The Saison style originated in the southern region of Belgium called Wallonia. This French speaking area of Belgium was historically an area of agriculture. Every farmhouse produced an ale for both nutrition and enjoyment. This is why the Saison is sometimes called a 'farmhouse ale'.
'Saison' is the French word for season. This beer was brewed in spring, la saison de mars (March), to be enjoyed during the summer months. A hearty brew was needed to last for an entire season. It's higher alcohol content and generous hopping were qualities need to make a beer last for extended periods of time. Some Saisons were lightly spiced with star anise, coriander or orange peels. Others used a yeast strain that naturally produced a spicy taste. This yeast is thought to have been a hybrid of red wine yeast, hence the spicy/phenolic characteristics.
DuPont brewery. It is only brewed with Pilsner malt, East Kent and Styrian Goldings; no spices are used. It's bottle conditioning makes an idea beverage for short term cellaring. Despite its world wide appearance, DuPont is still a small family run brewery. Their annual production is only 15,000 hectoliters. By comparison, Lighthouse is 14,000 hectoliters. Central City is aiming for 35,000 hectoliters.
This dry, effervescent brew never disappoints. Every taste is an explosion of lemon citrus aromas, followed by sips of spicy pepper and dry bread. It pairs with anything, but Thai food is especially nice.