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Best Belgian Saison - Top 10 Ranked by the 2011 U.S. Open Beer Championship


This Top Ten French and Belgian Saison Ales list is from America's Top 10 and from the results of the 2011 US Open Beer Championship.  
1. Grand Saison - Grand Teton Brewing, Idaho
2. St. Feuillien Saison - Brasserie St. Feuillien, Belgium
3. Saison Dupont - Brasserie Dupont, Belgium
4. Hennepin - Brewery Ommegang -  New York
5. Bam Bière - Jolly Pumpkin - Michigan 
6. Stillwater Rye, Montana Brewing - Montana 
7. Saison Rue - The Bruery - California
8. Fantôme Pissenlit - Brasserie Fantome - Belgium 
9. Saison VOS - Sly Fox Brewing - Pennsylvania
10. CynicAle - Surly Brewing - Minnesota

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French and Belgian Saison
Beers in this category are golden to deep amber in color. There may be quite a variety of characters within this style. Generally: They are light to medium in body. Malt aroma is low to medium-low. Fruity esters dominate the aroma, while hop character, complex alcohols, herbs, spices and even clove and smoke-like phenolics may or may not be evident in the overall balanced beer. Malt flavor is low but provides foundation for the overall balance. Hop bitterness is moderate to moderately assertive. Herb and/or spice flavors may or may not be evident. Fruitiness from fermentation is generally in character. A balanced small amount of sour or acidic flavors is acceptable when in balance with other components. Earthy, cellar like, musty aromas are okay. A very low level of Brettanomyces yeast character may be evident. Diacetyl should not be perceived. Chill or slight yeast haze is okay. Often bottle conditioned with some yeast character and high carbonation. Brewer may indicate on the bottle whether the yeast should be intentionally roused or if they prefer that the entry be poured as quietly as possible.
OG: 1.055-1.080
FG: 1.004-1.016 
Alcohol by Weight: 3.5-6.6% 
IBU: 20-40
Color SRM: 4-14



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