A Note on This Beer
Fair Isle Brewing just opened in 2020, but their massive following stems back years. The founders were renowned homebrewers with a talent for Farmhouse styles, AND they honed their craft via a partnership with the world-famous brewers at Jester King.
Now, Seattle’s first 100% Wild / Farmhouse Ale brewery continuously proves all the hype is well-warranted with their careful blending and creative use of Pacific Northwest terroir.
We went ahead and snagged TWO of their hyper-limited small-batch Saisons while we had the chance! Even many local Seattleites won’t get a shot at these beautiful brews!
First up is Lydia, a delectable 7.8% ABV Saison, brewed in 2019, then aged in oak puncheons for 10 months.
The brewers crafted Lydia with triticale (a hybrid of wheat and rye) and barley from farmland in southeastern Washington, creating a clean base that dances with notes of earth and grass. The oak-aging adds gentle wafts of vanilla and woody spice, mellowing out the barnyard funk that developed during fermentation. Bottled in June 2020, further natural conditioning has resulted in one exquisite Saison that sips down surprisingly smooth.
If you think that’s impressive, just wait until you get a taste of Jean-Michel.
This 6.9% ABV Saison is a blend of Farmhouse Ales all aged in oak puncheons between three, six, and nine months. After merging these Ales into one brew, the Fair Isle team dry-hopped Jean-Michel with Barbe Rouge or “Redbeard” Hops from Oregon. Combined with the blend’s notes of oaky vanilla and hay-like funk, the hops impart an enticing wild berry bouquet on the nose and sweetly fruity flavors on the tongue — reminiscent of strawberry pound cake.
We hope to get our hands on more Fair Isle brews this year, but without a doubt, today’s two special brews are a fitting addition to any Farmhouse fan’s collection.
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