Beer Review: Yards Saison

Philly's Yards brew is slightly sweet but still refreshing

Once you venture past lagers, the beer world opens up to not only wacky new creations from today’s hottest brewers, but also types of ale produced for centuries throughout the world. The Belgian saison was originally made by Wallonian farmers centuries ago during the summer season, with yeasts that ferment well at warm temperatures (there was no refrigeration). Usually light in body and alcohol, the saison has taken on many different sizes and shades since its workman’s beginnings. Yards Brewing Company of Philadelphia has created a 6.5 percent ABV citrusy-sweet version of this rustic traditional beer.

Poured from a 12-ounce bottle into a tulip glass, Yards Saison appears golden-orange with an attractive white head. The nose presents a spicy, citrus-filled burst of aromas balanced by a traditional Belgian yeast profile. As you sip through the beer, these spices build and collaborate with notes of clove and orange peel. The use of Belgian candy sugar — most likely used to keep the malt flavors of the beer in check while producing a relatively high-alcohol product — makes the flavor sweeter than you might expect from a saison, but it does add an interesting twist, and still leaves you with a satisfying brew.

Yards Saison earns its place on the 12-year-old brewery’s roster, presenting a welcome change of pace from some of the malt-dominant or hoppy offerings. Yards fans would do well to search this beer out during the warm summer months.

— Danya Henninger, The Drink Nation

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