The roots of Big Elm Brewing Company started when husband and wife team, Bill and Christine, met while working at Victory Brewing Company in PA. From there they moved to MA and opened their own brewpub, Pittsfield Brew Works. While they loved the brewing part of the business, the restaurant wasn’t really a fit. Although they initially had some issues finding a location, Big Elm Brewery opened in 2011 in Sheffield, MA. One of Big Elm’s flagship beers is 413 Farmhouse Ale. This Belgian style saison is brewed with barley wheat malt and locally sourced honey, along with chamomile, lemon zest and pink peppercorns. All of Big Elms beers are available in 12 oz cans, 22 oz bottles and on draft.
Big Elm 413 Farmhouse Ale pours a clear bright orange with a mild white head. The smell is dominated by the Belgian yeast, very spicy with some floral notes. There is a little mild malt character in the scent as well. The malts come through stronger in the taste, with bready, grainy, biscuit and whole wheat flavors along with a touch of sweetness. The yeast is also present, with significant spiciness and pepper followed by a little clove, green apple and banana. Big Elm 413 Farmhouse Ale is light and easy to drink, I was a little surprised it was 6% ABV. The finish leaves a little spice and sweetness on the tongue. Overall this is a solid and easy to drink version on a saison, good for the beach or a BBQ. Hoppy Boston score: 3.75/5.