Farmhouse Ales

Farmhouse Ales have been brought to life in American brewing but this style of beer goes much farther back. The name farmhouse ale comes from the type of beers that were brewed on farms. Farmers would throw whatever grain and other ingredients they had on hand in a batch of beer.

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Another name for the farmhouse ale is saison which means seasonal. During the hot summer months, workers needed to hydrate and since clean water was so scarce beer was used to satisfy their thirst. Many of the batches of beer were made with low alcohol content so the workers could drink it without getting too drunk.

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Though farmhouse ales are no longer brewed on farms the principle behind this type of beer is still alive. Each farmhouse ale varies from brewery to brewery and they are each experimenting with something new and different. The first farmhouse ale I tasted was not my favorite but as I continued to appreciate the style of beer and to try more, I became a fan.

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Farmhouse ales are typically fruity but also can be somewhat tart and/or dry. Many contain spices and overall there are earthy tones from the Belgian yeast used. Tank 7 by Boulevard Brewing (Kansas City, MO) is a farmhouse ale I really enjoy. It comes in 4-packs and bombers. It is a little more expensive but it is so delicious!

Due to the complexity of the spices and flavors in farmhouse ales, and specifically the Tank 7, they are great paired with food. It is always fun to see what flavors can be pulled out of the beer when eating it with certain foods 🙂

Boulevard Food Pairings: Herb-roasted Chicken, Pork, and Taleggio Cheese

Music For Your Ears:

~Time of the Season by The Zombies

More To Love:

Elevation Beer Co.

Elevation Beer Co.

Funkwerks Saison

Funkwerks Saison

Former Future Brewing

Former Future Brewing


20 responses to “Farmhouse Ales

  1. The first one I tried was Saison Dupont, exactly for the reason you listed, we wanted to pair it with a light chicken and salad dinner.

  2. I love this post Lilly Sue. Mmmm, spicy fruity beer. Sounds quite nice, regardless of the fact that I’m not a farmer 🙂 Now you’ve got me wondering about farmhouse beers in Australia. Not sure which labels were originally brewed for that purpose, I might do some research. The Tank 7 sounds good. I’ll look out for it! xx

    • Thank you! Well, the original style died completely I believe but then I know Belgium and France brought it back and then it has spread to America. I would assume Australian farmers maybe did something similar- I would be interested to know if you find some farmhouse ales! 🙂

      • I’ll have a bit of a hunt around and let you know. Do you get much Australian imported beer in the US? We get quite a few American porters in the liquor stores, and Sierra Nevada, Budweiser etc. Will keep you updated if I find anything interesting x

      • I have not had any but have been recommended some to try that I can request for my liquor store to order but I have not done so yet!! Need to 🙂

  3. Yes yes! Farmhouse Ales are a wonderful thing. Here are some of my favorites: Saison Dupont (the king!), Boulevard Tank 7, Lost Abbey Red Barn Ale, Great Divide Colette, Victory Swing Session, and Green Flash Saison Diego.

  4. Hey, meant to tell you that I *finally* found a store that sells Elysian’s Avatar Jasmine IPA! I tried it on Friday and really enjoyed. Definitely a good intro for me into the world of IPAs…

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