Skip to content
Craft Beer Times | Exploring Traditional & Agricultural Influences on Contemporary Saisons in Craft Beer & Brewing

Exploring Traditional & Agricultural Influences on Contemporary Saisons in Craft Beer & Brewing

Exploring Traditional & Agricultural Influences on Contemporary Saisons in Craft Beer & Brewing

Exploring Traditional and Agricultural Inspirations for Contemporary Saisons


When it comes to craft beer, nothing quite captures the essence of traditional and agricultural brewing like the style of Saison. Saison, meaning “season” in French, is a versatile beer that originated in the Wallonia region of Belgium. This article delves into the rich history and influences behind Saisons, highlighting its roots in the farming community and the impact it has had on contemporary brewing practices.

The Origins of Saison

Saison is believed to have originated in the 18th century, brewed by farmers during the colder months to be consumed by seasonal workers during the harvest season. These workers known as “saisonniers” were mostly agricultural laborers who needed sustenance and refreshment after toiling in the fields. The beer was brewed with local ingredients and provided hydration to the workers while also being a source of nutrition due to its higher alcohol content and robust flavors.

Agricultural Influences

Saisons were unique as they were brewed using ingredients that were readily available on the farms, such as grains, herbs, and spices. Farmers would often add whatever they had on hand to the brewing process, resulting in a wide range of flavor profiles. Some popular additions included coriander, orange peel, and even locally grown hops. These agricultural influences created a distinct character for Saisons, making them a true reflection of the terroir and the land they were brewed on.

Contemporary Brewing Practices

While Saisons have evolved over time, modern craft brewers have embraced the traditional and agricultural inspirations behind this style. Today, you can find a wide variety of Saisons that pay homage to their roots while incorporating innovative brewing techniques and unique ingredients. Craft brewers experiment with different types of yeast strains, fruits, and spices, resulting in Saisons that push the boundaries of flavor and complexity.

Pairing Recommendations

With their complex and refreshing nature, Saisons are incredibly versatile when it comes to food pairings. Their spicy, fruity, and earthy flavors make them an excellent accompaniment to a range of dishes. Saisons pair well with grilled meats, seafood, farmhouse cheeses, and even spicy cuisine. The effervescence and acidity of the beer cut through rich and fatty flavors, cleansing the palate and enhancing the dining experience.

In Conclusion

Saisons have a storied past deeply intertwined with agriculture and tradition. These beers continue to inspire and captivate craft brewers worldwide, showcasing the connection between brewing, terroir, and local ingredients. Whether you’re a fan of Saisons or new to this style, exploring the traditional and agricultural inspirations behind these beers will surely deepen your appreciation for the craft and the flavors that can be achieved.


Dustin is a writer about craft beer and a professional brewer in the city of Chicago. He has written for several magazines and has over a decade of experience in the beer industry. He is currently working on a book about the history of beer in Chicago.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *