- I love the San Diego Padres.
- I love beer.
- I love brewing beer.
- I hate blue uniforms.
- I love brown uniforms. Brown is the only acceptable color for the San Diego Padres.
- I should brew a brown ale dedicated to the Padres.
- I am not particularly fond of most brown ales.
- I should brew Padres-themed brown ales in various styles. As a challenge to myself as a brewer and a beer drinker.
- I should blog about it.
- Why not?
So, with that I decided to brew brown ales in an attempt to find one that I might enjoy. I won't necessarily attempt to make a standard brown ale, but rather I would take inspiration from Padres past and present and brew a style (very) loosely-related to the player. The first beer I came up with was a saison.
Saison is a style of beer hailing from the Wallonia region of Belgium, originally brewed in the farmhouses of the region (hence the "farmhouse" ale label). It was originally light, refreshing, and low-ABV, as the beer was intended to be consumed through hot summer days by farm workers. Some of my favorite modern examples of this would be Ommegang's Hennepin, The Lost Abbey's Carnevale, Saison DuPont, Stone/Victory/Dogfish Head's Saison du BUFF, and Boulevard's Tank 7. It's a style of beer one might enjoy on a warm, Saturday afternoon whilst mowing their lawn. Drawing on the inspiration of a lawn mowing phenomenon, I present to you "Oh, Dog!"
Now, it's worth noting that Orlando Hudson was still a member of the Padres when I brewed this beer. The name was a funny, relevant reference at the time. Relevant, anyway. With your assistance and imagination, it could still be. Help a guy out!
The thing I love about saison is that it's a very malleable style. If a beer was going to shoot the shit with anyone and everyone they come across, I would argue that it would be saison. Not that imagination doesn't allow you to approach any beer as a blank canvas of sorts (and, certainly, this project is built entirely upon this premise), but I feel with saison it is particularly so. While it's normally a pale style beer, I didn't think it would be too thrown off if I attempted a brown saison. As it turns out, it worked! Very typical saison flavor here, light, refreshing, spicy, fruity, with a dry (and slightly caramel, in this instance!) finish. The nutty flavor you wouldn't normally find in this style actually blends in quite well, as it's pretty subtle. And at 5.8% ABV, it's totally ready for the ballpark!
I only bottled half of this batch of beer. The rest, I have set aside and infected. "WHAT?", you may ask. By that, I basically mean I added wild yeast and bacteria to the beer in order to "sour" it. So, we'll see how the process changes this beer. I'm using previously-infected oak from a lambic I made a couple of years ago. It's already yielded great results in the past, so this should be fun.
Next beer? I have ideas, but I'm also open to suggestions. Also, if you're a home brewer, I'm more than willing to share any of these recipes with you. Drop a line in the comments section, and I'll get on it.