A few years ago, we didn’t really know what saison was. Nowadays, breweries up and down Britain, especially those with their eyes on the ‘craft beer bar’ market, are producing them in relative abundance.
Phil Markowski’s book Farmhouse Ales has, we suspect, been influential, and the fact that most British drinkers don’t know saison well enough to be able to tell a good one from a bad one with any confidence makes it a forgiving experiment for smaller and (ahem) less technically-minded brewers.
But, while saisons are in no danger of becoming the new ‘boring brown bitter’ just yet, the novelty-obsessed British beer geek is no longer likely to fall into a nerdgasm at the mere sight of the word on a pump-clip or label.
Amongst a certain dedicated crowd, even Berliner Weisse and Gose are beginning to seem a bit ‘old hat’.
So what will come after that? We reckon 2014 is going to see lots of attempts at kvass or kvass-inspired beers – low in alcohol, made with rye bread, herbs and wild yeast. There’s already been at least one and probably others we’ve missed.
Frankly, there’s not much else left in Randy Mosher for UK brewers to plunder.
But that’s just our guess. What’s yours?
For more on brewing traditions in Scandinavia, Eastern Europe and beyond, keep an eye on Lars Marius Garshol’s blog and follow him on Twitter. We’re really hoping Brewers Publications will get him to write a book in their European styles series.