Liquid Assets: Southern Basil Farmhouse Ale from Fullsteam Brewery

Is it hot enough for you? For a beer that’s going to quench your thirst, an easy choice would be a nice, cold lager. A great thing about craft beer is the variety and seemingly infinite exploration of flavor. Now is a good time to check out a local beer that is exceptionally refreshing, goes down easy and is a little bit different.

How about a beer that’s deep in tradition and originally brewed specifically for the summer months — a farmhouse ale? A name you may be more familiar with is saison. The difference in the name is based on the country/region where it was originally brewed.

With origins in the southern region of Belgium, farmhouse ales were brewed in the late winter. The beer was conditioned until summer to be a refreshing and low-alcohol drink for the farm hands during work. Each farm used its own grain, yeast and hops, so every farm had a different variation of the beer.

Every summer, Fullsteam Brewery releases Southern Basil Farmhouse Ale. Now, seeing basil as a beer ingredient may raise red flags in your mind with ideas like a kale ale or a turnip lager. Rest assured, the basil is like a breath of fresh cool air as you drink it with a nice peppery finish to round it out. This beer is a flavor epiphany you should really experience this summer.

Already tried Southern Basil? Try it again, because each year it offers different flavors based on the basil crop. The basil comes from three local women-owned farms, and the malt and barley are from North Carolina malt houses.

Fullsteam is a “plow-to-pint” brewery located in Durham, and this year is their 10th anniversary. They continue to craft distinctly Southern beer that celebrates the farm and food traditions of the American South.

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