Autumn is solidly upon is here in Ohio, October doing her worst to shake the radiance from the trees and bow them to her feet, and we’ve been drinking plenty of fall seasonals the last few weeks. With cold weather imminent, my wife and I decided to drink a warm weather brew as a goodbye of sorts to summer, a kiss blown in promise to spring. We dug out a bottle of Jolly Pumpkin‘s iO Saison from their Baudelaire Beer series named after legendarily debauched French poet Charles Baudelaire. Setting down this literary-themed beer on the hightop table in our library crammed with books felt appropriate.
We picked up this bottle last March when we were at Jolly Pumpkin’s brewery in Dexter, Michigan. This beer was originally released in 2010 to coincide with Valentine’s Day, a bit of winking mischief from the off-kilter Michigan brewers. The saison is brewed with rose hips, rose petals, and hibiscus, and pours a beautiful ruby blush. The color might hint at Cupid’s big day, but works just as well for the color autumn’s chill brings to our cheeks. This particular bottle had enjoyed its time in the cellar–it gushed out of the bottle as soon as the cap was popped.
We sat and talked as we took our time with the beer, reflecting on the last year of our lives and ideas we have for the future. The beer’s gentle floral layers and soft tea-like tannins teased with the tartness from the yeast to provide a delightfully complex but unobtrusive companion to our candlelit talk. The brew is pillowy but full of character. We’re hoping to make it back to Jolly Pumpkin next spring, and hopefully we can pick up some more of this delightful and unique saison. Grab a bottle if you have the chance.