Beer Maverick

Classic French & Belgian-Style Saison

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Location: Belgian and French
Category: Ale
BJCP Comparable Category: 25B - Saison

Style Description

This is the description of how the Classic French & Belgian-Style Saison style of beer should taste, feel and look. However, there may be perfectly fine beers in this style that fall outside of these ranges and descriptions. This information is just to show the most commonly accepted ranges for the Classic French & Belgian-Style Saison beer style.

  • Color: Straw to light amber
  • Body: Very low to low
  • Malt Flavors & Aromas: Low, but providing foundation for the overall balance.
  • Hop Flavors & Aromas: Low to medium and characterized by European-type hops: floral, herbal and/or woody traits are common.
  • IBUs/Bitterness: Medium-low to medium, but not assertive.
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity esters are medium to high. Low to medium-low level phenolics may be present, expressed as spice-like or other attributes. Phenolics should not be harsh or dominant and should be in harmony with ester profile and hops. Fruity and spicy black pepper attributes derived from Belgian yeast are common. Diacetyl should not be present. Low levels of Brettanomyces yeast-derived flavors that are slightly acidic, fruity, horsey, goaty and/or leather-like, may be present but are not required. These beers are well attenuated and often bottle conditioned contributing some yeast character and high carbonation.
  • Common Ingredients: At standard strengths and pale color (the most common variety), like a more highly-attenuated, hoppy, and bitter Belgian blond ale with a stronger yeast character. At super strength and pale color, similar to a Belgian tripel, but often with more of a grainy, rustic quality and sometimes with a spicier yeast character.
  • Commercial Examples: Ellezelloise Saison, Fantôme Saison, Lefebvre Saison 1900, Saison Dupont Vieille Provision, Saison de Pipaix, Saison Regal, Saison Voisin, Boulevard Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale

Brewing Properties of Classic French & Belgian-Style Saison

These are the functional brewing properties of Classic French & Belgian-Style Saison beers, as descided by the Brewers Association. These guidelines reflect, as accurately as possible, the historical significance, authenticity or a common profile in the current commercial beer market.

The alcohol by volume is shows the amount of alcohol this style of beer should have.
4.4 - 6.8%
The International Bittering Units (IBU) scale is used to approximately quantify the actual (not perceived) bitterness of beer.
20 - 38 IBUs
SRM is a scale for measuring the color intensity of a beer. Low SRM grains impart a pale straw color while higher values mean it will add a darker color to the wort. Learn more »
3 - 7 SRM
(6 - 14 EBC)
Original Gravity
Original Gravity (OG) is a measure of the sugar content in the wort before alcoholic fermentation has started to produce the beer.
1.040 - 1.060
Final Gravity
The Final Gravity (FG) is how much sugar is left over in the beer when fermentation is complete.
1.004 - 1.008

If you see an error in our data, please let us know!

Based on Brewers Association 2020 Beer Style Guidelines with changes. Used with permission of Brewers Association.