New summer seasonal from Smuttynose: Smuttynose Hayseed, which they call a “country table beer”. Table beer is a Belgian concept, a low strength beer served down to as little as 1% alcohol by volume, and perhaps lower. It is meant to be enjoyed with a meal, and by all members of the family, including small children. If that thought seems anathema to you, consider that a child’s morning glass of orange juice probably has about .5% alcohol by volume through natural fermentation.
Smuttynose Hayseed, at 3.8% alcohol by volume, is outside the range of most Belgian table beers, but it is lower in alcohol than most American beers. It even qualifies by classic standards as a true “session” beer. It is brewed with authentic French saison yeast, however, and there is no denying it is a drinkable, flavorful summer refresher.
From the website:
Hayseed is our new summer seasonal offering. It is a delicious sessionable farmhouse ale, also known as a grisette. Light-bodied, yet flavorful, Hayseed is like liquid sunshine: perfect after a hike, floating in the lake, or while playing fetch with your old brown dog.
Grisette is a very rare sub-style of saison, and the name is derived from a French word for working-class women in the 17th century. It’s only the third example I’ve come across, and those 3 are rather different indeed. Ommegang Hennepin and Sly Fox Grisette are the other two in case you are wondering.
Ingredients from the website:
Malt Bill 2-Row, Pilsner, Wheat, Flaked Oats, Acidulated
Smuttynose Hayseed has 32.5 IBUs and runs $10.99 a six-pack in Georgia, about $1 or so more than average these days. My bottle says best before 10/(something illegible)/16 and I drank it on July 24th, 2016.
Smuttynose Hayseed pours to a pale yellow color with a medium short lived head of fizzy foam and a spicy nose of clovey funky yeast. Taking a sip, the beer is crisp and tart with wheat up front followed by more spicy notes of clove, hints of black pepper and a very dry tart wheaty finish.
Smuttynose Hayseed is very yeasty spicy and very refreshing, very drinkable at the alcohol content, and a welcome beer on my table for sure.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.