The Dude on the Farm

1 07 2007

Belgian Farmhouse
Last Thursday, at the beginning of my mini-“vacation” in the city, I started things off with a beer-tasting at Tria Fermentation School. The class (“The Dude on the Farm”) was led by Scott Morrison, who will soon be brewing at Philly’s Dock Street Brewing Company. His topic was farmhouse ales.

Morrison, who’s apparently “the dude,” designed a four-flight tasting of bières de garde and saisons. Each flight paired a traditional European brew with an American gloss on the style. I’d enjoyed a couple of the European beers before (including Saison Dupont), but the American brews were the eye-openers. I was particularly impressed by Southampton Publick House’s Saison, which offered an amazing lemon-y smell and flavor. I also liked a West Coast beer (gasp!), Lost Abbey/Port Brewing Co.’s Avant Garde; it was malty and delicious.

I didn’t really come away from the evening with much of an appreciation of the differences between bières de garde and saisons—except, of course, that the former are from France and the latter are Belgian. Actually, my impression is that it’s hard to pin down any real differences because there’s so much variation within the styles. What they have in common, though, is a maturation/cellaring process that’s akin to wine fermentation.

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3 responses

3 07 2007
abbeymonk

The fact that you liked Lost Abbey’s Avant Garde just shows that you’re probably a beer genius without knowing it. Both Beer Advocate and Xymergy (The Home Brewer’s Association mag) named Lost Abbey’s brewer Tomme Arthur as one of the best brewers in the world (world mind you).

Given that the guy only has a 30 barrel brewhouse, the fact that you a) got some of his beer, and b) noted that it was really good says a lot about Scott Morrison and yourself.

Congrats and I hope you get to taste the rest of Tomme’s beers. AG is just the start.

24 07 2007
Ronan

I thought the class did what I expected, which was to show that the American Brewers are making beers as well, or better than the French/Belgian counterparts. Although Morrison had a few missteps along the way, I thought the lineup was first rate, and he did a very good job overall. It was our first time at Tria and We are planning to go back. Well Run, and Nice job!

24 07 2007
Jay

I enjoyed that class, too, Ronan. Tria runs these sessions so well that it’d be hard not to have a good time.

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