With a shared release date of Thursday, June 22 in Ontario — and wider release in other Canadian provinces and New York State to follow soon — here’s a back-to-back comparison of two of craft brewery Beau’s All Natural’s latest offerings this summer. Introducing the brand new Saison from Beau’s Farm Table Series, and the return of Wag the Wolf hopfenweisse.
Beau’s Farm Table Series are sessionable beers inspired by tradition and brewed true to a classic style. Unfiltered with lively carbonation, the saison originated in the Wallonia region of Belgium, where traditionally it was brewed to slake the thirst of farmhands during harvest time.
“Saison is a style that is meant to be dry, refreshing and thirst-quenching,” said Beau’s head brewer Brian O’Donnell. “We brewed ours to be very dry, and gave it a high bitterness to accentuate that quality … our saison is a traditional take on the style.”
Saison pairs nicely with chilled shrimp with “hopped” cocktail sauce, or fresh oysters on the half shell. It weighs in at a compact 4.7% ABV. Belgian Saison II yeast imparts those alluring earthy, peppery and spicy notes.
Beau’s first introduced Wag the Wolf in 2013 as part of its Wild Oats Series. The late-addition hopped unfiltered wheat beer — and its recognizable wolf logo with heterochromic eyes — would later find its place in the pack as a regular summer release for the independent craft brewery. Wag The Wolf’s original recipe was developed by former Beau’s brewer (and now brewmaster at Halcyon Barrel House) Bryce McBain.
“I designed Wag the Wolf around a particular hop, Motueka,” said McBain, “but when we couldn’t get that hop the next year, I had to go back to the recipe and experiment. Luckily, I think that effort made it an even better beer. And lesson learned: now I design a hop profile I want to achieve, rather than relying on a specific variety.”
Wag the Wolf is no pup at a strapping 6.8% ABV. Late-addition organic New Zealand and American hops impart aromas of tropical fruit and citrus, Hefeweizen yeast adds pleasant fruit and spice flavours. It goes great with grilled weisswurst or knockwurst sausage.
Beau’s Brewing Co. is an employee-owned independent Canadian craft brewery. Founded in 2006 by father and son Tim and Steve Beauchesne, Beau’s brews interesting, tasty beers using best-quality certified organic ingredients & local spring water. In addition to flagship Lug Tread Lagered Ale, Beau’s portfolio of award-winning beers include the “Wild Oats”, “Farm Table” and “Gruit” Series. Beau’s has been a recipient of more than 100 awards for brewing, packaging design and business practices, including 2 Gold medals at Mondial de la Bière (Strasbourg, France, and Montréal, Québec); 6 Gold medals at the Canadian Brewing Awards, 7-times “Best Craft Brewery in Ontario” and 7-times “Best Regularly Produced Beer in Ontario” at the Golden Tap Awards. As a Certified B-Corporation, Beau’s meets higher standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability. Beau’s beer is available across Canada and in New York State. Beau’s is the Official Brewery of Ottawa 2017.