When I first started exploring craft beer, it never occurred to me that beer could be produced locally- which sounds really silly, I know, but it’s really only been in the last five years or so that the craft beer boom has hit my home state of Rhode Island. All of the beer that I had been exposed to was made somewhere else, so discovering Foolproof Brewing Company in Pawtucket, RI was a real treat for me. They were among the first craft breweries in the state (along with Newport Storm), and La Ferme Urbaine (“The Urban Farm”) is their saison and, me being a lover of Belgian-style beers, it seems like the perfect beer to kick off my blog. Here are my impressions.
Beer Name: La Ferme Urbaine (LFU)
Brewery: Foolproof Brewing Company
Brewery Location: Pawtucket, RI
Beer Style: Saison/Farmhouse
LFU pours an opaque, deep golden color with a beautiful white head that gradually fades as you drink.
Distinctive banana/bubblegum-like esters dominate the aroma, while flowery hop notes are faint (but present, nevertheless) in the background.
Taste & Aftertaste
Upon taking the first sip, the most dominant flavor up front are the banana/bubblegum-like esters picked up from the aroma. As you continue, a strong peppery spiciness becomes very apparent (think ground black pepper), and stands up to the esters. The malt profile is very bready (but think of a rye bread instead of white bread). Upon further inspection of the can, the side of the can boasts a complex malt bill, which includes pilsner and pale malts, wheat, rye, oats, and spelt. I am willing to bet that a combination of all of the ingredients contributes to the spiciness of this beer- particularly their use of wheat and rye. The yeast strain that they use might also be a contributor to the pepperiness (yeast can produce spicy characteristics depending on the strain), as well as the blend of hops that they throw into the boil- again depending on the variety they used (hops also contribute unique flavors depending on the variety).
LFU is higher in carbonation, giving the drinker a bubbly and effervescent experience with each sip. It is also as dry as a bone- no lingering sweetness. There is some mild-moderate alcohol warmth noted- which is expected with any beer that clocks in close to 8% alcohol. The alcohol content is pretty strong for a saison, but it doesn’t drink like a beer that is super boozey. That being said, LFU is a pretty easy-drinker- which is scary considering the alcohol content, but I’m not complaining one bit.
LFU is a very complex saison with a lot going on. The fruitiness of the banana-like esters mesh really well with the overall peppery personality of the beer. I would recommend this to anyone, and if sitting at a bar, I would order a second pint of this beer, and be asleep before finishing my third pint of it (the 7.8% alcohol sneaks up on you). A must-have for any saison lover, and a fantastic local beer! Cheers!