Beer Review: Dupont Foret Organic Saison

Since 1844, Brasserie Dupont has been crafting farmhouse-style ales in the western Belgian town of Tourpes. Situated on a sustainability focused farm whose founding dates back to 1759, Dupont also produces bread using the brewery’s spent grain and a trio of cheeses treated with Dupont brews. Current brewer Marc Rosier carries on the legacy of Dupont’s time honored ales – Saison Dupont, Moinette, Avec les Bons Voeux, and Moinette Biologique, the first Belgian beer to achieve status as a certified organic product. Packaged as Foret Saison in the local market, Moinette Biologique contains organic hops and barley – grown with no chemicals or pesticides, filtered artisanal well water, and Dupont’s illustrious yeast strain. With its ultra hot fermenting glory, the maturing brew thrives at 90-95 degrees, whereas most saisons only require 75 degrees to maintain happy yeast that efficiently produces alcohol. Around the beer geek campfire, there is much speculation about how this magic can be possible – multiple strains, hybrid strains, mutant red wine strains? Zymurgy sorcery?

When decanted, the hazy orange elixir supports a towering crown of fluffy head, crisp white and puffy as a cloud.

After a healthy swirl, the tulip glass erupts with the wild, estery aromas of Dupont’s signature yeast – dusty banana bubblegum and fruity floral hay.

Flavors are earthy like pinto beans and grassy hops, with a mild citrusy tartness, a mighty dose of funk, and an intensely hoppy dry finish. The 7.5% ABV comes across as a slight vanilla melon sweetness. All together the exotic blend of sensations is enough to inspire daydreams of Belgian barns with beer fermenting inside, made the old-fashioned way, in accordance to modern USDA organic standards.

To compliment Foret’s earthy, spicy tone, try a buttery soft-ripened cheese, like French triple crème brie, Camembert, Brillat Savarin, or St Andre.

In the farmhouse laden, French speaking regions of Belgium, a special sort of ale was traditionally brewed during winter and preserved through till the warm weather of summertime. Translating to season in French, Saison is a brew characterized by the earthy, rustic essence of the countryside areas where the style originates. These top fermenting ales are unfiltered, achieve carbonation through bottle conditioning, and are at their best when served at around 50 degrees.

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