Which author's second work out did his first? Who remembers the sophomore record by last year's big new band? That is sort of the feeling which I approach this, the declaration of the second beer style for The Session, the monthly global multi-blog-a-rama of beery goodness that was triggered by Stan. Actually, now that I think of it, it won't really be monthly until the second one gets of the ground. Which means I have to make the call as to the style we will all try on Friday, April 6 2007. Here are my thoughts so far.
First I thought "Stouts!" but, dangnation, Stan already did that one. I was a little cheesed that he did not pick a February start date and leave stouts to me as it is something of the basket weaving course of beer styles. Really...they are everywhere...everyone can get their hands on one - one brewer in Maine makes five or so and the style has the world's biggest beer party associated with it this month. Ok, ok - "let it go" I hear you say...so I will. But I would have been great at March. Just saying.
OK, so I'll make it an April beer. If Stan can tie the beer to the month, then so shall I. I was thinking that there was something I could find out about from Phil Markowski' book Farmhouse Ales but, dang it all, saison is short for saison d'ete and biere de garde is related to biere de Mars - beers for the August and September harvest or for preparing the fields in March. Dang it all!
What else? There has been plenty talk of bocks over here in the comments. Apparently they were brewed in preparation for Lent. But even that is a time mostly in March this year. Heck, didn't it started February. Plus I know zippo about bocks as this recent post proved.
Easter beers have long-standing traditions in Scandinavia, especially in Denmark, and in the Baltics in Estonia. Sinebrychoff introduced this domestically produced, dark and richly hopped Easter beverage for the first time in Finland last year. A Finnish Easter beer in the Finnish taste, said Brewery Master, Production Director Kimmo Jaaskelainen when he profiled the product for the first time last year.Fabulous! A style I can tie to the month. A style that can continue where the stouts of March started. A beer maybe four old blond guys in Northern Ontario home brew and one shop outside of the Scandinavia nation sells. Damn.
But there is a germ of an idea there: what do you really want in April? Frankly, I want an ale and one with some strength to get you warmed after a cold day turning half frozen soil. Something that can stand the keeping through the winter. Something with some flavour to match the warming of the earth. Something with an ecclesiastical aspect. I have just the thing in mind...