Editorial Dept.'s picture

pFriem Family Brewers Head Brewer Gavin Lord Talks Barrel Aged Saison II

94 Rating - Exceptional
pFriem Family Brewers Head Brewer Gavin Lord Talks Barrel Aged Saison II

We spoke with pFriem Family Brewers Head Brewer Gavin Lord about Barrel Aged Saison II.

BC: Who came up with this beer’s recipe? 
Our recipe development is always a collaborative process, but longtime pFriem Brewer and Blender Shawn Grover really led the charge on inspiring our series of barrel-aged Saisons.  

BC: What’s your favorite aspect of this beer (flavor, aroma, etc.)? 
Like most Brewers, I fell in love with Saisons and Farmhouse beers pretty early in my homebrewing days, over a glass of fairly fresh Saison Dupont. Up until that point, most of the examples I could find from classic producers had been mistreated in some way between Belgium and my apartment, and I found it hard to imagine that beer could be very light, very dry and very delicate while remaining very complex. In many ways we were looking for classic Farmhouse flavors here, the aroma is fruity, spicy and earthy. We bottle conditioned to a little more than four volumes of CO2 so these aromas really leap from the glass and the mouthfeel is lively and effervescent. The finish is bone dry, and yet all of these complex flavors hang on for just a moment, Hay, straw and honey from the malt, herbal, citrusy hops, a kiss of Oak and White Wine from the barrel, and tropical fruit, spice, and white pepper from the yeast blend. My favorite aspect of this beer (and of Saisons in general) is the way these many seemingly disparate characters work together to the benefit of the whole experience.  

BC: Where does this beer’s name come from? 
It's the second in a series of Barrel-Aged Saisons, which we release annually. 

BC: Is this your “desert island beer?” 
I think I'd be pretty happy with this on a desert island, but man would I miss our Pilsner. 

BC: Can you describe this beer in 10 words or less? 
Honeydew, kiwi, earthy, effervescent, fun. 

BC: Do you know a story – or have a personal story – that revolves around this beer? 
Something that we really haven't advertised about this beer is that the primary fermentation was a co-ferment between Saccharomyces and Brettanomyces. As with many Brett-influenced primaries, it took quite awhile before we were happy with the direction it was headed. Maturation took place in near-neutral Sauvignon Blanc barrels with yet another Brett strain. The first beer in this series, (Barrel-Aged Saison I) developed a loyal following, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't lose sleep over this project at various stages of the process. It went to some really scary places before turning the corner into the beer before you.    

BC: What's a good food pairing for this beer? 
Oh, Saisons are so lovely with food. Salmon cakes, crab cakes, rib eye, shrimp salad, avocado and tomato salad. Thai Red Snapper with spicy tamarind sauce. Fried fish, clams, and calamari. Sausages work wonderfully: North African merguez, chorizo, seafood,Toulouse, bratwurst, venison, boudin noir. From Thai and Vietnamese cuisine to creamy seafood pastas, I think just about anything would taste good if washed down with a good Saison. Cheers!

Read Review