Each week throughout the football season I'm going to suggest a good beer for the ubiquitous pre-game tailgate. Let's be honest, with tailgates it's not always top quality that you're looking for. To steal a phrase from the heinous beer terrorists at Budweiser, you want "drinkability." (or what a real beer connoisseur calls "a session beer") So, be warned, these may not be "the best" beers around. But, in the words of Dave Chappelle as Samuel L. Jackson "IT'LL GET YOU DRUNK!"
Earlier this week, we were all treated to the rare cosmic occurrence that is a 'Super Blood Moon.' Ominous in title, the totally not scary combination of a supermoon and lunar eclipse appeared in the sky for the first time since the early 80s, not to return until 2033. To celebrate the event, I'm taking inspiration from the bloody-orange orb in our sky, and picking Upslope Brewing's Blood Orange Saison as this week's gameday beer-o-the-week.
After two weeks of garbage picks, both in acknowledgement of the quality of opponents and my mood, I've returned to the land of good beer. One from Boulder-proper, too. Upslope, long my favorite brewery in town, hit this seasonal special release out of the park, combining the exotic flavors of blood oranges and Mandarina Bavaria hops (so en vogue right now) in a satisfying take on the classic and erratic Saison style.
Saisons (meaning 'season' in French) are a diverse family of beers, generally taking their direction from the old Belgian farmhouse styles. Brewed in the winter by off-season farmers, these ales were made for summer consumption - easy drinking and flavorful, they're meant to help beat the heat. Expect spicy yeast tones with a fruity nose on top of a malt base of the brewer's choice. As I've gotten into ryes in the past - well known for their spicy profiles - saisons fit right in, peppering the tongue with lots of bright flavors.
Here, Upslope excels, playing off the spicy hints of the style with the tart and citrus taste from the blood orange. Combine with floral hop notes on the nose and tongue, and it's a very pleasing brew. Dry on the finish, it'll get out of the way quickly, inviting you just to keep on sipping. At 6% ABV, you can do just that, splitting a six-pack with a friend or two as the night envelops the tailgate fields. Those in Colorado should easily find plenty at any 'good' liquor store -- try it, and thank me later.
Happy Friday! Go Buffs, beat the Ducks!