The picturesque coastal village of Gloucester, MA is one of the most well know fishing towns on the New England coast. Gloucester is also home to Cape Ann Brewing Company, with a brewery and pub. All of Cape Ann’s beers are named Fisherman’s ales as a tribute to the men and women who commandeer the fishing vessels that travel in and out of the harbor. Their lineup of year round and seasonal beers is available at the brewpub in Gloucester and on draft and in bottles across the state. Cape Ann’s Summer seasonal is Fisherman’s Sunrise Saison, their first attempt at a Belgian style beer. Sunrise Saison is brewed with pale barley and wheat, Nugget hops, and a significant amount of fresh rhubarb and whole strawberries. It is available on draft and in 12 oz. bottles.
Cape Ann Fisherman’s Sunrise Saison pours a reddish gold, slightly hazy with a moderate white head. The strawberry is very evident on the nose, along with some mild scents of light malt and yeasty esters. The adjunct ingredients are the first things you taste too, with strong strawberry flavor, some rhubarb and a little sweetness. The Belgian yeast is present but pretty subdued, a touch of apple and not very much spice. There is also a bit of malt, some bready flavor and a touch of sugar that might be from residual malts as well as the fruit. The beer is light and easy to drink so I was quite surprised to find it was 7.0% ABV. The finish is a touch sweet. I don’t mind the addition of a little fruit in some beer styles, the taste can complement the natural fruit flavors of yeast and hops. This one is a little overdone for me. I feel like the fruit overwhelms the other parts of the beer. If you like fruit-centric beers Cape Ann Fisherman’s Sunrise Saison is probably worth a try. Hoppy Boston score: 3.0/5.