and delightful pairing of traditions and flavors.
After years of fermenting microbes at work and beers at home, we took a road trip through Belgium for our honeymoon. There we discovered that not just the beers were different but the attitude and approach to brewing were far different from even what the great new American craft brewers were doing. There was also this dog in Brugge laying lazily in a window over the canals who said to us …well he just stared at us wondering why Americans would honeymoon in damp old Belgium. We knew then that we had to revive the old brewing traditions back in Boston and let the old mystic spirits loose again.
At Mystic Brewery we aren’t afraid of no stinking microbes (quite literally). Our way is to brew new beers in the old tradition. Our way is to make living beer. Our way is to build Boston’s brewing tradition into one of legend. And we are doing it the New England way: with hard work, perseverance, and meticulous dedication to craftsmanship.
Information furnished via Mystic Brewing Website.