Spring. Gravel races. Trans Iowa. Fields. Storms. Abandoned farmhouse. Beer. Saison. Mother’s Spring Batch Farmhouse Ale. Let me explain. This being my second full year of riding the gravel scene, spring represents the time of year when the rides go from winter training miles to organized events and races. The spring race that will forever be the most memorable to me, even though there are literally hours of it that are a total blur, is Trans Iowa. What memories are clear of Trans Iowa besides the thrill of the finish are the rolling hills, the farmlands, headwinds, the storm that caught us overnight, and the shelter we took in an abandoned farmhouse. While resting and waiting out the storm in the house, I also clearly remember thinking how much I wished for two things: the race to be about 90 miles shorter and a beer. And what better beer for waiting out a spring storm in a farmhouse than a saison? The Mother’s Spring Batch Farmhouse Ale would have been perfect. Mother's Spring Batch Farmhouse Ale Both the saison style and origins are debated in various texts. It is commonly accepted that the farmers of Southern Belgium brewed low ABV saisons in the fall for fermentation over the winter for drinking during the spring and summer seasons. Yeasts play a big part in the final flavor of saisons, and the variety of yeasts used by the original brewers probably resulted in many unique saisons. Additionally, many had some level of wild yeast introduced which altered the final beer. Saisons of today are still relatively light at around 5% ABV and are generally dry and crisp with spicy and floral flavors. Mother's Spring Batch Farmhouse Ale The Mother’s Spring Batch Farmhouse Ale exhibits these characteristics. The beer is a hazy, straw colored liquid with a golden yellow shimmer in the light. The thick head is like frothed milk and is slow to subside leaving a nice layer of lace as it does. The nose picks up banana and clove, floral notes, and contributions from the yeast. It also notes a lack of both sweetness and hops. As expected from a beer with an ABV of 5.6%, the mouthfeel is medium-light. The beer is lively on the front of the tongue with subtle tropical fruit flavors and a hint of tartness. The sides of the tongue are flooded with a peppery spiciness and underlying banana and clove flavors as well as a slight sugary sweetness. There is a yeast flavor in the finish, but it is not as strong as the nose led me to believe it might be. The finish is instead dominated by white pepper spice and a long lingering champagne-like dryness. A slight dry bitterness from what tastes like a Noble hop variety is also there. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Mother’s Spring Batch is a spring seasonal and is available now. The bottles are just rolling off the line. My bottles show a date of February 5th on them. Spring Batch is available in six-packs of 12 oz bottles. The crispness of this beer, its low ABV, and the fact that it is refreshing even when the beer’s temperature is above 55-60 degrees means it’s great as a mid-ride pick-me-up. So if you happen to be driving through the middle of Iowa late on a spring night and see a group of ragged cyclists trudging on, I’m sure they’d love a beer hand-up, especially if that beer is a Mother’s Spring Batch. Cheers, Alex   Bikepacker Friendliness                      7/10 Aroma                                                           8/10 Flavor                                                            8/10 Style Appropriateness                           7/10

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