Saison season has arrived and on April 8, Allagash Brewing Co. and Oxbow Brewing Co. will be celebrating. In homage to this style of beer’s multiplicity of different flavors, colors and ingredients, Allagash is partnering with a selection of breweries, bars and brewpubs that span the country.
“Saison actually means ‘season’ in French, and refers to the fact that these beers were brewed seasonally, during winter,” said Jason Perkins, brewmaster at Allagash. “As far as ingredients go, farmers used whatever they had on hand — barley, rye, spelt or anything else. They then stored the beer to be drank during the hot summer months.”
In Portland, Allagash will be holding an event with Oxbow at their 49 Washington Ave. location near the base of Portland’s Munjoy Hill. “We’ve been friends with the Oxbow crew for years,” said Perkins. “It’s awesome to get together and brew a totally new beer. We’re definitely excited and honored to be partnering up with them for Saison Day.”
Allagash will be collaborating with Oxbow on a brand new beer — a grisette — that will be poured at the Oxbow event in Portland.
“Grisettes are like saisons’ little sister,” said Tim Adams, founder of Oxbow. “We’ve been champions of the grisette style, and it’s huge for us to be a part of the first grisette that Allagash has ever brewed.”
Starting at noon the doors will open onto fresh draft beer and bluegrass tunes. Food will be served around 2 p.m., and the festivities will continue until 11 p.m. Allagash and Oxbow will be pouring rare beers for the crowd to enjoy.
“To say that we are excited about the unique beer that we will be brewing together and releasing at the Saison Day event we are hosting with Allagash is an understatement,” said Adams. “It is truly an honor to be a part of a collaboration with friends from a fellow Maine company that we have admired and been inspired by since day one.”
Oxbow is an American farmhouse brewery that specializes in traditional Belgian-style ales with contemporary American influence. Since 2011, Oxbow has been brewing small batches of beer in a renovated barn in Newcastle, Maine. Oxbow is now produced in two locations. The beer is brewed at the brewery in Newcastle and aged, blended and packaged in Portland at Oxbow Blending and Bottling. Both locations have Tasting Rooms that are open to the public.
Allagash was founded by Rob Tod in 1995 and has grown from a one-man operation into one of the Top 50 Craft Breweries in U.S. (by sales volume) and a spot on Maine’s Best Places to Work list for six years running. Allagash brews Belgian-inspired beers and is best known for its flagship beer, Allagash White.