Grassroots Arctic Saison | Grassroots Brewing

108 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Grassroots Arctic SaisonGrassroots Arctic Saison

Brewed by:
Grassroots Brewing
Vermont, United States

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
This ale embodies the spirit of perpetual creative collaboration in conjunction with disciplined brewing endeavor.

We trekked to Alaska and helped craft this rustic Saison, bringing with us the essence and imagination of our Vermont Farmstead family.

Brewed and Bottled by Anchorage Brewing Company, Anchorage, Alaska

Added by N17shelfside on 07-17-2013

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 108 | Ratings: 787
Photo of BoldRulerVT
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Enjoyed the saison in a snifter glass.
Pours a nice light golden color, medium head with very nice lacing.
Smell is tangy and earthy, good yeast.
Flavor is very, very nice. Complex yet light and acceptable sour tang.
Mouthfeel was a touch thin for me, would have liked slight higher carbonation, but still very good.
I found this saison to be an approachable and sessionable beer and would serve as a great introduction to saisons for the uninitiated.

 451 characters

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.16/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A huge thank you to Paul for grabbing this for me whilst at Hill Farmstead.

Served in a Hill Farmstead wine glass.

The beer is clear and golden yellow with over an inch of fluffy white head. The aroma brings funk, lemons, floral notes, mineral water, earthy tones. Similar flavor, finishing dry. A tasty beer. Mild brett and oak throughout. Not the most exciting saison, but certainly a pleasure to drink.

 408 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.06/5  rDev -1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Huge white head atop a hazy pale orange body. Beautiful lacing and great lacing.

Smell - Bretty and acidic. Pale malt. Lemony citric acids. Slight funk.

Taste - Bright lemony tang. Earthy bretty flavors. Slightly sweet pale malts. Bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium light body. Well carbonated.

Overall - I was tempted to say that this a fairly straightforward oak brett saison, but that sounds foolish.

 471 characters

Photo of Rutager
4.23/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance. Pours a hazy honey-gold with three fingers of frothy white head.

Smell. Spicy yeast and funky dry brett with grassy hops and a little bit of old barrel wood.

Taste. Lemony sourness, spicy saison yead and dry woody brett, and tart light orchard fruits. Nice.

Mouthfeel. Medium body, maybe on the light side. Medium-full carbonation.

Overall. Great stuff. Wish I picked up a few more but happy to have tried it.

 428 characters

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.39/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured a glowing orange with lots of carbonation leaving a huge white head and a lively bottle. The head retention is amazing.

S: Loads of fruits! It smelled sordove sweet. Very fresh on aroma, very appealing. I hope it tastes as good as it smells

T: It did, tastes great! A healthy dose of brett keeps it a little funky but this beer just screams like a fruit basket mated with Hawaii. Lots of passion fruits and orchard style fruits. Clean, crisp, a light sweetness and oh so refreshing.

M- Light-medium body, great mouthfeel, very refreshing, clean finish, very carbonated

O: Excellent! I did think it was a little sweet for the style though

 652 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Nostradamus flute glass. Pours a light golden amber with a two finger white head with good retention and pillowy lacing. Aroma of saison yeast, citrus, sour apple, funky. Flavor is citrus rind, brett, sour apple, coriander, peppery spices, finishing with acetic sourness and light bittering hops.. Light bodied with nice active carbonation. A lot going on here, lots of sour citrus fruit and a moderate amount of brett. A bit too sour for me, but should please tasters who like a tart bretty saison.

 513 characters

Photo of jrenihan
4.04/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Batch #1, May 2013

Beer is clear golden with a large white head. Very good retention, good lacing.

Nose contains Belgian yeast, light fruits (apple, lemon, pear). The Brett is pretty mild, just a little bit of funk and cherry.

Brett is the most prominent flavour, but it is fairly mild. Tart cherry and a bit of dry funk. Light fruits, including lemon. Yeast. Oak is there but quite mild. Slightly tart. Nice but surprisingly muted all around.

Medium bodied, moderate carbonation level. Brett slightly dries the mouth.

Overall, quite nice but not remarkable.

 564 characters

Photo of scotorum
3.99/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bought at the Warren Store in Vermont a month ago, first I'd seen of this Hill Farmstead/Anchorage BC collaboration. Then later in the day the Hunger Mountain Co-op in Montpelier had cases of it on sale for about the same price ($11). My first Hill Farmstead and Anchorage Brewing Co. anything.

Poured from the 25 oz. bottle into a stemmed tulip glass.

a: A hazy gold topped by a huge white head which receded quickly to a surface foam film and considerable lacing.

s: Mild overripe fruit.

t: Somewhat sharply sour fruitlike flavor I could not identify exactly but no doubt the Brett yeast had something to do with that. Grew on me in a short while and became a fine sipper to the end. I was on guard against some unpleasant tastes from the Brett yeast, but was pleasantly surprised that it was so drinkable and tasty. Rather sour aftertaste lingered but not offensively so.

m: Good body, smoothness subdued by sour notes.

o: Enjoyable brew, really lets your palate know it's there, better than expected.

 1,010 characters

Photo of Scotchboy
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A very cool c&c 750ml sent to me from Dope (thanks!) split with a mate and poured into my Rock Island snifter.

A: Hazy straw with a quickly-receding crackling white head.

S: Big oaky and fruity Brett notes immediately, with a touch of a grassy (hop?) undertone. Fruit is pear, some citrus, even lemon peel...slight sourness with a tart hint of grapefruit and pineapple.

T: Creamy oaky undertones, funky sour fruit flesh and lemon zest, slight pils malt sweetness and other saison qualities shine through with a yeasty effervescence.

MF: Creamy medium body.

O: Decent, more sour and funky than I'm used to in a saison, this leans 'wild' without being out-of-control. Half a bottle of this was pretty pleasant.

 713 characters

Photo of cvm4
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a hazy golden yellow with a frothy two finger head.

S - Get some funky brett right away... Lemon tartness, yeast and mild melon citrus. It's not complex, but the simpleness works.

T - Lemony, brett filled tartness, saison goodness. Little bit of oak as it warms.

M - Light bodied, medium carbonation. Has a dry finish.

O - It's a simple, clean, tart filled saison. I like it for the simplicity of it.

 415 characters

Photo of jaasen64
4.21/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle purchased at Hill Farmstead, poured into a stemless wine glass.

A- Pours a hazy yellowish golden with about a finger's worth of white frothy head at has decent retention and recedes leaving some spotty lacing.

S- Lemons, melon rind, peaches, nice balanced brett presence, fairly strong saison yeast presence. Aromatic, clean, balanced, very well done.

T- Tart lemons and peaches balanced with some light funky brett, finishes with strong farmhouse saison qualities of wet hay, saison yeast, and lightly tart lemons. Clean, refreshingly tart, and very representative of the style.

M- Medium bodied, some acidity, a bit on the dry side, decent carbonation.

O- This was a fantastic tart, bretty saison that was flavorful, clean, refreshing, with a nice tartness. In my opinion this is probably the best Shaun Hill collaboration that was brewed and bottled outside of Vermont. Congrats to Darren and Shaun for crafting yet another great saison. Definitely worth picking up a bottle especially since its distributed fairly widely.

 1,043 characters

Photo of nataku00
3.83/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle, batch #1 from May 2013, poured into a tulip glass. Beer pours a hazy yellow straw color with three plus fingers of white fluffy head. The head dissipates quickly, leaving some light lacing and craggy mounds of foam everywhere. Carbonation streaming up quickly everywhere in the glass, very effervescent.

Nose is farmhouse yeast dominated, sweet fruity esters with spicy white pepper, coriander and herbs like sage and thyme. A bit of wild brett quality, light earthy barnyard funk and pineapple. Some biscuit malt sweetness and lemony citrus notes as well.

Taking a sip, big herbal, grassy and pine hops, fairly bitter, mingling with some lemon zest, white pepper, and earthy funk. Not much malt presence in the taste is herb bitterness dominated, along with a brett aftertaste of wet soil and hay.

Light body and heavily carbonated, but very soft on the tongue. Really dries out your mouth. Pretty interesting wild saison, but the saison yeast seems a bit overwhelmed by the wild counterparts and the hopping.

 1,023 characters

Photo of Dope
3.22/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

Batch 1, May 2013.

A: Pours a hazy golden-orange. Enormous and fluffy white head. Head fizzes out slowly, leaving thick streaks of lacing everywhere. Some of the heaviest lacing I've ever seen in fact. Big island of foam too. Nice.

S: Big tart citrus notes, orange peel and sour lemons. A bit of graham cracker, making it almost like a lemon meringue type aroma.

T: Quite tart/sour citrus notes up front. Lots of it. Kind of a lactic sourness in the middle like spoiled milk...lingers for a long time. Very funky. Light bready malt in the finish but mostly overpowered by the sour notes. Kind of a bad milk aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied, sour and crisp.

O: A very tart/sour/funky saison. Too much, pretty much overshadows the normal saison characteristics and not in a good way. It's not horrible but not great either. I drainpoured it - not worth teh calories.

 867 characters

Photo of seand
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a hazy straw color, with lots of light white head. This retains pretty well, leaving fluffy sheets of lacing.

S: Light, with a touch of citrus and yeast.

T: Sweet and light with a very nicely integrated hop note. There is also some funkiness throughout. The overall flavor is extremely well constructed.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation.

Overall, an excellent saison.

 382 characters

Photo of MacQ32
4.23/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A - pours a cloudy straw yellow with a slight hint of gold. Nice finger of near white dense, smooth head. Retention is great, still nearly a finger of head 30 minutes later. Lack v us great, doesn't stick 100% but very nice. Drinking in my HF oversized wine type glass.

S - semi puckering sour citrusy lemon, beak y bubblegum like grainy aromas. Some sweet aromas I can't quite identify

T - lots of light grainy slightly dry lemony citrus flavor. Initially quite sour but very much reduced after letting sit for 30 minutes. Finish is still semi sour puckering citrus

M - lighter bodied but incredibly smooth with minimal carbonation

O - like the sankt Hans, huge difference in flavor as the beer warms up. Sourness may be a little too weak after 30. Consuming no were than 50 is probably what I would suggest going forward (45-50)

 834 characters

Photo of DefenCorps
4.27/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from Belmont Station.

In my Duvel tulip, the first pour is a clear golden orange with a large, dense, white head that falls off leaving stiff, choppy peaks. Lacing is decent too. The nose is excellent. The classic saison base is clear - straw, rustic bread, a touch of rye-like sharpness, a deep yeast complexity, but then you add in the rather delicate touches from the oak and the Brett and you have yourself a winner. A raw but delicate woody note, a wisp of vanilla and a blend of earth and mushroom from the Brett make this truly exceptional. Floral notes are present as well.

The palate opens with a pleasing acidity, a blend of lemon and lactic acids, and a quenching, refreshing saison base - grain, husk, some fruit (apricot, a little peach). The mid-palate has a moderate floral character (rose hips, a little bit of jasmine). The earth/mushroom flavors from the Brett are, at this point, light, complementary and delicious. Drying on the finish with a mild oak tannin bite that works really well with the saison base, there are also flavors of lemon, a carbonic acid touch, and floral flavors. Light in body with moderate carbonation, this beer is mostly great, but does feel a touch watery at times. Still, this is an exceedingly enjoyable beer. Refined stuff.

 1,282 characters

Photo of caskstrength
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Thanks Dave, excited about this one.

Pours a beautiful light hazy golden color with aggressive carbonation, but not too much. This looks like a saison should look.

Brett right away, some lemon, light citrus. Saison yeast. Simple, but appropriate.

Tastes are straightforward saisony goodness with some brett accents. Really crisp and clean flavors, well balanced, just what you want with the style

Mouthfeel was light, on the drier side and clean. Great complement to the tastes and smells.

A solid brett saison. Nothing unexpected, but well done.

 552 characters

Photo of dirtylou
3.83/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle, split

Hopleaf tulip - aroma was offputting - moldy fruit and cheese. Flavor profile was an improvement with notes of lemongrass, mild brett, lots of hay, cheese, grass. All 3 grassroots beers i've had have been slightly underwhelming.

 249 characters

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.43/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Batch #1 - May 2013. Poured in to HF stemmed tulip.

A - Cloudy golden yellow; orange towards the centre. Opaque. Two fingers of white head.

S - Funk, lemon, spice, pepper, coriander and some fresh citrus.

T - Funk, Belgian yeast, light banana, lemon, pepper, some oak/woody notes and some toast. A bright and fresh hop profile.

M - Medium body. Dry. Moderate carbonation.

 376 characters

Photo of artoolemomo
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance- Pours up a tremendous amount of head which seems to have good retention but isn't too stubborn. The head is pure cotton white while the body is a weak lemon yellow which glows the color of a lemon lollipop when held up to the light. Some lacing is left behind.

Nose- Fairly typical of a saison which is not bad at all. Tart apple, banana, and clove to start off. Additional spice from faint yeast notes. Some citrus as well- orange and lemon. Swirling reveals a more noticeable tartness to the aroma.

Taste- It would appear that the aroma was being a bit shy about the tartness. It definitely makes itself known in the form of tart cherry, tart apple, and lemon. Faint hints of Brett mixed with pepper, coriander, and clove from the yeast. Light banana as well. The Brett is definitely not as strong as I would like it to be. Some pepper mixed with subtle vanilla on a finish that has a slight tingle to it. A second taste reveals a little more of the funk- some stinky cheese, some mushroom, and straw. Nothing expressly barnyard or horse blanket at the moment. The lactic acid is the star of this saison but it is quite manageable. A very good interpretation of the style. Nothing really experimental but there's nothing wrong with being a bit more “traditional” with such a style.

Mouthfeel- Crisp and refreshing with an nice dryness and tingle on the finish. Lots of carbonation, definitely desirable.

Drinkability- Pretty easygoing but still complex enough to keep the taste buds interested. Biggest negative- the 13 dollar price tag is probably going to keep me from purchasing it again.

Overall- Solid saison, very good beer. Definitely worth a try but if you're wary of the price, you might just stick with DuPont.

 1,748 characters

Photo of Stevedore
4.06/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

75cl C&C bottle cracked open with Doug today, 9/6/2013. Poured into a Bell's snifter. Review #197.

Pours a very pretty clear straw body, with a delectable 2cm white head with great retention. Not much lacing, but a very pretty beer nonetheless.

The smell is so awesome. So much green apple skin along with the typical saison spiciness. I could smell this beer all night.

However, the flavour profile on this just does not live up to that Hill Farmstead standards. I know this is a gypsy brewery, but it really just tastes like a normal saison with some Brett funk in it. This is still above average, but a bit of a disappointment compared to all that Hill Farmstead flavours in their saisons and IPAs.

The feel on this beer reminds me of the Tide and its Takers. Medium bodied, great carbonation, and a bit of a funky aftertaste. Not bad at all, but falls a little bit short of that Hill Farmstead mouthfeel.

Worth trying for sure, and that nose is the best I've ever sniffed on a saison, But it kind of falls short when it comes to that flavour profile- it tastes pretty much like a really good smelling Saison Dupont (the one we drink in Belgium, not the imported crap)

 1,177 characters

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.02/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours from a corked & caged 750ml bottle a clear straw yellow with bright effervescence yielding two inch thick white head and leaving globs and sheets of lace.

N: Hay/grass, lemon/citrus zest, yeast, barnyard funk, floral.

T: Cracked peppery spice, yeasty, fruity, earthy, slight must and wood.

M: Moderate body and medium carbonation. Dry, peppery and yeasty finish.

O: Solid Saision. Refreshing and easy drinking. Like liquid springtime in a bottle.

 459 characters

Photo of shleepy
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle (purchased at K&L in Redwood City) into trappist-style "chalice" glass.

A: Hazy straw yellow. Fairly fluffy head.

S: Banana, corn, fresh-cut grass, hard candy.

T: Lightly sweet-and-sour (light on both, but both are present). Zesty lemon-peel. Very light floral hops. It's subtle, balanced, and refreshing.

M: Pleasantly light, to the point of feeling evening lighter than its 6% ABV rating. Acidic.

O: Very solid summer beer.

 450 characters

Photo of kevanb
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a Hill Farmstead Wine Glass.

The beer pours a light, golden straw color, very cloudy with some noticeable sediment that settles at the bottom of the glass. Atop the beer rises a lovely white head, nearly two to three fingers high that has very nice retention and leaves a good network of soapy lace behind. The aroma is very straightforward for a saison, lots of lively yeast, a touch of clove, lots of wildflower, pale grain and straw, light but prominent funk, with some earthy qualities as well that come across nicely. The flavors are on target with the nose, lots of yeast, light funkiness that is a bit cheesy, rustic grain, almost like spelt or wheat that goes along with the simple pale grain, a bit of clove, some light fruit that is a touch acidic and some nice floral qualities. The body is great, really lively, carbonation is high, but very smooth with just enough bubbliness to tickle the tongue, coats the mouth quite well, with a nice creamy sensation at the finish that leaves a nice dry tingly feeling behind.

Verdict: A very nice Saison from Grassroots/Anchorage. I really enjoy this style of beer from both breweries and it's clear that Shaun's vision came to fruition here, a really palatable saison that is both earthy and rustic, but a little wild. While it doesn't offer up much in the way of over the top complexity or risk taking, it's very refined for a simple, straightforward saison. I do wish that there was a woodiness to it, which is a great signature of both breweries.

 1,529 characters

Photo of jibbyvonjibb
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

S: Lemons, grass, leaves. Slight bretty funk, but not overbearing.
T: Soft, lemony acidity. Dry, with a touch of sweetness.
M: Light but not thin. Carbonation is medium-high.
O: I am skeptical of all beers with the name "Brett" in description because they tend to be one dimensional and thin. However, like other Anchorage products, this finds a balance that makes it extremely drinkable and at the same time fairly complex.

 424 characters

Grassroots Arctic Saison from Grassroots Brewing
4.1 out of 5 based on 787 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.