Drink This! Raspberry Saison by Strathcona Beer Co.

I’ll admit it: I’m a sucker for a pretty bottle or can. If a beer’s labeling catches my eye in the liquor store, I’m probably going to buy it. I don’t think I’m alone in that respect.

And so it was that I noticed Strathcona’s Raspberry Saison from two aisles over on a recent trip to grab provisions. The soft pink wax-dipped bomber with the matching pink vintage-style label is a looker, and I bit. And I’m glad I did.

Strathcona has done a great job of expanding its repertoire over the past year, and Raspberry Saison is one of their most interesting beers yet. The name does the beer a bit of a disservice, however, because there’s a lot going on here—certainly more than you’d expect from a standard saison.

Firstly, the beer was aged in a Cognac foeder—a foeder is a large wooden vat, by the way—imparting some oak and tannin depth. After fermenting with a traditional spicy saison yeast strain, it was then refermented with funky Brettanomyces—a “wild” yeast responsible here for notes of hay, wet leather and a lusciousness that helps complement the raspberries.

This big Belgian-style sour farmhouse ale could probably benefit from a stay in the cellar for a year to mellow out some of the acidity and tannin, but it’s good to go right now.

Funky, sour beers aren’t for everyone, I know—but if you’re game, give this one a try. Much like the packaging, the flavours are bold and hard to ignore.


Raspberry Saison by Strathcona Beer Co. (7.4% ABV)

Appearance: Deep, brilliant ruby red with a fleeting light pink head.

Aroma: Acidic, tart raspberry, oak, fruit, funk.

Flavour: Tart raspberry, acidic, dark fruit, oak, vinous, earthy, brandy, moderate brett funk, pepper.

Body: Light-medium body with a dry, acidic finish.

Pairs with: Mussels with white wine, stanky-ass cheese, and those loud, funky pants the Norwegian curlers are so fond of.





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