Day 7 – Cameron’s Brewing Company – Into the Shade Saison

Day 7 - Cameron's Brewing Company - Into the Shade Saison

Well, yesterday was a little bit of a disappointing day in respect to the particular beer.  I am hoping it’s the only one that has been oxidized.  I had the opportunity to brew yesterday which a good bit of fun.  I am brewing a Tamarind Ginger Saison with a friend for a competition and I’m pretty excited about it.  After all this advent calendar blogging is done I’ll have to do a write-up of that beer.  It was pretty fun to make and I’m cautiously optimistic for the final product.

It’s quite fitting that I brewed a Saison yesterday as today’s beer is in fact a Saison from Cameron’s Brewing Company in Oakville Ontario.  It is there Into the Shade Saison, limited edition unfiltered release.  Unfiltered beers tend to have more nutritional value, better head retention, and more flavour.

Cameron’s is a family owned craft brewery that was founded in 1997 by Cameron Howe.  Cameron wanted to introduce quality craft beer into the Ontario market and started off home brewing before quickly turning into a small business.  Cameron’s tries to remain true to these roots and brews high quality beers that have won a number of awards over the years. They do a good job of running through there history and have a timeline on their website of some important milestones. It’s worth taking a look.

Currently Cameron’s president is Bill Coleman who was originally in a senior marketing role at Molson.  He is part of the team who was responsible for the “I am Canadian” ads as well as launching Rickard’s Red.  After leaving the beer industry to join Alias in the tech industry, he found that he missed beer and brewing.  After Alias was sold to Autodesk he sought to return to the brewing community and brought his experiences to Cameron’s.

He joins the brew master, Jason Britton, who has over 20 years of brewing experience from around the world including at Amsterdam Brewery in Ontario and Walkerville Brewing Company.  He works with his brewing team, Kyle and Curtis, to produce high quality beers using the best ingredients possible.  You can take a look at there brew system and process on there website.

Saison’s are a sturdy farmhouse style of beer.  Originally brewed in Wallonia, the French speaking part of Belgium, it was a beer brewed at the end of the cool season to last through the warmer months before refrigeration was common.  It had to be sturdy enough to be able to last but also not too strong so it would quench your thirst in the summer months.   This style of beer is very complex with a lot fruit notes, spices, and earth yeast notes to the beer.    They tend to combine nice fruity notes with spice and a subtle sourness or tartness.  Usually lots of spice with mild bitterness and a dry crisp finish and only a hint of sweetness.

At one point in time Saison’s were an almost extinct beer style but they have seen a great resurgence and are commonly brewed by a number of craft breweries across Canada.  We are seeing them pop-up more and more here in Manitoba and it is really one of my favourite styles of beer right now.  Let’s see how this one tastes.

Rating:  78/100

Appearance:  Crazy.  I popped off the cap and it just started shooting everywhere and wouldn’t stop.  Once I poured it into the glass it had a golden hazy colour with very little head.
Smell: Very fruit.  Pear, apples, apricot and citrus notes. Almost smells a bit like an apple juice or a cider in many ways.
Taste: Tastes quite fruity as well.  Pear, apple, apricot notes all come through on the taste with a nice tartness and a semi-sweet finish.
Mouthfeel: Really quite carbonated.  The bubbles on this almost numb the tongue in some ways. Dry finish with that semi-sweetness from the fruit.
Overall: Quite good.  I ate it with some spicy food which really brought out a lot of the flavours and extenuated them.  It’s also not really a winter beer. In the summer this would be fantastic.  Overall it was a good, but not mind-blowing, Saison.
Do I like it: At first I found the fruit notes to be a bit much for me.  It tasted almost like I was drinking apple juice or a cider.  As I got into it more the complexity of the flavours, the apricot, pear and peppery notes came out. As I ate my supper these were intensified and I enjoyed it more as I ate.  So, yes I do like this beer, but only in particular circumstances.

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