When a new brewery opens they usually only have the capacity to brew a couple of year-round beers. As the brewery grows and expands production it is crucial for them to select new recipes that complement their flagship lineup. This is where seasonal and one-off beers can come in handy. A brewer can make a series of small batch one-off brews and then get feedback from their customers with the hope that one (or more) of the beers are of high enough quality to be added to the regular rotation. Foolproof Brewing Company of Rhode Island took this path with their saison, La Ferme Urbaine. Originally a limited release beer, La Ferme Urbaine was so popular that it became a regular member of Foolproof’s lineup. Foolproof La Ferme Urbaine is a farmhouse ale brewed with pale barley, wheat, rye, oats, spelt, German hops and Belgian yeast. It is now available year-round on draft and in 12 oz cans.
Foolproof La Ferme Urbaine pours a slightly hazy straw gold with a moderate but well sustained white head. The smell is mostly Belgian yeast, spicy and fruity with a little must. There is also some wheat and rye on the nose. The yeast is very expressive in the taste as well, apple, pear, pineapple, pepper, clove and bubblegum. This is complemented by a full malt flavor, spicy rye, wheat bread and buttered biscuits. There is a touch of earthy hops for balance, but pretty low hop character overall. The beer drinks pretty smooth, but is full bodied for the style. Foolproof La Ferme Urbaine is somewhat high alcohol for a saison at 7.8% ABV, but the booze doesn’t come through in the flavor. The finish is medium dry with some lingering fruit and spice on the tongue. This is a very solid take on the saison style, complex and high alcohol but still drinkable and refreshing. Hoppy Boston score: 4.25/5.
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