Wednesday, September 18, 2013

572. Hopfenstark Station 55 Saison

Quebecoise beer is in the house. And drinking this beer out of a Unibroue glass should get me some solid street cred. After all, how often do I get to think about two different Quebec breweries in one evening? While I can’t speak for this guy, for me the answer is not nearly enough. Hopfenstark is located in L’Assomption, Quebec; this is our first beer from them, and only our fourth from Canada, which seems, well, almost a crime itself. Please forgive us.

Station 55 pours a hazy golden straw with a thin but persistent white head that laces the glass nicely. In the nose there is a juicy citrus mixed with a mineral bitterness; the front is floral and orange, followed by hints of earthy mustiness. Flavors match the nose—there is a soft delicate hint of candy from the Pilsner malt in the front before the hop bitterness takes over, accompanied by orange and lemon zest in the middle. As the citrus fades, a mineral bitterness comes to the forefront, ending clean with a pleasant lingering bitterness. The body is dry with a touch of doughy malt, with the dryness exacerbated by the hop bitterness; coupled with the spritzy carbonation, the beer is light and lively on the palate. The bitterness might be a bit much for the style—at least from a more traditional perspective—but it suits my vision of a saison perfectly. Thus, while this is from Quebec, I’m pretty much going to point to a larger North American craft beer influence and call it good. After all, as it says on the label, “Hopfenstark brews beers of diverse origin and adapts them to a contemporary society that is open and has a thirst for discovery.” Which is the most Quebecoise come American comment I’ve ever heard—I think Hopefenstark is channeling a poor man’s Greg Koch here. Regardless, this is a solid saison, and we’ll be checking out more of Hopfenstark’s beers in the near future. 

From the bottle: “Belgian-style Saison: slightly bitter and dry pale beer with citrusy hops aroma and typical Belgian saison yeast ester.”

From the Hopfenstark website: “La Saison Station 55 est une bière rousse à l'aspect voilée, au goût prononcé de malt, d'épices et de houblons qui rappellent les agrumes doublé d'une amertume en finale. La 55 se veut un hybride entre une bière belge de terroir et une IPA de type américaine. Elle s'incrit dans le renouveau brassicole en Belgique.”

ABV: 7.0%


No comments:

Post a Comment