Beer goes with lots of food, from burgers and pizza to carbonnade a la flamande. But does beer belong with breakfast?
To find out, we visited Social Kitchen and Brewery to sample a beer collaboration between the brew pub’s head brewer Kim Sturdavant and winemaker James Davids of Oro En Paz. Davids makes wine on Treasure Island from organic grapes sourced in Lake County. Last fall he was talking to Sturdavant about his Semillon grapes and the two friends concocted a plan to make a saison-style ale using 600 pounds of Semillon grapes (40 pounds of juice) added during fermentation. As Sturdavant told Brian Stechschulte of the SF Brewers Guild, “The end result is just a combination of two people in two different fields working together to make something.”
Saison has recently become a popular style among American brewers for good reason. While Belgian-style farmhouse ales from breweries like Brasserie Dupont are thoroughly enjoyable in their own right, they also lend themselves well to blending with other flavors.
Saison Du Semillon is bright, golden and crisp, and very easy to drink. It’s a little tart and finishes very dry. Although it’s clearly a spicy saison, the Semillon grapes add subtle notes of honey and fruit, and the 7.7% abv is well hidden. It’s a perfect sipper paired with lighter foods or even fresh fruit on a warm summer day.
Saison du Semillon is also a delightful beer with breakfast, whether you enjoy it with Social Kitchen Chef Chris Wong’s signature pork belly fried rice at Sunday brunch or with fried chicken and waffles or even steak and eggs.
Sturdavant is an adventurous brewer with a deft touch, creating beers that are easily accessible to beer newcomers without being condescending to more experienced beer drinkers. If you know any wine lovers curious about drinking beer, Saison Du Semillon would be a good place to start.