The Specs: Lighthouse Brewing Co. (Victoria, B.C.), Jackline Rhubarb Grisette
5.5 per cent ABV, 650mL
Table saisons (a.k.a. grisettes) are popping up fairly consistently this spring. Parallel 49’s excellent Brews Brothers 12 pack offered not one but two takes on the style, and now here’s another Victoria brewery with an offering.
From what I understand, a table saison is meant to fill a place similar to that of a session ale — light, eminently quaffable, and made to be put away in large volumes. With a little more flavour than their session counterparts, I’m all for a table saison craze. Please, brewers of B.C., I will take as many of these as you throw my way.
(Of course, only in the craft brewing industry would a beer with this much alcohol be considered a “table” style, which Google informs me ought to clock in at less than two per cent ABV. Then again, would you put down your hard-earned dollars on classy near beer? Yeah, me either.)
Lighthouse’s offering is the second rhubarb-based beer I’ve tried from the company, and compared to last year’s Rhubie Rhubarb Ale, a big step up.
Where Rhubie required a certain amount of straining to find the main ingredient, Jackline is up front. The beer captures both the tartness and bitterness particular to fresh rhubarb, rounding them out with some sweet wheat. Unlike some saisons I’ve tried (Central City’s excellent Detective Saison springs to mind), this one doesn’t go in for spicy notes, but the rhubarb consistently interesting on its own, giving the beer an almost citrus, almost sour quality all its own. Add in plenty of bubbles and a good, clean finish, and you’ve got an entirely refreshing brew.
Really, you’ve got to give Lighthouse the nod for innovation in the field of rhubarb beer if nothing else. These guys are pretty much blazing the trail alone, and our pints are better for it.