Session Raspberry/Lemon Verbena Saison — The Local Seven

So, I’m hoping you knew this already, but this weekend it’s Session! This is cause for excitement. Session is always a great festival, featuring only craft breweries. This year it’s going to be at Yonge and Dundas Square (!) and promises to be the biggest iteration of it yet. It also kicks off OCB Week, which in itself is cause for excitement. I’ll be there, and you most certainly should be too. Tickets are still available for $39.50, or you can just show up and pay $50 at the door. You can get more info here: Anyway, to celebrate this, and to help promote it, a group of seven local craft beer bars teamed together with Sam Corbeil (brewmaster at Sawdust City, brother of Session co-founder Jed Corbeil, and possessor of a lovely mustache) to produce a beer, Session Raspberry/Lemon Verbena Saison. Saisons are lovely Belgian-style beers, that are perfect for the warmer months, and were, in fact, made for just that. Historically, farmers would make them in the colder off months, partially to provide work for their farmhands, and also partially to provide them with refreshing beer through the summer. That the beer is a saison is fitting, as I spent most of session last year guzzling saisons to combat the obscene heat and humidity.

Session Raspberry/Lemon Verbena Saison — The Local 7

Session Raspberry/Lemon Verbena Saison — The Local 7

From a caged and corked 750ml bottle, Session Saison pours a hazy gold with just the lightest touches of pink. A big fluffy 4″ head (with a *very* gentle pour) drops to a soapy layer of bubbles that definitely frost the old mustache. Aroma is beautiful, classic saison spices, big floral notes, sweet graininess, raspberry, and just a touch of lemon. Taste is a study in excellent balance. More big Belgian spices showing a bit of pepper and coriander, a little fruitiness that is again, more raspberry than lemon, and is slightly tart, some floral hoppiness, and just a touch of sweet malts. Such a lovely beer. It’s hugely dry, and has a huge bubbly carbonation, as a bottled saison should. Finish is mainly spicy and dry, with just a trace of tart raspberries and a hint of leafy lemon. A wonderful saison for summer.

Cheers to Sam and the Local Seven!

Buy Session Raspberry/Lemon Verbena Saison

Available now at the LCBO (#383927), and undoubtedly will be available at Session tomorrow and Saturday. Also, all 7 bars that contributed have their own small batch to serve at their own location.

Drink It With

Grilled shrimp skewers, maybe even done as Thai satay. The spices and tart fruitiness will add depth and complexity to the shrimps, and ideally you will be grilling them outside, sipping a bottle of saison. For cheese, go for a nice ripe chevre, or maybe the lovely Black Sheep from my heroes at Monforte Dairy.

About The Brewers

The Local 7 is a group of craft beer bars in Toronto, who have come together in support of The Griffin Session Toronto and Collaboration Nation to produce this well-balanced spring saison brewed by brewmaster Sam Corbeil.

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