Brew Day: Shareholder’s Saison (Brett Beer)

As our club has been planning our homebrew competition, Jennie wanted to re-brew and enter her recipe Shareholder’s Saison. She designed, and I brewed the first batch of Shareholder’s Saison for 2015 Ales for ALS. We didn’t enter the beer in the competition, electing to enter our more tried and true Curly’s Milk Stout.

The base beer is a pale, standard strength saison. To spice things up, Jennie decided to add a blend of spices and use White Labs American Farmhouse Blend which contains brettanomyces or brett in addition to regular brewer’s yeast. For competition purposes a saison is not supposed to use brett, and examples that do belong in the Brett Beer category.

At the time we were very happy with how the beer turned out. The original batch was a five gallon partial mash. We kegged three gallons for the event, and bottled the other two gallons. In the ensuing year and a half we have opened bottles here and there on special occasions. Over time the hop character has faded, while the brettanomyces flavor has become more assertive.

Usually when I re-brew a batch, I find something to tweak to try and make it better. As this was Jennie’s recipe, I asked her if there was anything she wanted to change and she shrugged. So I brewed the batch as closely as I could to the original batch.

This time around I bottled the entire batch. On bottling day I poured some bottle dregs from the first batch into my bottling bucket and racked the new beer on top of it. I don’t expect that to impact the beer at all. I just liked the idea of having a piece of the original batch melded in with the new batch.

This isn’t an IPA where the hop flavor and aroma will fade and the beer will fall off after a couple of months. The brett flavor will change and evolve over time.  Since we plan to cellar the beer over a period of time I printed up some cool Green Bay Packer-themed bottles.

Even though we re-brewed the beer for our club’s competition, I am also entering the beer in a competition in Ohio called Saisonfest which is a competition only for various styles of saison. I am also planning to enter the beer in a competition in Green Bay.

See the full recipe here

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