Big Beer Series: Farmhouse Ale (Smuttynose Brewing Company)

Style: American Farmhouse Ale brewed with Pineapple Sage

7.2% ABV

15 IBU’s

OG: 13° Plato

Hops: Saaz

Malt: North American 2-Row, Wheat

Yeast: White Labs WLP-565 Belgian Saison Yeast

Other Ingredients: Pineapple Sage

Brewery’s Note: “Our Farmhouse Ale is an homage to traditional European beers brewed for itinerant seasonal farm workers or “Saisonaires.” A unique Belgian Saison yeast is used to impart a mixture of spicy, fruity, & earthy notes along with lipsmacking palatability. We’ve tweaked the recipe for our Farmhouse Ale a little bit this year, adding a small amount of pineapple sage. The result is slightly amplified fruit character, that really adds to the flavor (but don’t be afraid that we’ve completely recreated the beer).

The beer pours a pale, copperish orange with hints of gold. The beer forms a thin head of eggshell-white bubbles that leave a thin, yet solid sheet of lacing on the sides of the glass. In body, the beer is oddly crystal clear. It has a decided transparency and cleanness of body that is odd for the style. On the nose, however, this beer screams farmhouse ale. Rustic toast meets dried hay, meets corn flake, and then meets spicy hops. When you really shove your nose in it, banana and clove enter the nose to add a slight hefe twist. When I dig further, I start to get some overripe pineapple and very faint peach. On the tongue, the beer tastes fruity, and slightly tart acidity, with a soft balancing bitterness that leads into a very dry finish. This bad boy was dried out to a near full attenuation that nicely pops the more rustic aspects. In flavor, the beer begins as peach and pineapple, mixing in with corn flakes and wheat bread crust. Things take a slight twist towards near-lemon fruit tartness in the middle and briefly with the finish, while spicy hops and peppery esters linger into the aftertaste from nearly the beginning of the sip. As it warms, some slightly unpleasant flavors do establish themselves with the finish, jumping from banana to mustier funk that could turn ugly if this aged. In the mouth, the beer feels on the light side of medium in body with lighter carbonation that still keeps the beer crisp on the tongue. In mouthfeel, the beer feels crisp, yet slightly oily with a decidedly dry/sticky finish. When the beer leaves, the mouth is left dry, but with plenty of saliva pouring from the edges. Overall, this is a rustic, funky saison, and my favorite of Smutty’s Farmhouse iterations. It’s got some really nice yeast character, though some things might hint at rougher musty flavors to come. I do wish the hops were a little more prevalent, but that is my personal taste in saison/farmhouse ales. As is, she’s a nice summer drink with plenty of complexity to interest the tongue.

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2 thoughts on “Big Beer Series: Farmhouse Ale (Smuttynose Brewing Company)

    1. True. Its a great Farmhouse Ale, but Saison Renaud is one of my favorites. Smuttynose Farmhouse is a good beer, but I think the pineapple sage and funkier must demands sweeter flavors to be paired with, despite its dryness (I’m thinking along the lines of a fruit salad with something savory added in…). To be fair to the Smutty Farmhouse though, I think it would put up a venerable fight with the pesto and pasta, I just feel Renaud would play even better with it. (For anyone reading these comments that is completely confused, go check out The Wandering Gourmand’s excellent monthly food pairing challenge at ) (Also vote for me when the voting comes!)

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