Logsdon Farmhouse Ales is located in Hood River, Oregon. They are a small brewery, producing only farmhouse (Saison) style beers, and they’re made from organic ingredients. And when I say they only produce farmhouse ales, the brewery is located inside a red barn, surrounded by Schaerbeekse cherry trees imported from Belgium.
You might say it’s something Belgian beer lovers wouldn’t expect to see on Oregon’s Columbian River.
David Logsdon, the brewmaster, was also a founding partner of Full Sail Brewery; additionally, he started up Wyeast Laboratories, one of the United States’ main brewing yeast companies.
Typically, I’ve had bad luck with organic beers in the past; while the concept is nice, organic beers seem to be lacking in something very important: flavor.
Seizoen Bretta is brewed in small batches and comes unfiltered in the bottle. It is conditioned with pear juice, and is fermented with Brettanomyces, which is a wild yeast that can impart sour and funky flavors, and dryness in mouthfeel. The bottle crown is sealed with beeswax (again, from the farm), and the beer weighs in at 8% ABV (alcohol by volume).
The pour kicked up a large amount of creamy, bright white head, which rested atop a very beautiful golden-orange beer. The body was cloudy, but there weren’t any particles or sediment in suspension, at least not in the initial pour. Lacing was very nice and started just as the stubborn head began to subside; it left solid trails all the way down my glass.
The aromatics are quite engaging and complex — the yeast is the obvious star here, funky and very doughy/bready, with a basement mustiness that verges on barnyard. There’s also a peppery spice that mixes with some orange peel; the pear juice used for bottle conditioning is present, along with just a general fruity scent. As the beer warmed, a big note of pink bubblegum showed up, playing well with the yeast and spiciness.
On the palate, the initial flavors are tart pear, orange peel, and a hint of the doughy yeast yet to come; a wave of peppery spice brings on a changing of flavors, issuing out funky horse blanket and continued tart pear. The finish introduces some of the bubblegum found on the nose, along with a heated orange peel (no heat from the alcohol, just spiciness) and general dry fruitiness. Medium-bodied, the mouthfeel is thin and gritty thanks to the above average carbonation, and the ultimate conclusion leaves the tongue dried and ready for another sip.
Logsdon have made an impressive brew, especially for an organic beer. My thought process about those beers has now changed; as flavorful and complex as this is, I’ll scoff at the ‘organic’ logo no more. A delight to drink, this is probably the best Saison I’ve had to date. And now I’m sad that I only had one bottle and this isn’t distributed in my area — imagine this puppy with age!
Logsdon Seizoen Bretta Farmhouse Ale, 98 points. Price: This beer was a gift to me, received through a beer club membership I got at Christmas 2012.