Earlier this decade, three of the more self-effacing members of the brewing community – Sam Calagione (Dogfish Head), Bill Covaleski (Victory), and Greg Kock (Stone) – combined to form BUFF (Bashful Unprepossessing Fermentation Fans).
Okay, not really. It is short for Brewers United for Freedom of Flavor. Now BUFF has a mission as well as a motto, the creation of an audacious collaborative beer, Saison du BUFF.
This saison pours a bright straw color, with a huge, lacy white head. The aroma hints at added spices: parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. The first sip confirms the herbal impression: a farmhouse ale brewed with herbs de Provence? (“My mother’s potpourri?” mused one taster.) The flavor leads with a wheaty, citrusy sweetness and touches of honey. Hints of brown spices emerge – nutmeg and allspice – along with rustic, earthy saison pepperiness. The finish is dry and invites another sip. Loads of intense flavor – this saison demands food.
The first batch of this beer was brewed at Stone in the spring. The second and third batches are to be brewed in early June for release during the summer. Give those BUFF boys a big hand.