(Originally appeared on the Tipsy Techie Website in June, 2014. I have seen this beer in stores since, but have not tasted it. Not from a lack of desire, but there is just so much other local stuff on the shelves now, and I’ve been on a bit of a hometown support kick.)
Having overcome my fear of saisons, I had a bit more pep in my step during my next visit to the craft beer store. That’s not to say I was bounding down the aisles like Jack Skellington asking the universe “What is this?” at each new farmhouse ale. But I was open to further experimentation. And an experiment is what I decided on. A bomber bottle from New Holland Brewing grabbed my attention with the description, “Black Saison”. The beer’s name was Four Witches.
I feel I need to pause here for a bit of an observation/rant. It seems every few years the craft brewing industry gets caught up in a fad. A few years back breweries were obsessed with IBUs. Then came the Imperial Reign, when brewers doubled up their malt bills and started putting the label “Imperial” on all their new beers. And now it seems we are in the Dark Ages. Brewers are adding roasted grains into the mash to create “dark” versions of traditional styles. Sometimes, such as in the case of black IPAs, this works well and a whole new style is born. Most of the time, however, what made the original great gets lost amid the coffee and smoke. Continue reading