Spring is in the air, and along with it comes a new line of beers from the Grapevine Craft Brewery. La Saison des Festivals, which translates from French to The Season of Festivals, is the first release in the brewery's new Bonnie Blue series.
For history buffs, the Bonnie Blue was the flag adopted by the Republic of Texas after declaring its independence from Mexico in 1836. It features a blue background with a lone star, the design of which resembles the left portion of the modern-day state flag of Texas. Seen as a symbol of freedom and independence, its use here is meant to call attention to your right to drink great beer.
As for La Saison des Festivals, you may have gathered from the name and translation that this beer is a spring seasonal saison. It's actually a fairly stylistic brew, though Grapevine adds a twist by brewing it with Mosaic hops. In terms of flavor and aroma, it's got a lasting grapefruit character that mixes with bits of Belgian funk and a hint of bubble gum, while the finish is dry and peppery with some tartness and a mild pith bitterness.
The beer drinks quickly, despite being relatively big (for the style) with an ABV of 7% and a body that leans towards medium. Bright carbonation lightens things up, though, and you'd never even notice the strength if not for a subtle warming that settles in over time.
Like other beers in Grapevine's portfolio, La Saison des Festivals is very drinkable with a nice balance. At the same time, it's not just another simplistic saison, as it has some added complexity and a subtle kick. The extra alcohol might keep it from being a poolside potation, but it's a tasty refresher that would pair well with salads or a cheese plate featuring selections with a fair amount of funk themselves.
La Saison des Festivals is rolling out to retail outlets as we speak. Look for it in 750mL bottles at better beer stores around town.