Over the years we’ve tried a few Hopped American Beers in an Belgian style and even a few Belgian Beers inspired by American Ales. I believe this is the first hopped French Saison we’ve run across, though the inspiration is more English than American.

It appears to be imported into the US by Shelton Brothers, who have a page about it on their website, Thiriez EXTRA:

This particular beer is an interesting joint effort with an English brewery. It uses one hop varietal, a rather unusual hop grown in Kent called ‘Bramling Cross.’ The malt is from 2-row spring barley grown in France. (The English brewer is brewing to the same recipe, with the same ingredients, for sale in the U.K., under the French name.) The result has certain characteristics of an English bitter: it’s not too strong, very dry, and eminently drinkable.

And the brewery Thiriez itself has this to say about the beer:

Initialement nommée “les Frères de la Bière”, elle est le fruit d’un partenariat avec un brasseur anglais, John Davidson de la Swale Brewery, dans le cadre d’un projet Interreg.
Blonde, légère en alcool, un houblon aromatique du Kent, utilisé très généreusement lui confère son caractère unique..

“Dès l’attaque, l’amertume est là, puissante, enrobante,bien associée au malt. Structure moelleuse, bien maltée et sans lourdeur. Du houblon à l’état nature envahit le palais. Les amateurs vont en raffoler”

Bière Magazine mars-avril 2006

Exportée au USA sous le nom de Thiriez EXTRA

Quite a head on that one! I apologize to the beer geeks in the audience. Well the gentlemen at the shop did warn me to have a glass ready when I opened the bottle. Definitely one of those which would need to be poured very, very carefully to get the appropriate 3/4 inch head.

In any case, this is another selection from Healthy Spirits, I was in the mood for a Saison last Friday afternoon, and this was their recommendation. To quote, “My favorite Saison nobody is buying.” I totally agree with just about everything the Shelton Bros website has to say about this beer, pleasant, interesting character, not too strong. The sort of beer, in an ideal world, you could drink all afternoon while watching the grass grow or weeding the garden in France or Belgium.

Oven braised Steelhead filet baked on top of lemon slices, with fresh tarragon.

Mrs. Flannestad purchased a large amount of Blueberries at the Alemany Farmers’ Market, with the hopes of making a Clafoutis. We found a recipe for Blueberry and Nectarine Clafoutis on epicurious, and she made it with peaches. Delicious.

Monty is (n)ever patient.

Merry Edwards 2007 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

The wine is a mirror, clearly reflecting a pure fruit focus, characteristic of this vintage. Luminescent ruby in color, its attractive aroma is perfumed with a mouthwatering medley of cola, red raspberries, plums and blueberries. Exotic Indian spices, a touch of earth and vanilla bean add complex accents. This elegant Pinot shows an invitingly rich entry. The refined mid-palate is soft, round and supple followed by a finish that offers balanced, restrained tannins. Appealing now, this wine will surprise you with its development – the cool area parentage ensures subtle integration of flavors with increased depth and body over time.

An all right wine. Definitely fruit forward. It was just too big for the Steelhead prepration I had decided on. Rose or a hearty white might have been more appropriate.

Red Quinoa Pilaf with Carrots, Spring Onions, and Pine Nuts. Tomatero Farms Lacinto Kale with caramelized onions. I had an idea with the kale to cut the kale stems and caramelize them with the onions. I always like roasted brassicas, and this turned out similar and quite delicious.