I THINK we can all go home now – I might have found my Summer beer of 2014.
It's from Burning Sky, a brewery set up in East Sussex by Mark Tranter following his departure from Dark Star, where he had previously been head brewer.
With the aim of producing great farmhouse, barrel-aged and blended ales, Burning Sky have set out to produce a range of saisons that reflect the seasonality and providence of farmhouse-style brewing.
Saison a la Provision is their summer tavern-strength offering; aged in oak foudres with an addition of brettanomyces (think Orval) and lactobacillus (think sour ales).
Pouring cloudy, pale copper, with a huge white head driven by a sparkling effervescence, it certainly gives the appearance of a rustic saison on first impressions. The nose follows suit: sharp, rustic scrumpy, with a faint wisp of lemon sherbet acidity and gooseberry jam.
The mouth-feel is dense yet dry, with a prickly carbonation on the tongue. An initial sappy flavour develops into dry, oaky vanilla, frangipane, and coconut cream.
Cider, sour and rounded, rises in the mouth backed by a note of white wine, sweet and sharp, and verdant bitterness.
Get this while you can, because before long it'll be replaced by their next seasonal saison; Saison l'Automne is brewed with rosehips. In winter we can look forward to hawthorn berries, and when we get back to spring, we'll have their fantastic nettle-tip saison to enjoy once again. Exciting stuff.
Recommended by Michael Bates, Trembling Madness, Stonegate, York