It’s time to honor the American workforce this Labor Day (and celebrate the end of the summer) with a few refreshing beers. Saisons or farmhouse beers were traditionally brewed by Belgian farmers using leftover grains for saisonniers (seasonal workers) to drink after a long, hard day in the fields. This style of beer is typically light in color, low to mid-level on alcohol and often has a zesty kick in flavor.
You don’t need to work up a sweat for these Jersey-made saisons, just visit your local brewery or craft beer bar.
For availability at bars, restaurants and liquor stores, check Untappd and BeerMenus.
Misty Dawn Saison
Brewery: Cape May Brewing Co.
Availability: Available for growler fills at the tap room (Cape May)
Cape May is one of Jersey’s best weekend getaway towns. The brewery of the same name constantly outdoes itself with tasty, charismatic beers like Misty Dawn Saison. The orange-like taste with a peppery finish will you help transition back to the cooler days to come in September.
Availability: Available for growler fills at the tap room (Atlantic Highlands)
Leave it to the folks at Carton Brewing to come up with a saison that’s as fun to drink as it is to say. This brew is made with Chrysanthemum flowers and Sichuan peppercorns to make a beer that pairs well with sushi. You don’t know whether to drink it or plant it in a garden.
Brewery: Dark City
Availability: Available in cans and growler fills at the tap room (Asbury Park)
Not only is this everyday drinking beer crushable after a long day swinging a hammer or staring at a computer screen, it gives you a little pick me up with it’s crisp, tart finish. After drinking this funky beer, you’ll forget about your work day. The Dark City crew also produce one-off variants of Summerfield with additional fruit flavors like mango, passionfruit and guava.
Rye Pepper Saison
Brewery: Eight & Sand
Availability: Available for growler fills at the tap room (Woodbury)
Saisons are great way for newbie craft beer fans to explore the possibilities of flavor and expand their palate. This interesting brew from Eight & Sand in Woodbury uses pink, green, white and black peppercorns to create a full-on flavor bomb of spicy proportions.
The Nuggy Monster
Brewery: Departed Soles
Availability: Available in cans and growler fills at the tap room (Jersey City)
You can share this saison with friends and debate which you would rather have, a nuggy or a wedgie? While you don’t need to put somebody in a headlock to enjoy this Jersey City-made beer, the Nuggy Monster gets it’s flavor from the copious amount of nugget hops. The sweetness comes with the addition of rye and oats to offset the hoppy bitterness.
Saison du Flounder
Availability: Available for growler fills at the tap room (Hillsborough)
One of Flounder Brewing‘s year-round offerings is this low-ABV brew that has more of a wine-like quality with its subtle, yet smooth dryness. This saison won the audience prize at the 2014 NJ Big Brew Winter Beer Fest. Like Dark City’s Summerfield, you’ll find experimental varieties of this in their Hillsborough taproom year-round.
American Farmhouse Ale
Brewery: Wet Ticket
Availability: Available for growler fills at the tap room (Rahway)
New brewery on the block Wet Ticket offers up their spin on the farmhouse ale that uses Pacific Northwest hops with Belgian yeast to make their Belgium via American ale. Whether you’re honoring the end of the summer or looking forward to an Indian Summer, this beer is guaranteed to be fresh.
Brewery: Forgotten Boardwalk
Availability: Available for growler fills at the tap room (Cherry Hill)
Here’s a saison from Forgotten Boardwalk for the hop heads who need a break from IPAs and Double IPAs. This saison has the grainy dryness of a sandy beach but is as refreshing as a cool breeze off the water.
Le Parc Saison
Brewery: Double Nickel
Availability: Available for growler fills at the tap room (Pennsauken)
This Pennsauken brewery takes its name from the CB radio trucker nickname for the 55 mph speed limit. Since this is translated from French meaning “The Season Park,” it would be appropriate to bring this to your local park for a little picnic action.
Availability: Available for growler fills at the tap room (Ocean Twp.)
The Kane crew came up with this limited-run saison so that you can store it and save it for a special occasion. Whether it’s in a bottle or on tap, you’ll find this beer sweeter and more complex than most saisons because of the added wildflower honey. While we all like to chug a beer after a work day, this was designed to be a sip-and-savor type of beer.