Like so many other beer styles, American brewers have made Belgian and French-style farmhouse ales their own.
Once, literally, the product of farmers, who made use of grains from the fall harvest to brew refreshing summer beers, the broad, often amorphous category includes the likes of traditional saison and biere de garde, with a range of tart, hoppy, earthy, funky, and somewhat sweet flavors.
Georgia Farmhouse Ale from Steady Hand Beer Co., which is slated to open a new brewery on Atlanta’s Westside in the fall, is a good example of a regional take on the style. In addition to wheat and oats, it’s made with organic grits, giving it a slightly sweet, rustic quality that adds to its complexity.
Right now, Steady Hand brewmaster Brian Sullivan is brewing Georgia Farmhouse Ale at Rivertown Brewery in Cincinnati, Ohio, and shipping kegs back to Atlanta, where it’s been showing up at bars, restaurants and growler shops.
In honor of Sullivan’s interstate dedication to his craft, Georgia Farmhouse Ale is this week’s Beer Pick.
Georgia Farmhouse Ale
Steady Hand Beer Co., Atlanta
Available on draft around metro Atlanta, and coming soon in 6-pack cans.
Falling somewhere between a Belgian saison and a French biere de garde, this unfiltered farmhouse ale is a traditional-meets-contemporary take on the style, brewed with wheat, oats and organic Georgia grits, and brightened with Cacade hops.
The result is a slightly sweet, rustic brew, with herbal and citrus notes, and a spicy touch of white pepper from what you must assume is a Belgian yeast strain. Refreshing, with a dry finish, it’s a nice beer to sip on a summer day or maybe take on a picnic.
Steady Hand brewmaster Brian Sullivan, who also happens to be a chef, recommends pairing Georgia Farmhouse Ale with cured meats, cheese and seafood. I think it might make a nice match for a salad of garden-fresh summer greens and herbs with a light lemon vinaigrette and a few dollops of goat cheese.