Not the most exciting name for a restaurant, but Eat Bar has good food, a huge wine selection, and a small but decent beer selection. We went out for a chilly motorcycle ride, possibly the last one of the year, and then hit up Eat Bar for a small dinner.
We split a plate of cheese and pate and of course, I got a beer! I ordered the Avery 18 a dry hopped rye- saison by Avery Brewing Company of Boulder, Colorado 8.12% abv.
Pours a dark amber, sorry with the lighting I had a hard time capturing its glory. Its sweet and kind of funky. Yeasty, warm alcohol, orange peel, and a bit hoppy. This is not really my style of beer, but it was amazing!
Saison beers seem to confuse me, and apparently a lot other people. I feel like everyone is always asking me what a saison beer is when they see it on a menu or a bottle and I can never give a very good answer. I have always told them that I believe it just means slightly lower alcohol beer but could never pin down a style. But I’ve done a little reading (thank you Beeradvocate.com and Wikipedia) and here is what I’ve learned.
Saison means “season” in French. Traditionally the beers were brewed in winter and so were ready for summer or harvest time. I was correct in saying that they are usually lower alcohol beers. American saisons are between 5-8% but more traditional saison beers are still around 3-3.5%. The lower alcohol in traditional saison beers was because the beers were originally meant to be hydrating and refreshing in times before there was potable water readily available. They also are usually moderately hoppy, again traditionally this was because hops have antiseptic properties and helped the beer keep through storage.
Oh yeah, and check out what I ordered for dinner. A hot dog! But not just any hot dog, the foie gras and truffle hot dog, covered in raisins and figs. It was mind blowing!