For this installment of Brew Like a Girl, we talked with Katie, Director of Quality Control and Brewer. She shared some insights into the new Brew Like a Girl (BLAG) #2, Harvest Saison.
“The main idea for the BLAG series is to include people who don’t normally get involved with the production of beer. For example, there are a good amount of women who work in different aspects of the brewing industry (sales, service, quality control) but VERY FEW who do the actual brewing. For BLAG #2 we invited the other woman of Hop & Barrel to participate in the process of making the beer. This group observed and helped on brew day and are helping can and keg it.
For each release in this series, I want to create a beer that fits within a style but also pushes the boundaries a bit. BLAG #1, 5th Wheel Triple IPA, was an ultra-drinkable but high abv (10%) beer with a lot of hop character. It was SO good, I miss it 😉
BLAG #2, Harvest Saison is a Belgian Saison. Generally, Saisons are lighter-bodied ales with a lot of fruity-spicy, sometimes, bubblegum or banana, orange, lemon, pepper, etc. character. They actually can range quite a bit in this way. They also finish dry and never should come off as tasting sweet or heavy/rich. They are not considered overly hoppy but have a balance that leans more towards bright fruity, spicy, and/or hoppy characters. Lastly, a common characteristic of this style is they are highly carbonated and can be quite effervescent/spritzy.
I decided to push the boundaries for Harvest Saison by creating a darker, spicier (think black pepper) Belgian Saison that is more focused on a bread crust and notes of darker fruits than lighter ones. It also is higher in alcohol (it comes in at around 6.8%) but still “drinks” like a lower abv beer. This dichotomy is meant to show that we can produce beer that is higher in alcohol but does not feel rich or heavy.
Overall, I think a darker, higher abv saison will be perfect for this time of year. The season is changing from the weather when light refreshing beers are desirable to weather when darker, super flavorful beers seem right. This beer has a balance of both!
Future plans: We are currently planning the 3rd beer in this series which will be brewed in the next couple of months. We are still sorting out the details of this beer but will definitely be brewing it in collaboration with Witch Hunt, Mpls
We hope to release a beer for this series every few months which will be available in both cans and on tap. Ideally, we will continue to invite anyone who is underrepresented in the production side of the industry. I’d also like to use the series to help promote some great non-profit organizations, if possible.
I’m really looking forward to seeing what happens with this!”