Monday, March 16, 2009


You know how many of us jump for anything numbered, foiled-wrapped, corked, or packaged in a limited edition. Double that for a collaboration between two respected, rock star brewers like San Diego’s PORT BREWING and Belgium’s URTHEL – that’s an automatic must-buy, especially if the price point is sub-$10 (this one was $9.95). I hadn’t heard about their collaborative NE GOEIEN SAISON until I saw it on the shelves, and there they are, Tomme Arthur from Port and Hildegaard Van Ostaden from Urthel, right there in a sloppy cartoon on the label. I believe this saison was brewed in the United States, and though I don’t know the back story, I’d guess it has something to do with taking the near-ancient European recipe for the saison, and gussying it up with a little Yankee hop-centric know-how.

Unfortunately the results don’t translate quite as well as you’d think. I found NE GOEIEN SAISON to be very light, very pale yellow, and too bitter for my tastes. This beer is a grassy and quite hoppy take on the workingman’s saison, with a dry finish and a lot of yeast. Yet I just couldn’t shake the feeling that it wasn’t that enjoyable of a beer to choke down, particularly not when compared with my exceptionally high expectations. I love saisons, and I love both these brewers, but I was only marginally impressed with their collaboration. Maybe I need another one. 6/10.

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