Yep, it's Friday! And it's time to start feeling good again.
I've just returned from a three-day jaunt over to San Francisco, and I'm happy to be able to sleep in my own bed again. Beds in cheap hotels are the worst! Of course in San Francisco a cheap hotel is anything under $150. Sonsabitches.
Anyway, there's a good storm going here in Gainesville, so sit back, put on your favorite Black Sabbath or Ronnie James Dio tune (personally I'd go with The Wizard from Sabbath), and get ready to enjoy an delicious beer while listening to the thunder roll on in(sorry, I forgot to mention the all too familiar cliche of AC/DC, but you were thinking of it anyway, so I was gonna skip it).
So what should we drink tonight to celebrate the stormy weather? Why don't we try this little saison farmhouse ale I picked up? Today's Weekend Beers Report presents, Le Merle from the North Coast Brewing Company's American Artisan Series.
Le Merle Haggard, maybe.
This beer inspired by the traditions of the Flanders region (okelee dokelee) should be a fine treat on this dark and dreary Friday evening.
The Le Merle pours into the wide-mouthed glass and creates an outstanding orange glow with a light and fluffy head that it wears well, just like an old-timey guy wears his top hat and monocle(Bully!). Go on, stick ya nose in there!
The beer bursts with the aromas of pineapple, orange, passion fruit and a wee touch of banana. I'm always amazed at the way a yeast strain can produce those kinds of smells. I can assure you, there were no fruit additions made during the brewing process.
A nice bit of the brew goes down the hatch...
... and yes, we have a winner! One of my favorite things about a good farmhouse ale is the abundance of natural carbonation. This brew features tons of tiny little bubbles that tickle the throat as this refreshing and flavorful ale makes its way to my tummy. The flavor is slightly fruity... mostly citrus with just a tiny touch of bitterness and a nice dry finish.
Le Merle is an excellent treat for those wanting to sample an excellent American version of a saison. North Coast once again gets the job done.
Go out and get yourself a bottle. Only $7.99 at Ward's in Gainesville.
Overall score of Le Merle: 4.5 out 5.0.