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17/08/2012 The Day I got Saison

It's the late afternoon (or podvečer, as Czech genially calls this time of the day) of a rather warm day. I'm sitting on my terrace, enjoying the shade, the breeze and being home alone. I'm listening a mix of Dr. John, Sly & The Family Stone and Paul Butterfield Blues Band. All is being played at a volume I wouldn't get away with if my family was around. Few things are more liberating than playing music really loud, knowing that you will not bother anyone.

A couple days before I bought a bottle of Saison Dupont on a whim. I've never been a fan of Saisons and I couldn't quite understand why so many beer geeks are. It's not that I didn't like them, mind you, I'd just drink something else, if given the choice. I've always felt that this style (or beer family?) was your pedestrian session beer wearing an ill-fitting suit, a builder who has crashed a posh party and hopes nobody will notice him.

But here I am, with my feet on the table, a small board with slices of beer washed, mildly aromatic cheese in front of me and ready to pour that Dupont. I take the first sip and roll it in my mouth, the second sip is to wash down a bit of cheese and there is when it hits me. I don't know if it is the music (there is some sort of connection between the Blues-R&B-Funk mix and the beer), the weather or maybe even the sight of the recently reaped field behind our garden, but I look at the retro label on the bottle and I see things in a different way.

It turns out he isn't a builder who crashed the party, but a geezer from the country someone brought over and gave him that suit. He hasn't forgotten, nor is he ashamed of where he comes from, but he is enjoying all the attention, while he is also also a bit amused at the reverence they show him.

They still aren't my favourite kind of beer, far from it, but I can now say that I like Saisons. I love their smooth, complex rusticity and their somewhat conflicted personality. And I believe that in some way they yearn for those simpler days when people just necked a Saison to quench their thirst instead of sipping it from tulip glasses or whatever (if they could answer you, they'd perhaps tell you they are a bit jealous of Pale Lagers because of that).

Anyway, a Saison is good company in a warm summer, late afternoon; just like an old geezer from the country who's seen a lot and still likes taking the piss out of everything and everyone.

Na Zdraví!

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