Most of the offerings from Haw River Farmhouse Ales are light, crisp Belgian offerings. The loquaciously-titled 7 Faces of Pepe Grano saison is no different but it really feels like a wheelhouse beer for Haw River’s stylings.
For starters, saison is a perfect fit for what Haw likes to do. Pale ales? Eh, not so much. Loved the idea of the Newlins breakfast oatmeal pale, wasn’t enthralled with the execution. It needed to pack a little more punch.
This style of beer, however, begs for a gentle flavor touch. Haw brings that deftly, sprinkling in a slew of different flavors.
Not to say it’s delicate however. There’s some serious funk (non-sour kind) on this beer; its carbonated and heady but incredibly light. I picked up a growler at Tasty Beverage, understanding my mother in law was in town and the air conditioning was on the fritz.
What I got was a cool and refreshing reprieve from my familial issues, with the added bonus of a surprisingly high ABV (7.2%).
There’s plenty of wheat and maybe a lil’ lemongrass up in your face. It could be heat stroke but I swear I tasted hints of different spices at times too.
This lines up with the description. As its brewed with “seven types of grains and seven different kinds of peppercorns.”
I love a beer that provides pleasant surprises with each sip. Consistency is important in beer, but sprinkling in multiple flavors within a single beer and making each one taste good? That’s damn hard to do. Haw does it very well here.
Just a well-flavored light beer with plenty of punch. Ideal for a hot summer evening. Or afternoon. Maybe morning if this AC situation isn’t resolved.
Image via Haw River Instagram