Springhouse Ale - AleWerks Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Springhouse AleSpringhouse Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

129 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 129
Reviews: 51
rAvg: 3.56
pDev: 12.64%
Wants: 3
Gots: 12 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
AleWerks Brewing Company visit their website
Virginia, United States

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: on 10-08-2008

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 129 | Reviews: 51
Reviews by Zraly:
Photo of Zraly
3.44/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle 395 (2008). Purchased from the brewery store front in Williamsburg.

Light amber with minimal head. Smells funky and earthy.

Interesting flavor profile: hints of spice underlie slightly sour malt notes. Hints of green grapes, raw grain, and lemon. Yeast and bread notes provide the main structure. Corn and sugar. Dry finish -- a bit chalky. Vinous. I wish the carbonation was a bit more forward, as it would lift the mouthfeel a bit and make this much more drinkable.

I like it, but think it could be refined a bit with better carbonation. Decent, but has the potential to be quite good. Would go well with roasted chicken.

More User Reviews:
Photo of dirtylou
2.24/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

on tap at the big hunt - pretty stoked to have a local saison on what turned out to be a night of saisons

cell phone notes

appearance: served in a standard pint - rich amber body (is this the right beer?). light beige cap

smell: big and bready - minimal saison funk

taste: well well. probably the worst saison this side of Lazy Mutt. This was truly not drinkable for the style - tasted more like a jacked up (bad) american amber. a girl at the table noticed we werent drinking it and tried/loved it. that was the final indication that this was that bad. very little saison traits, and from the sounds of it 3 years old

mouthfeel: WAY too heavy

drinkability: not

Photo of ebby82
3.97/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy gold into a pint glass from my growler. This was kegged only about a week ago, so its still quite fresh.

A- Freshly mown lawn, hops, a summer's day.

T- Bitter hops, with a funky, undefinable taste to follow. Certainly unique, intriguing, and worthwhile.

M- Smooth, with just the right carbonation.

O- I had this last year in the bottle, but this year's version on tap is even tastier. A really refreshing beer, and as I mentioned previously, very unique. I'm really starting to love saisons, and this is a fine example of the versatility of the style.

Photo of akorsak
3.58/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to a good BA, guinnessfan, for this 650 mL bomber, number 1963 of 2008. Bottle 2 of my night of saisons.

A: The saison is a darker amber color, a coupla' hues lighter than its bottle. The fuller darkness leaves the ale opaque. A small head, practically nonexistent after a few minutes, doesn't leave any lace.

S: The nose is pretty malty, lacking the wild essence of a saison (in its defense, it is labelled as an American farmhouse ale). The strength is reminiscent of a strong ale, which was its original designation. Cereal grains and some sugary sweetness fight for the spotlight.

T: The strength of the ale reveals a strong fruity depth. Sweetness mixes with in-your-face cereal grains. Apples and green grapes appear prominently, driving the mid-sip flavlor. The finish is sweeter, sugary with a mild anise aftertaste. Some funkiness runs below the surface, not tart but enough to remind you that it is there. An interesting ale that can't quite make up its mind between strong ale and saison.

M: The mouthfeel is at once dry & fruity and sweet & tart. Its strength is much better suited for colder weather.

D: The heaviness is evident, weighing down the drinkability. The fruit flavors are a welcome complexity in the ale.

Photo of DearthVader
3.54/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber courtesy of BZero007 from our Loko 4 Locals BIF

Pour is outstanding. A Murky gold with burnt orange hints and carbonation dancing around all over the place. A very tight, thick white head forms atop and leaves very thick intricate lacing. Very visually appealing beer.

Smell is a little soft. Very common smells for saisons come out. Barnyard funk, slight citrus, grass, and soil. Not bad, but nothing really stands out at all.

Taste is nice with a slight tartness at the beginning that fades to a citrus body and a nice dry finish.

Mouthfeel is creamy and a fairly heavy body. Very drinkable.

A middle of the pack saison that would find it's way to my fridge fairly often if it were available in my area.

Photo of smakawhat
3.53/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass.

Deep orange colored body, quite opaque, but with a faint nice middle column of carbonation and some small slow rising white bubbles along the sides of the glass. Slight retention a bit for a three finger tall head, very soapy and off white in color.

Slight crisp yeast and farmhouse dryness bouquet. Sweet sucrose a bit and a sense of peanut butter. Somewhat floral, a little bit grassy, but there's a good note of malt sweetness getting more into Belgian strong ale than hinting a saison.

Palate comes out with Belgian character, but more muted saison qualities. Sweet orange and candied fruit, a light bodied palate that brings some honey notes. Virtually no funky quality and minimal dryness on the finish. Slightly wet palate, but surprisingly feels a little flat considering the well displayed and noticeable carbonation levels. Hints toward some nice peachy fruit also that isn't cloyingly sweet or syrupy thick.

It's not awful, but really not what I look for in this style. This really comes off more of just a decent Belgian Strong Ale. Good to know Alewerks still makes some other great things though.

Photo of blackie
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

new batch from Williamsburg

a: unibroue tulip, rich golden-orange in color, a voluminous head fills the glass and recedes very slowly, great retention

s: nose of delicate fruits - peach, apricot, becoming more grainy as it warms, nice sugar presence stays in check, lightly tropical with some ripe pineapple, orange, and flashes of banana, dusty yeast, hops bright and almost spicy

m: carbonation lively, a bit heavy for the style - ranging towards medium, but not really a detractor

t: pale malt body brings light-moderate sugars, sweet for a saison, and flavors of peach, banana, orange, and apricot before transitioning to a light spiciness and more grain in the middle, finishes bitter with a pulpy citrus hop flavor

d: no problem, a nice little saison and much better than recent tastings of the old version with mr. lou

bomber from Norm's, Vienna, VA

Photo of slusk
3.96/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: This beer poured a hazy golden light amber with a generous off white head. Good lacing and head retention.

S: Spicy notes with low floral hop aroma. The hops are not allowed to overpower the malt/wheat aroma from this saison. Citrusy, grapefruit and a wee peppery note are complimentary to this brew.

T: Much as the aroma belies, it has an upfront spicy floral and grapefruit and orange flavor with a background of wheat. It has a nice balance of sweet light malt with a low tart/tang of a pleasant citrus.

M: Medium light body with a medium high carbonation.

O: This is a great beer. I like the refreshing tartness and sublime fruit notes. All the ingredients are well balanced. If you're a fan of belgians and witbier this will be a favorite. I'd buy a case of this.

Photo of Badger6
3.6/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured out of a 750 mL bottle, into an Alewerks snifter (came in the gift set).

A: Hazy golden-orange color, beautiful color in the glass. Fizzy head, diminished almost immediately, no lacing.

S: The scent is very mild. Smells like citrus, and mild apple scents overlaid with a straw scent.

T: Citrus fruits with pear and mild cherries in the front, quickly takes on an herbal and floral character. Finishes with a slight sourness, but nothing that overshadows the earlier flavors.

M: The mouthfeel is light, with a bit of carbonation that makes up for the lightness of the body. Easy drinker.

O: It is sold as a saison, but probably not a great example of one by style. As a beer it is tasty, and enjoyable to drink.

Photo of oline73
3.53/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this at the November Baltimore BA tasting. Served from the bottle into a tasting snifter.

Appearance: The beer pours a clear amber color with a layer of off white head that fades to a ring around the pour.

Smell: This one reminds me of a hefe. Light sweet malt, bright and a touch fruity. I'm getting some alcohol as well.

Taste: There is a light fruity sweetness. I'm getting some banana along with a mild citrus presence. There is just a touch of bitterness in the taste, but it fades towards the finish.

Mouthfeel: The body is medium with aggressive carbonation and a finish that's a bit dry.

Overall: There is enough going on to keep you interested, but it's not super impressive. I think I'd pass on having more.

Photo of ksurkin
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber, 2010 release, from grape & gourmet. pours a gorgeous orange-gold with a massive, creamy, white head leaving thick sheets of lace. aroma is very nice with big, crisp fruit notes of pear, apricot, and green apple skins with hints of red grape backed by belgian yeast, spice notes of coriander and clove and touches of wheatgrass and dry malts. flavor is pretty tasty with sweet, slightly dry fruit notes of apple, pear, and white grape up front backed by dry, slightly funky, yeasty, dark bread, light spice, wet grass, and earthy hops. palate is medium bodied with big carbonation and a dry, herbal yet fruity finish. overall, a tast belgian strong from geoff and the alewerks boys.

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Poured into a pint glass. Bottle.

3.25 A: Moderately hazed yellow brown color. Three fingers of foamy white head. Retention is about average, but leaves no lacing.

4.0 S: Dry with a huge herbal component. Chamomile, hay, dirty earthiness. Not much fruit, but hints of lemongrass. Very nice nose here.

3.75 T: Pleasantly sweet, which is a bit surprising given the nose. Hay, lemongrass, earth. There's a touch of cracker component to the malts as well.

3.5 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Just a touch of creaminess.

3.75 D: Very nice beer. Super drinkable and balanced.

Photo of rdub
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased a 22oz at the brewery. First off, the bottle and label were beautiful. Very nice. The appearance on an aggressive pour was fluffy head, nice bubbles and a cloudy yellow appearance. The smell was all saison funkiness. Some citrus as well. Taste was funk-a-rific as well. Nice farmhouse saison. I could tell this wasn't from a big brewery since some of the flavors were off a little bit. would love to have on tap.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Sloeber tulip glass.

I'm diggin' the new label on this guy. It pours a hazy amber orange topped by over a finger of healthy white foam. The nose is somewhat musty and dusty, with plenty o' wheat and grass, a touch of lemon zest, and a hint of coriander. The taste is heavier on the citrus, particularly orange and grapefruit. Some citrus hops continue the theme. A touch of coriander and earthy pepper lend a hint of spice to the proceedings. Unfortunately, near the end, a kind of funky orange peel-ness forces its way in, taking things in an unflattering direction. I assume it's one of the hop varieties involved, but I'm not entirely sure. The body is a heavy light, with a light moderate carbonation and a crisp finish. Overall, if it weren't for the unappetizing flavor near the end, this would be a pretty solid saison. I'm sure others would not have this experience, though...

Photo of JayQue
4.07/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle number 1306 of 2008. I have never had a Saison before, but I enjoyed this beer. I'll have to try a few different saisons before I can say anything about true to style...etc.

Pours a cloudy ice tea color amber, medium size white head with average retention and a little lacing.

Aroma is a bit like a sour and fairly pronounced.

Taste has a lot going on. There is an earthy yeast thing going on, a little hops bitterness up front, spiciness (black pepper) throughout and (at the start) a pronounced tartness/sourness that mellows out as you drink. There is an overall sweetness that comes out after the initial shot of sourness and the sour taste is pretty much at the end.

I'm glad the sourness gets under control, I am not a fan of sour beers. The other flavors blend and mellow out nicely.

Mouthfeel is good...rich..spiciness on the tongue and just sweet enough to blend the rest of the flavors together.

Drinkability is good...Goes down deceptively easy for an 8% beer. Not even a hint of alcohol. If this is what the style is, I like it!!! If not, another quirky winner from Williamsburg Alewerks.

Photo of ZimZamZoom
3.37/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bomber poured into a pint glass. Bottle 0207 of 2008.

This baby pours a clear deep copper color that does not scream "farmhouse ale" to me. A nice fluffy tan head rises and stays for a while. Lacing is solid.

A big Belgian yeasty aroma, with some sour apple and light hop spice. There is an undertone of bready malt as well. Taste is yeasty, reminding me a lot of the Wy1214 I have used for several Belgian styles. Some alcohol warmth comes through along with a bit of a cider character. Finishes with some bubblegum and alcohol notes. I do not get any spice in the taste.

In my opinion this is a bit more of a Belgian strong golden ale (color notwithstanding) than a Saison. A good, enjoyable beer but misses the style by quite a bit.

Photo of teromous
2.77/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A: Slightly hazy medium shade of gold and hints of orange. It has a very pretty color in the glass. The head is non-existent right after pouring. The abundant carbonation pops over the foam-less surface. The lack of head and lacing are the greatest detractors.

S: The scent is extremely faint. It has a slightly floral scent like walking into a flower shop but not smelling the actual flowers. Then there is this old house smell to it. It reminds me of walking into the old houses in Colonial Williamsburg. I thought it was a bit funny that the name of the beer was Springhouse and the first two smells I got were flowers and an old house. Strange. The caramel smell then comes in and punts the other flavors away. I did like the scents, but they were too faint. Smelling this beer without knowing the style will likely not give you the impression that it is a Saison. It would take some focus and maybe a guess or two. Despite this, there are some good scents in the beer.

T: A bit fruity at first, but the flavor goes away and doesn't return before the fruit can be identified. This is followed by caramel sweetness and a slightly herbal tea flavor. It really doesn't have much of a traditional Saison flavor. Otherwise the flavor is decent. The beer in its own little world is okay, but I wouldn't recommend it to those looking for Saison flavors. It's just not there.

M: The mouthfeel is light and watery. The carbonation seems to be there visually but it feels flat in the mouth.

O: Overall I was not impressed. Barley and hops will not make a Saison. A Saison is something that must be artfully crafted and this felt like it was "color by number."

Photo of pitasoup
3.42/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to neorunner for this 22oz bomber.

A: Golden orange/yellow, hazy, with a couple fingers of white head.

S: belgian yeasts, lemons, a touch of honey at the end, dust, peppers, banana and clove.

T: taste does not match the smells. overly phenolic to the point of being cloying, harshly unbalanced. a touch of hop bitterness and dust as well.

M: medium bodied, dry and a bit astringent

O: drinkability is a bit low. I'd like to let this sit for a couple of more years and perhaps it'll be more balanced.

Photo of Suds
3.89/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a yellow-golden beer with a non-existent head. The aroma is spicy, yeasty, and full of funk. There are also ripe fruit aromas (peach, fig, apricot). The taste is notably spicy, and just a touch warm. Dry. Very phenolic. The beer has a sharp bitterness and a fleeting malt trait that never seems to develop. Full in flavor and very interesting.

Photo of scottfrie
3.55/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle into Anderson Valley snifter. Thanks for the bottle codewarrior.

A: Pours cloudy golden apricot color with a billowing light tan head. The dense head slowly faded into a mound of thick film leaving behind crazy patchwork of sticky lacing down the glass.
S: Sweet notes of coriander, golden fruits and peppery, earthy spices. Pears and golden delicious apples come to mind as well.
T: Follows the nose with sweet fruits including golden raisins, golden pears, and golden/green apples. Spices are prominent as is the flavors of Belgian yeast. The finish has just a touch of mint and bubblegum, and the aftertaste is lightly bitter and hay-like.
M: This is pretty sweet and ‘wet’ for a saison and definitely a knock against the beer in my opinion. The alcohol is a bit noticeable as well. The carbonation is bubbly and creamy though, I just wish this beer was much drier.
O: Great fruity flavor, sits well in the glass too, just a bit too sweet and viscous with alcohol. Thanks again Matt.

Photo of stakem
3.27/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Review from notes taken on 1/19/11.

Bomber care of wishuwerebeer, thanks for sharing Bryan. Poured into a couple of wine glasses, this brew appears a clouded orange color. A huge amount of big white bubbly head swells up and over the top of the glassware and just hangs. As it recedes, it leaves patches of lacework all over the glass.

The aroma is spicy with Belgian yeast inidcations. Somewhat sweet smelling with clove and orange peel. A little bit of Pune essence and lemony notes fall into place as well.

The taste is quite sweet with a little too much caramel malt sweetness that lingers with residual sugar. Trying to see past the sweetness, spicy Belgian yeast flavors are present blended with orange peel, lemon and a light amount of funk. A mild earthy and herbal bitterness resides inside the mouth completely clashing with the sugary forefront.

This is a medium bodied brew with an lively, active and excessive amount of carbonation. Very prickly on the tongue even for a high carbed style. A good mix of flavor all across the board but a bit too sweet that prevented me from enjoying more than a glass. A decent effort, I would try this again if they could dry it out a little more.

Photo of joepais
4.06/5  rDev +14%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Bboyshatter for another fine brew.
Bottle 1531 of 2008 that I poured into a Chimay goblet produced plenty of carbonation but no head or lace. The color of the brew was a nice looking hazy peach color with tons of bubbles coming from the bottom of the glass.

Aromas of sweet apricots, and funk filled my head. The flavors is very sweet, and fruity as well. The mouthfeel is nice and crisp so it is very refreshing to drink

This is a fine Saison also easy to drink. I finished the bottle, and was looking for more. This brew really is worth the try

Photo of JamesS
4.42/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very nice light golden color with some very nice head and a bit of nice lacing. Excellent scent, very sweet and grainy, with an interesting complex grain aroma; hints of spices in the nose (very light and could not distinguish). Great taste, a nice crisp malt deepness with light flavors; interesting light spices, with hints of cherry and bubblegum, as well as the slightest hint of pepper. Goes down very well, especially for such a high ABV saison.

Photo of TheMistler
3.17/5  rDev -11%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A hazy copper brew, darker than I expected. Disconcertingly, it pours thick, syrupy. Off white head, not too much of one.

Lots of lighter, sweet malts to the nose. Grainy dough, caramel. Restrained funk. Apple. The teensiest sharp hints at the end, with slight pepper notes and lemon zest.

This is a saison? Sure, there is some citrus up front, but it gets sweet right quick. Grains are unfortunately the least of the malt profile, with caramel and even simple sugar on top. Lemon and some bubble gum float underneath the malts. Yeast. Sharp hops and a wee bit of funk linger on the palate. The finish is pretty darn dry, given the malty sweetness that is predominant for much of the initial taste. For all my qualms with the taste, the interplay of sweet and dry is fairly nice.

Syrupy, with some chewiness and a certain creaminess. Very little CO2 prickliness. It goes down fairly easy, but...

Photo of rcusick
3.46/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle 0708 of 2008

I purchased this beer on a recent trip to the brewery in August 2009, it is a 2008 brewers reserve and they had a few bottles left in the store, and was even discounted! ($4.00 down from $6.50)

Don't have much experience with the farmhouse style of beers so i can't comment on how close to the style it is, but i can say i am enjoying this beer very much.

darker then i was expecting, its amber in color with some cloudyness from the settled yeast in the beer. much fuller mouthfeel then i was expecting, coats the tongue nicely all the way through a sip.

Taste is most similar to dunklewiesse and amber wheat beers i have drank.

All and all a very tasty beer, would definitely buy again if they have any left next time i make it to the brewery.

Cheers!

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Springhouse Ale from AleWerks Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 129 ratings.