Main Street of Vancouver has multiple breweries to offer, and one of the best is that of Main Street Brewing. They keep their beer and branding relatively simple, but sometimes the simpler the better. The beer they put out is solid, so the single hopped Grisette should be right on track with those standards.
B.C. Beer Reviews: Main Street Brewing – Single Hopped Grisette
The Grisette is a beer style that is open to interpretation, mainly because there is very little information on what it originally was. However, the modern version has it slotted as a lighter-bodied and slightly less farmhouse style version of a saison. All the notes of a saison, but in a ‘sessionable’ version.
Let’s crack this one and see how it matches up with the modern interpretation.
This beer is a golden colour, and it is very clear. This one is the literal definition of liquid gold and clarity. You can see straight through this one. Very bright golden colour, and definitely does not match up with a typical Saison or Farmhouse Ale.
The first note you get is very close to that of a typical Saison/Farmhouse Ale. You get the barnyard/hay aroma that is common for the style. When taking into account that a Grisette is meant to be a lighter version of a Saison, this is not at all surprising and is well within the realms of what the style is believed to have.
It is not strong at all, but there is a noticeable sweet note that is very likely imparted by the malt/grain bill. It is a nice note to help to balance out the powerful barnyard/hay note that dominates the nose/aroma of this beer.
Although the notes of this beer are up for creative interpretation, this one hits what the style is believed to be quite well. A Grisette is supposed to be a lighter Saison, and that is exactly what this beer is. A thinner and smoother version with a slightly less powerful barnyard aroma than that of a traditional Saison.
There is a noticeable note of pear in the taste of this beer. The combination of the hops and the yeast makes for an interesting duo, coming out tasting like a fresh pear, which is an extremely pleasant note to start this beer off. This is also very surprising as you get almost none of this in the nose/aroma.
Despite it not being as strong as it is in the nose/aroma, the barnyard and hay notes come through again here. It is lighter than a traditional Saison/Farmhouse Ale, but it is still very present in this beer. This note adds another layer of complexity to this interesting style.
Other than those two notes there is not much else going on in this beer. There is a very light sweetness imparted by the malt/grain bill, but that is the only other note that is present here. A simple and interesting take on a lesser known style of beer.
The branding/labeling of this beer is quite nice. Main Street Brewing is showing off the creativity of the city, both on the label and in the beer they have put into the bottle. Showing off and supporting the community is always a cool thing, and something every brewery should do. Main Street gets two thumbs up for this one.
The head this beer pours out of the bottle is well above average, which is not at all surprising given the similarities it has to a Saison. The retention of the head is equally as impressive as it sticks around for quite a while after pouring the beer into the glass.
There is a fairly significant amount of lacing on the glass from this beer. It is not thick patches, but rather a light lacing here and there that show that there was a decent amount of hops used in the brewing process.
The carbonation level is very noticeable in this one. This beer is borderline effervescent and could be defined as crisp. There are cascading bubbles that are noticeable as soon as the smallest amount of beer is in the glass.
The traditional notes of a Saison/Farmhouse Ale are noticeable, both in the nose/aroma and the tasting notes. There is a very present note of pear in the taste that is very pleasant and adds a layer of complexity to this beer. Thin in body and easy-drinking with an effervescent and crisp finish.
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Main photo by Nic Hendrickson, Lastword Inc., all rights reserved