This time of year can be tricky for beer drinkers. One day it might be 45 degrees and you’re bundled up as it drizzles throughout the afternoon; another day might feel more like August than October. Your beer choices should fit this in-between time of year — that’s why we love classic Saisons and farmhouse ales.

Saison is the French word for season. In the simplest terms, this style is a fruity, sometimes spicy, yeasty pale ale. It’s often lower in alcohol but that’s not always the case. The style’s versatility makes it perfect for the early fall. Grab a lower ABV Saison on a warm day and a slightly higher one on a cooler day. Go fruitier when the sun is shining and spicier when it’s grim outside.

(While similar, a farmhouse ale isn’t necessarily a Saison. The term is more of an all-encompassing catchall for Saisons, gueuzes, bière de gardes, and a few others. They’re all pale ales known for their crisp, fruity, yeasty, funky flavors.)

To find the best beer options for the season, we looked to the professionals for help. We asked a handful of well-known beer experts to share their favorite picks for the best Saisons, farmhouse ales, and all-around funky beers for early fall. Check them all out below.

Saison Dupont

Saison Dupont

Patrick Chavanelle, research and development brewer at Allagash Brewing Company in Portland, Maine

ABV: 6.5%
Average Price: $11.99 for a 750ml bottle

Why This Beer?

What better Saison to drink in the fall than the epitome of the style in the Saison Dupont. The aroma is a burst of hay, citrus fruit, cloves, nutmeg, and earthy funk. While it’s complex, it’s the phenolic spice character from the beer’s fermentation that reminds me of apple picking in the fall.

It’s a fairly amazing feat for a beer to be around for over 175 years and a testament to how great this brew is.

Two Brothers Domaine DuPage

Two Brothers

Todd Bellmyer, head brewer at Wynkoop Brewing in Denver

ABV: 5.9%
Average Price: $10.99 for a six-pack

Why This Beer?

Domaine DuPage by Two Brothers Brewing Company in Warrenville, Illinois, has always been one of my favorite farmhouse beers. It’s more on the bier de garde side — not quite as spicy as a Saison — but still has those classic farmhouse tones of fresh bread and malt to really make it enjoyable to drink as the weather gets colder.

Allagash Saison

Allagash

Patrick Ware, co-founder and head of brewing ops at Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co. in Phoenix, Arizona

ABV: 6.1%
Average Price: $12 for a four-pack

Why This Beer?

Allagash Goulship if you can find it. This one is really fun. The terroir of their coolship and overall ethos displays beer to the masses in a way no other brewery has accomplished. This beer is a unique take on traditional spontaneous beer which is a true expression of the American brewer’s creativity. Earthy, tart and light caramel lend to the ultimate fall drinking experience. But since it’s difficult to find, I’ll opt for Allagash Saison with its slightly peppery, yeasty, fruity flavor.

Brooklyn Sorachi Ace

Brooklyn

Julie Walker, vice president of experiences for City Brew Tours

ABV: 7.2%
Average Price: $18 for a 750ml bottle

Why This Beer?

Not all farmhouse ales are created equal. Brooklyn Brewery’s Sorachi Ace showcases the funk of this unique Japanese hop. In many ways, it’s a traditional Saison, with the hue of unfiltered golden sunshine and a traditional yeast profile. However, the use of Sorachi Ace hops in the boil and while dry hopping brings out hints of lemon, herb, and spice that round out the beer perfectly.

This quirky beer toes the line between summer and fall, making it the perfect choice for this time of year.

The Lost Abbey Ten Commandments

The Lost Abbey

Michael Mathis, head brewer at Cascade Brewing Co. in Portland, Oregon

ABV: 11%
Average Price: $13 for a 750ml bottle

Why This Beer?

Ten Commandments by The Lost Abbey. It is a big beer in many ways, but it is very rewarding in flavor that fits the fall season extremely well. This beer showcases dark fruits like raisin and plum, which feels perfect for fall and complements the Saison yeast characteristics perfectly. There is also rosemary added to this beer that adds a layer of spice that is inviting and complex without being overpowering.

Dupont Avec le Bons Voeux

Saison Dupont

Brandon Capps, owner and head brewer of New Image Brewing in Arvada, Colorado

ABV: 9.5%
Average Price: $11.99 for a 750ml bottle

Why This Beer?

Towards the end of fall, when the weather starts to really cool, I always look for Avec les Bons Voeux, Dupont’s Imperial Saison. While I drink their classic Vieille Provision year-round, the Bons Voeux is a great one for the shorter and colder days. It has enough sweetness to keep it from being harsh at 9.5% ABV, a tricky balance when you’re playing with dead-dry Saison yeast and higher alcohol. There’s also a complexity; it’s rich, spicy, grassy, and fruity, each sip delivers more flavors and the beer changes quite a bit as it warms, especially as the higher carbonation settles.

It’s the perfect transition between the lighter beers of summer and the winter snifter-stout season.

Orval Trappist Ale

Orval

Dave Bergen, co-founder and director of brewing at Joyride Brewing Company in Edgewater, Colorado

ABV: 6.2%
Average Price: $6 for a 12-ounce bottle

Why This Beer?

It’s more of a Belgian pale, I suppose, but whatever. I’m still saying Orval. Maybe it’s because I just realized I haven’t had one in a while and now I really want one. Anyway, Orval is a beautiful beer with layers that keep revealing themselves the more you look. Orange and leather, with some funk emerging and bitterness subsiding later on if cellared — which I recommend.

De La Senne Taras Boulba

De La Senne

Colby Cox, co-founder of Roadhouse Brewing Co in Jackson Hole, Wyoming

ABV: 4.5%
Average Price: $4 for a 12-ounce bottle

Why This Beer?

Taras Boulba from De La Senne Brewery. This beer, to me, is perfect. It’s a light, hoppy beer — by Belgian standards — and has all the Belgian yeast flavors of a Saison or farmhouse ale without either the hops or the yeast dominating the beer. It’s low alcohol, highly effervescent, and perfect for the lingering sunshine of fall afternoons.

Fantôme Saison

Fantôme

David “Zambo” Szamborski, brewmaster at Paperback Brewing in Glendale, California

ABV: 8%
Average Price: $17 for a 25-ounce bottle

Why This Beer?

When the word classic Saison is mentioned, everyone leans Dupont. Yes, it is a great beer that really sets the bar, but there are so many directions you can take this dry spicy style. A small brewery out of Europe called Fantome is one of my personal favorites.

The Fantôme Saison pushes the boundaries of tradition with higher alcohol and massive fruity flavors. They also put out many other variations of this once classic style… they taught me to never be afraid to experiment and innovate.

Sante Adairius West Ashley

Sante Adairius

Justin Slanina, research and development brewer at Urban South HTX in Houston

ABV: 7.3%
Average Price: $29.99 for a 750ml bottle

Why This Beer?

Surviving the cooler months of fall and winter in Houston warrants a treat your self beer. I reach for bright and fizzy during our less treacherous cooler months and West Ashley from Sante Adairius Rustic Ales is my go-to. A perfectly tart and balanced Saison with a perfect fruit stone character, this is a remarkable liquid that makes you wish you had a case to splurge drink.


As a Drizly affiliate, Uproxx may receive a commission pursuant to certain items on this list.

Source: https://uproxx.com/life/craft-beer-experts-tell-us-the-best-saisons-and-farmhouse-ales-to-drink-this-fall/

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