What are we drinking this month?
Each month we’ll highlight what we’re liking with a quick rundown about why. There’s nothing really special here, it’s just what we happen to be drinking. It might be old, it might be new, it might be hard to get, it might be easy.
Take a look at previous beers of the month.
Akasha Brewing Company Medusa’s Element Saison
Beer of the Month – August 2016
Akasha Brewing Company are a Sydney based brewery who have been growing in prominence lately, despite only being around since 2015. Whenever their beer pops up, we’re keen to get on it. They’ve made themselves a great reputation of consistently making great beers.
Akasha get their name from the hypothetical fifth element. Akasha is the “unknown factor” that brings together Earth, Wind, Fire and Water. The team feel that this is a great way to go about brewing. After all, brewing beer has four main ingredients: malt, hops, water and yeast. Every beer is a combination of these four basic elements, but a great beer has that unknown factor. A great beer has Akasha.
It’s this attitude that the Akasha Brewing team bring to their beer, so it’s no wonder they make some damn good beer. Their Medusa’s Element Saison is no different.
We here at Brew in Review haven’t written a lot of saision reviews, but we drink a lot of them! We’re usually too busy getting too excited about discovering a new saison to write a review about it. We also have a pretty decent saison recipe to try out.
Without being too hyperbolic, our saison recipe and the saisons we’ve tried in the past pale in comparison to the Medusa’s Element. Here Akasha have really outdone themselves and blown many other saisons out of the water.
The defining element of any saison is the peppery element imparted by the yeast. The Akasha brewing team has managed to extrapolate this part of the style and push this flavour further than most saisons around. Saison yeast can be a bit temperamental at times, and its flavours can change drastically depending on how it’s treated during the fermenting process. Some will start at a low temperature and bring it up, some will allow it to ferment a little warm, some will keep it cool. All of this affects the way the saison’s signature element will turn out. According to the brewers, they chose to ferment a little cooler than usual, going with something closer to a pale ale temperature, and this may have brought out more of the pepper and spice saison drinkers have come to love.
The brewery didn’t back off on the hops either. Thankfully, they didn’t destroy the yeasty spice with bitterness, but they did allow other hop profiles to come through. They chose to do away with more traditional old world hops that, while often give a saison a lot of its charm, can sometimes make them a little repetitive if not done properly. Instead, the brewery went with a combination of American and Australian hops to bring out citrus and tropical fruits that always match so well with a refreshing style like a saison.
All of this creates a very aromatic beer that’s almost more fun to sniff than it is to drink. That being said though, the beer goes down a treat.
At 7.1% ABV, the beer is on the strong side, especially for the style, but they do hide it well. The body of the beer is a little bigger than we like to see for what we like to think of as a lighter and more refreshing style, but this is the direction many saisons are taking these days. This kind of body is needed for a beer with higher alcohol like this. That being said, the beer still has a lighter body than other styles of similar strength. That’s just the way saisons are.
The trouble is, however, that this is such a tasty beer, and it’s not too heavy in the belly, it could be very easy to sink a few of these. The beer balances the simpleness and complexity that make the style so charming. It’s easy to dive into the Medusa’s Element and get lost in its more subtle flavours, or just sit back and enjoy some of the more bold parts of this beer. Alternatively, it’s a good one to just sit down and drink.
It appears, in the long run, that Medusa actually has quite a few elements to her. Either way, it won’t turn the drinker to stone, unless they’re simply stunned at how great this beer is.
Thanks Akasha for formulating this great beer. It’s a saison for any weather that will just keep on giving. Keep up the good work.
This review was part of our regular beer of the month series, but we also have general craft beer reviews.