Springhouse Ale - AleWerks Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Springhouse AleSpringhouse Ale

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

51 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 51
Hads: 131
rAvg: 3.57
pDev: 12.61%
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 51 | Hads: 131
Photo of dirtylou
2.24/5  rDev -37.3%
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 (667 characters)

Photo of corby112
2.52/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a hazy, dark golden orange with apricot colored edges and a frothy, two finger white head that very slowly settles into a lasting cap/ring. Very good retention for the style with large chunks of soapy lacing left behind.

Floral, perfume like aroma with zesty spice, bready yeast, bubblegum and sweet citrus fruit. Not much of a farmhouse/saison yeast character with only subtle musty funk. Smells more like an American wheat beer. Slightly mineraly with some pepper and clove followed by the wheat, yeast and orange peel.

Medium bodied with soft carbonation and a zesty spice presence up front that lingers over subtle funk, bread, bubblegum and citrus zest into a slightly dry finish. Again, the saison/farmhouse character is faint with only subtle grassy, musty funk. Feels more like a wheat beer with peppery clove and coriander followed by a strong bready yeast character and prominent bubblegum flavor. Some lemon pith/citrus sweetness towards the finish but that's pretty tame as well. Not all that interesting or flavorful but at least it's easy to drink. Not a very good interpretation of the style in my opinion. (1,131 characters)

Photo of teromous
2.77/5  rDev -22.4%
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." (1,657 characters)

Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.86/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle into a wine glass.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy straw color. The head is two fingers high, with a bone-white shade. Retention is terrible, and so is the soda-like texture of the head. No lacing, either. Hey, I don't enjoy saisons for their aesthetic appeal... (2.25)

Smell: I'm picking up notes of hay, lemongrass, black pepper, and candied sugar. As it opens up, it develops a strong lactic quality which fuses with its funkiness - similar to a Berliner, only with brett. Actually, I don't think this has brett, just plain ol' saison yeast. Also, it smells somewhat sweet for a saison. However, typical of the style, the aroma is somewhat strange - just not in the ways that presses all the right buttons. (3)

Taste: Wow, this is MUCH sweeter than I expected. In fact, I completely hesitate to even call it a saison now. I'm picking up little in the way of hay, grass, sesame seed, or black pepper. Rather, notes of orange, grapefruit, wheat, and oats. The oat flavor is well subdued, and doesn't expose the alcohol excessively (or, at all). It *is* a decent BSPA, all told...but I'm still going to lowball the score anyways, simply because a saison should not be this damn sugary. (2.75)

Mouthfeel: Way too sweet. Period. It has the full and creamy initial feel of a good saison, but it finishes heavy and stodgy. On the other hand, the vibrant carbonation wills it down the palate fairly easily. (3)

Overall: Saisons are all about pushing the envelope - this doesn't. At all. In fact, it tastes closer to Duvel than Dupont. And because there doesn't seem to be brett (not your fault Alewerks - I like my saisons loaded with brett), it's not going to develop much more than this. It's enjoyable enough as a regular Belgian ale, but it completely misses the mark as a saison. (3)

2.85/5: It's a solid BSPA, but where's the saison? (1,848 characters)

Photo of yourefragile
2.88/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

New 22 oz bottle with a pretty, rustic label. Poured into a snifter.

Pours a radiant, hazed orange amber with a large frothy white head that has good retention and light lacing. Aroma is interesting and pleasant, a blend of sweet tropical fruits and sugars with a musty, earthy Belgian yeast and estery typical saison base. Body is odd, medium thick and slightly juicy with very active, fine carbonation. Finish is dry and earthy, very refreshing with an undertone of sweetness.

But the flavor...oh the flavor, what happened to this. Hiding in here is a pleasant, earthy saison, but this is so ridiculously over the top sugary and sweet its very difficult for me to continue drinking this. It almost feels like there is a layer of canned peach juice floating on top of an exceptionally earthy and dirty saison in both flavor and body. Ugh, this could have been a very unique, enjoyable saison but the balance before sweet and dry earthy is non-existent in addition to way too much artificial sugar sweetness. (1,011 characters)

Photo of jlandis
2.95/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The beer pours crystal clear straw golden in color with a gigantic billowing white head that is at least 4 fingers tall. I'll have to give this one a few minutes to settle down. The aroma is full of clove, lemon, sweet malt and Belgian spice. The flavor is unexpectedly sweet, but the clove and spice are spot on. There is also plenty of Belgian candied sugar and vanilla. The body is solid with tons of carbonation.

I would have liked for a tart dry finish, and the sweetness is a real turn off. The other aspects of the beer are great, but I keep coming back to the sweetness. I kind of wish this was only a 12oz bottle instead of a bomber. (643 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.12/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle 1304 of 2008.

Appearance: Pours a near clear, golden-orange body with a thinnish, white head that dissipates quite quickly.

Smell: Fruity, sweet-scented nose of grainy malts, almond sugar, light spice, and ripe fruits.

Taste: A taste of simple syrup of poured lazily of some fresh malted barley. Slight hint of almonds. Meager pinch of spice. Fruity flavors of glazed apricots and raisins. Subtle bitterness. Rush of drying, warming alcohol precludes the fruity finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation. Sits a bit heavily on the tongue.

Drinkability: Yeesh! The things they call saisons these days. It's like saying brown rice is actually the legs of itty-bitty, unborn chicken fetuses. It's just plain crazy talk. The heavy mouthfeel and alcoholic nature of this beer make it the antithesis of refreshment. (835 characters)

Photo of TheMistler
3.17/5  rDev -11.2%
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... (898 characters)

Photo of argock
3.18/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22 oz brown bomber into a nonic pint glass. No freshness date. Purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $7.29.

A: A light amber brew with 1-2 finger white head with decent retention and a few blobs of lacing.

S: The aroma is light overall with a yeasty character up front more in keeping with a witbier or triple and with some mild lemon to go along with the crackery malt backing.

T: The flavor is fine and enjoyable but not really on target for the saison category. The crackery maltiness is tries its best, but the alcohol and higher than average hopping put this brew outside of the style. The hopping is leafy and herbal in nature. The alcohol adds a dull, slightly bitter flavor that is most apparent in the aftertaste.

M: The mouthfeel is way off for the style as it is lush and only slightly dry. Even the carbonation is low and not right for the style.

O: kind of disappointing with the wrong feel and level of booziness for the style. (978 characters)

Photo of billab914
3.19/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Lost Abbey stemware. It poured a light amber/orange color a huge, foamy, white head filling half of the glass. Head retention was pretty good and the lacing on the glass was excellent.

The aroma has a citrusy zest to it with a bit of a peach fruitiness to it. The Belgian yeast adds a some spicy, almost peppery notes. Some sweet, grainy malt flavors come through as well.

The taste has a bit of that sweet, peachy, fruitiness to it as well. The flavor seems a bit too sweet and almost sugary though for me. A bit of the Belgian yeast spice comes through as well. It finishes with more of a tart, fruity flavor with a moderate bitterness.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a little above average carbonation. Drinkability is decent, it had OK flavors to it overall. It felt a bit sweet at times which hurts it some, but still wasn't a bad beer overall. Average tasting for the style at best though. (940 characters)

Photo of stakem
3.27/5  rDev -8.4%
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. (1,199 characters)

Photo of ZimZamZoom
3.37/5  rDev -5.6%
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. (738 characters)

Photo of wchesak
3.4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2008 year 8% abv
1629 of 2008

A - pours a slightly hazy orange amber color, fluffy off white head, some circular lacing

S - tart lemon, key lime, farmhouse style yeast, bit of cracked black pepper

T - tart, almost green apple, definitely lemony, back of the palette is pretty dry and slightly bitter, want more spice characteristics

M - good carbonation for the style, high side of light bodied, crisp

D - they make another springhouse ale that has a higher ABV, would like to get 2 of those bottles (one to drink, one to age), only had one of these though, held up rather well, towards the end the alcohol shows up a bit more (632 characters)

Photo of pitasoup
3.42/5  rDev -4.2%
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. (515 characters)

Photo of DaveBlack
3.43/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Cloudy golden beer. 2 fingers worth of fluffy head on the top which lasts forever.

S: Wet hay, earthy yeast, lemon zest, a slight pepperiness, some funk. Not a very big aroma, but pleasant.

T: The taste follows the aroma, it is earthy and grassy, with a fair amount of yeast. A kiss of grassy hops on the finish. It is slightly watery, and the flavors are muted.

M: Light body, prickly carbonation.

O: I wish there was more flavor to this beer. It is tasty, but nothing special as far as saisons go. It's essentially a saison light. (539 characters)

Photo of Zraly
3.44/5  rDev -3.6%
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. (634 characters)

Photo of rcusick
3.46/5  rDev -3.1%
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! (780 characters)

Photo of Pencible
3.46/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: This poured a clear gold with a little white head.
S: It smelled like lager yeast and wheat, with lemon grass and earthy musk, and a bit of citrus and spice.
T: It tasted like lemon and candi sugar and wild yeast, with earthy wheat and spice. It had a clean and crisp aftertaste.
M: It was slightly thick with moderate carbonation. Nice and slick.
D: This really put the farm in farmhouse ale. It didn't smell great to me, but the taste was better. Very nice body and well hidden alcohol made it pretty easy to drink. A generally enjoyable beer, but nothing special or memorable. (582 characters)

Photo of rdub
3.5/5  rDev -2%
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. (422 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
3.5/5  rDev -2%
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... (897 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.52/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a cork and cage into a snifter, the beer is a bright, opaque, orange-gold coloring with a fluffy, bubbly, light, white head. Aromas of orange peel, subtle caramel, creamy notes, herbal highlights, floral accents, grass, and subtle yeasty funk. Pretty mild nose. Flavors are citrus forward, slightly acidic, with a blend of orange peel and lemon zest, all blending with subtle farmhouse notes of funk, an herbal blend of lemon grass, basil, and oregano, and a bready backbone. The body is full, slightly effervesced, and dry, with an herbal and citrus sweet aftertaste. The finish is bubbly and refreshing, with a lingering fruit and herb blend. Good warm weather beer. (680 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
3.53/5  rDev -1.1%
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. (1,157 characters)

Photo of oline73
3.53/5  rDev -1.1%
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. (728 characters)

Photo of Chaney
3.53/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've seen this one on the shelf for the past couple years but have never take the plunge until now.

A: Poured a cloudy, pumpkin orange color, with about a finger or so frothy head that retained itself throughout the session.

S: I got the farmhouse funk piece of the puzzle in spades, along with more than a helping of candi sugar.

T: The first sip.... didn't much care for it, however, on subsequent drinks, I started to get used to the flavor, which was definitely sweeter than just about any farmhouse saison I've tried in recent memory. Still, beneath that, the farmhouse funk was definitely there. The finish had kind of a diluted "Pixie Stick" dust quality that I personally liked.

M: Drinkability hurt this one, for sure. Still, the sugar was of the fresh variety. The carbonation was probably about right as far as saisons go, but for this one, I would have preferred a bit more to offset the saturated sugar content. Also, this was a bit on the boozy side.

O: Not bad, but I personally found this one a bit tough to get through. Personal preference, for sure, but I prefer my saisons on the citrusy/apricot side as opposed to the candy-like one. (1,158 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.53/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by jayhawk73. Thanks Jeff!

The beer is orange with a towering white head. The aroma brings some tart citrus, wheat, lemongrass, mild funk, sweet malt. Decent flavor. Crisp and zesty carbonation. Mildly sweet with light bittering hops in the finish. This was ok, but not what I seek in a beer of this ilk. (319 characters)

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Springhouse Ale from AleWerks Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 51 ratings.