Beer: Swing Session Saison
Brewer: Victory Brewing Company
Style: Saison/Farmhouse Ale
Description: Swing Session Saison by Victory pours a very light gold color with a billowing white head that quickly dissipates but leaves behind great lacing on the glass. The aromas from this beer are a combination of coriander, pale malt, Belgian yeast, clove, and white grape sweetness. The taste follows the nose almost exact with the addition of slight notes of pepper spice along with slight citrus notes in the way of orange and lemon. The Belgian flavoring comes through as well in the form of the typical Belgian funk, which is a slight sourness, but nothing off-putting. This beer also follows along the lines of a standard saison in the area of a nice crisp and dry finish. The only area this beer seems to be lacking in is in the body, which you would expect in such a low ABV beer, but the light body does not detract at all from the subtle complexities going on within the beer.
Food pairing: Saisons in general are one the best beers for food pairing, but the overall characteristics of the particular saison need to be taken into consideration, and Swing Session Saison is no different. Swing's light character and flavor profile of this beer make it the perfect accompaniment for a wonderful summer salad with a citrus-based salad dressing, and if you are a seafood fan, pile on some shrimp. This truly is a session beer and is wonderful for a light afternoon of drinking with a light lunch. Swing is also the perfect date for a lovely salmon dish with a side of fresh greens beans, all covered with a squeeze of lemon and a dash of pepper, and you will have a true afternoon delight! One warning with this particular beer, though – stay away from any dishes that are highly spiced or have intense flavors, as these will quickly overwhelm and drown out the flavors of this beer. Think light fair with vegetables and you cannot go wrong.
Is it worth trying? Yes, especially for those who love Belgian beers but are slightly tired of the high ABV offerings which are typically associated with Belgians. This beer is another session style beer, something covered previously in these articles, and I suspect we will see many more to come as the warmer weather approaches. While this is a session beer, it is true to the original style of saisons, something covered in the accompanying article this week. Swing is a great lawnmower beer for the warmer weather, so this summer, do yourself a favor and have a couple bottles of Swing Session Saison on hand while you are doing your yard work. Not only will you be enjoying a delicious beer, but you will be giving a tasty nod to history!
Rating: W W W W
Where can I get it? Currently available in bottles at: Exit 190 Beer & Deli, Dickson City; J & H Beer, Plains; Backyard Ale House, Scranton; Krugel's Georgetown Deli & Beer, Wilkes Barre; and Sabatini's Pizza, Exeter.
Remember, enjoy responsibly! Cheers!
-Derek Warren is a beer expert, avid homebrewer, and beer historian. Derek can be reached at NEPABeerGeek@gmail.com.