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AHA Guideline

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French & Belgian-Style Saison

French & Belgian-Style Saisons are pale to light brown. Chill or slight yeast haze is acceptable. There may be quite a variety of characters within these beers. Malt aroma is low to medium-low. Fruity-ester aromas are medium to high. Earthy, cellar-like and/or musty aromas are okay. Diacetyl aroma should not be perceived. Hop aroma is low to medium. Malt flavor is low but provides foundation for the overall balance. Hop flavor is low to medium. Hop bitterness is medium to medium-high. Complex alcohols, herbs, spices, low Brettanomyces character and even clove and smoke-like phenolics may or may not be evident in the overall balanced beer. Herb and/or spice flavors, including black pepper-like notes, may or may not be evident. Fruitiness from fermentation is generally in character. A balanced small amount of sour or acidic flavors is acceptable when in balance with other components. Diacetyl flavor should not be perceived. These beers are often bottle conditioned with some yeast character and high carbonation. Saison may have Brettanomyces characters that are slightly acidic, fruity, horsey, goaty and/or leather-like. Specialty ingredients (spices, herbs, flowers, fruits, vegetables, fermentable sugars and carbohydrates, special yeasts of all types, wood aging, etc.) may contribute unique and signature character; color, body, malt character, esters, alcohol level and hop character should be in harmony with the general style description. Body is generally light to medium. At competition, specialty ingredient flavored Saisons can be their own categories or subcategories of the main style.


  • Original Gravity (°Plato) 1.055 - 1.080 (13.6 - 19.3)
  • Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato) 1.004 - 1.016 (1.0 - 4.1)
  • Alcohol by Weight (Volume) 3.50% - 6.60% (4.40% - 8.40%)
  • Bitterness (IBU) (20 - 40)
  • Color SRM (EBC) 4 - 14 (8 - 28)