Brasserie a Vapeur: Saison De Pipaix (Belgium: Saison:6% ABV)

Visual: Slightly darkened amber, thin sheen of off white suds and bubbles.

Nose:  Slightly pungent, passion fruit and ground ginger. Turmeric or similar quite earthy notes. Crushed orange peel. Slightly musty. Touch of gooseberry sourness or grapefruit.

Body: Fluffy popcorn feel. Wheaty but with sweet citrus – lemon and lime. Sour grapes. Slightly milky. Menthol, almost like the taste in your mouth around gas Bunsen burners. Crab apples.

Finish: Sour orange. Dry and refreshing. White wine. Slight smoke. Menthol sweets and seaweed. Banana and finally tea.

Conclusion: It’s an odd fact, but this beer which comes from a brewery best known for its use of steam power, ends up having a slight Bunsen burner gas feel.  That’s an unusual one for you.

Aside from that oddity, it’s a refreshing beer. Slightly less bitter and wheat filled that I’ve come to expect from a saison, making up for that with more sour touches.  It’s still distinctly of the style, but with a distinct twist which aids with its refreshing qualities.

So a different take on the style that doesn’t compromise its core, a fact that could be easily attributable to the odd ingredients or the brewing style. The question is if all these little quirks make it any good. Well, it’s refreshing, easily drinkable and different.  Not the best, but good enough that is differences will make up for that to a drinker looking for a change.

Background: The Vapeur brewery is a steam powered brewery, which is an odd note in itself.  They then take this further with the unusual ingredients listed for this beer including black pepper, anise and medicinal lichen.  A beer listed in both Michael Jackson 500 recommended beers, and 100 Belgium beer to try before you die.  Finally found in Bruges after much searching for this beer.