Dogfish Head, Victory Brewing, and Stone Brewing have joined forces once again to create Saison du BUFF, a saison that blends locally-harvested sage, lemon thyme, rosemary, and parsley, and Citra and Centennial hops. The collaboration beer will start hitting store shelves this week in six-packs of 12 oz. bottles.
This isn’t the first time the three breweries have collaborated to make this beer. In 2003, Sam Calagione (Dogfish Head, founder), Bill Covaleski (Victory, co-founder), and Greg Koch (Stone, co-founder) formed an ad hoc coalition they dubbed “Brewers United for Freedom of Flavor (BUFF)” with the goal of drawing attention to the then-fledgling craft beer revolution. While it’s hard to fathom today, in 2003 the mainstream media gave scant notice to craft beer, and it was the three brothers of BUFF’s goal to change that by driving awareness for quality, flavorful beers.
The jointly-developed recipe for Saison du BUFF was first brewed at Stone in 2010 with all three “BUFF brothers” present, and then ever-so-slightly tweaked versions were replicated at each of the other two breweries that same year. Stone revisited the beer again in 2012, when fate (and the Craft Brewers Conference) brought Calagione, Covaleski, and Koch together again in San Diego. It was there they agreed to take turns brewing the beer in rotating years, following the initial recipe for inspiration—it was Dogfish Head’s turn in 2014, Victory’s in 2015, and Stone is making the beer again this year.
“When we first came up with the idea for BUFF, we were on a mission to protest the flavorless, industrialized facsimiles of beer that dominate the marketplace,” Koch said in a press release. “The thought was that if three brewers from different parts of the country banded together to form a coalition, it might help the rest of the world notice the incredible revolution going on within the craft beer world. Fast forward to now, and we’re brewing Saison du BUFF to continue honoring the serious strides craft brewers have made in our industry…and well, it’s a favorite of Sam, Bill and mine!”
This year’s version follows the original recipe from 2010, still boasting the use of locally-harvested sage, lemon thyme, rosemary and parsley. Thanks to a Belgian yeast strain, very subtle clove and fruit-like esters are present in the flavor and complement the pronounced herbal characters. Citra and Centennial hops were added after fermentation to create prominent citrus and tropical fruit qualities in the aroma and beer’s finish. Overall, it’s very dry, with refreshing qualities that will lend themselves to the approaching warmer weather months. See where the beer is available near you using Stone’s beer finder.
Dogfish Head / Victory / Stone Saison du BUFF
- ABV: 6.8%
- IBUs: 52
- Hops: Centennial & Citra
- Availability: Limited six-packs of 12 oz. bottles and draft
- Distribution: AK, AL, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, MA, ME, MD, MI, MN, MO, MT, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA and WA
Provided by Stone Brewmaster Mitch Steele
- Appearance: This beer pours a beautiful pale gold with a white head of foam.
- Aroma: Pronounced herbal characters, a wonderful blend of sage, lemon thyme, rosemary. It has some very pleasant citrusy notes, perhaps from the lemon thyme and dry hop with Citra. And the Belgian yeast strain contributes low-level banana esters and a hint of clove.
- Taste: The taste starts with the herbal blend in the forefront, and then is backed by a clean malt balance and a very nice citrus and tropical fruit-influenced finish. The finish has a substantial, but balanced hop bitterness and hop flavor.
- Overall: This is the third time we’ve brewed this recipe here at Stone Brewing. Each batch has been brewed with unconventional, locally sourced ingredients and follows the original 2010 recipe for inspiration. When all of the ingredients are combined, it makes for a very dry, unique-tasting beer with a nice refreshing quality…making it perfect for this time of year!
Provided by Stone Craft Beer Ambassador “Dr.” Bill Sysak
- Appetizers: Crab cakes, grilled shrimp, curried cashews, hummus
- Entrees: Pad Thai, roasted chicken, grilled salmon, Caesar salad, tikka masala
- Cheeses: Bloomy-rind goat’s milk cheeses, such as Bucharondin or Humboldt Fog
- Desserts: Lemon bars, apple turnover, key lime pie
- Cigars: AVO 787 Piramides, Macanudo Gold Label Tudor, Arturo Fuente 858 Candela, Montecristo #2