I’m dreaming of a white pizza (with figs) and beer

Friday evening and thoughts turn to pizza and beer. But you’re not after just any pizza and beer, right? The Swedish beer magazine C/O Hops presented an unusual take in their Autumn 2017 edition.

Swedish beer magazine C/O Hops Beer and Food section Autumn 2017 White pizza with figs

Swedish beer magazine C/O Hops open at Martin Nordin’s lovely photo of his white pizza with figs

C/O Hops is a beautifully presented publication dedicated to all that is good about beer. The beer and food section is always inspiring and occasionally daunting. When I saw this photo for white pizza with figs. I could hardly wait to get home from hols in the snowy north of Sweden and make it, which is what I did on Friday.

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Saison: from Belgian Farmhouse to London Fields Eastside

At the risk – or perhaps hope – of achieving notoriety in Private Eye’s Neophiliacs column, I declare that saison is the new black IPA. I am not saying that to knock it or anyone who brews saison. I love the stuff. Which was why I was delighted to be invited to London Fields Brewery for the launch of the latest in their Bootlegger Series: Eastside Saison.

Eastside Saison signage London Fields Brewery

Eastside Saison. It’s from Lond Fields’ east side.

Over the past year or so, “saison” beers have exploded their presence like overprimed bottles of homebrew. Craft brewers have been cranking up their imaginations to produce a new variants of a beer style with its origins in the Belgian farmhouse of bygone eras. And why shouldn’t modern brewers be creative? When it comes to style, saison is the bebop of beer: based on a few sketchy ideas, the whole comes together with some firecracking improvisation.

Which is a roundabout way of saying there is nothing fixed about a saison: it is a moveable feast*. Nobody can be certain what those ancient farmhouse beers tasted like. Brewed in winter for slaking the thirsts of summer farm labourers, each farm brewing their own one-off batch. As craft as you like, it’s no wonder so many brewers want to try their hand.  I was very keen to taste the London Fields interpretation. Continue reading