Winter is nearly over and with it the season of stouts when I would sit indoors and sip on a dark, heavy pint to ease my heavy heart. Alright a little melodramatic, but when it is pitch black outside by 5pm you need a companion to share the long night with. The good news is things are brightening up in the Midwest. I can finally see my feet again when I leave work and walk to my car, a beautiful sight for those plagued by S.A.D. (also known as wintersuckseosis).
Even though this winter was a relatively mild one in Minnesota, there is a feeling of reprieve when the mercury reaches above freezing. Actually it’s more than just reprieve; it’s a celebration everyone has in their own mind filled with streamers, confetti and pinatas filled with sunshine. You can physically see the change in people as they shed the layers of coats, mittens and scarves and begin to dream about the promise of Spring.
Spring marks the beginning of the Saison season in my beer world, a style defined by warm weather, sunshine and the pastoral landscapes of the Heartland. It seems that each state has their own saison with which to celebrate the turn of the seasons: Wisconsin has Spotted Cow, Illinois has Domaine duPage, and Michigan has the artisanal Bam Biere. Here in Minnesota there is only one saison that I reach for again and again–Lift Bridge’s Farm Girl.
From my home town, this beer tastes like the young, bright ambition of a new growing season. It pours the same cloudy pale straw colors as the inside of the family barn and smells of citrus and spices. It hits the palate with a slightly dry sour note that wakes up the senses from the months of numbing winter winds and is balanced by the bready malts that round out each sip. Grab a six-pack at your local store (yes, they are back in bottles!) and toast to the end of one season and the beginning of warmer days.
Best Enjoyed: Outside on a patio in a tulip glass to savor all the bright aromas.
Best Paired With: Barbecue because, hot damn, it’s that time of year!
Where to Find: All across the state of Minnesota
Visit the Lift Bridge Beer Co. website for more information on this great brewery.