On a night like this, it’s time for something crisp… for something hoppy but yet… different.

I walked into another one of my favorite haunts in Maine – The Lion’s Pride – after a late night at work and was happy to hear that they were in the middle of celebrating hoppy beers.

“Hoppy sounds great,” I thought.

Always slightly overwhelmed by the excellent tap list there, I was able to make a choice rather quickly by this beer’s description – “Sage and Citra Hopped Saison” I ordered one, and Lee brought me the glass.

I leaned over, smelled it, and smiled. Sage – like it was coming from a favorite family recipe – dominated the crisp, clean aroma, accented by lemon notes from the citra hops. It smelled just beautiful an just like a cool summer night should smell.

I don’t know a whole lot about Stillwater, actually. There is a bottle of another of their beers in my fridge that I haven’t tried yet. The website is really interesting – just a “portfolio” of beers and a small amount of information. The labels on the brews are pretty interesting also. Some feature turn of the century anatomical art, others recall carnival themes or tattoo art from the 1930s. Really interesting. I want to meet this brewer. (The website is here).

I leaned in to take a sip and closed my eyes. I was amazed by the dryness, the hops, the lemon overtones, the ever so slightly peppery but just clean taste. This is exactly what I was looking for, even if I didn’t know I was looking for it. It tastes like it would go well with savory food – I am dying for some brie to pair this with, honestly. The taste leaves a dry and peppery aftertaste but is somehow more delicate than other saisons. Really quite a find.

This was an unexpected find on this heavenly beer list. I recommend both finding this brew (it is farily well distributed for such a seemingly small operation) and consuming it on the type of night where you can hear the leaves rustling on a breezy summer evening, sitting on the porch listening to the wind.