Review: Trans Canada & Amsterdam Parhelion Farmhouse Saison (Foeder Reserve)

Last September, a buddy and I did a weekend road trip to Winnipeg for a beer festival. The first stop we made while in Winnipeg was at Trans Canada Brewing where we met up with brewery owner Matt. While at the brewery, Matt gave us a tour of the brewery and showed us their impressive aging room/barrelhouse. In that room there were some foeders that were being used to create some experimental releases with one of them being a collaboration Saison that they did with Toronto's Amsterdam Brewing. Well, fast forward to now, they finally released the beer, named Parhelion as part of their Foeder Reserve series. I wasn't expecting to try it out because I expected the beer to only be a brewery-only release, but thankfully they ended up bottling it and selling it at various Liquor Marts around the province. Well, they sent a case to my go-to Liquor Mart here in Brandon but I was flat out told that I couldn't buy any because it was apparently a "special order" for a licensee when in reality it was actually meant for the store's sales. After two weeks of the LC telling me I couldn't buy any, Trans Canada got in contact with them to tell them that the beer was meant to be sold to the public so they finally brought it out.. and here we are, I'm finally reviewing the beer!

From the label: "This Rustic Farmhouse Saison was brewed using wild rice sourced from Du Bois Wild Rice Ltd., a fourth generation Manitoba family farm.

Experience a soft, oak silkiness that unfolds over complex spice and fruity esters with a traditional yeast funk (Brettanomyces) and a nutty undertone pulled from the wild rice. This bottle conditioning process created a delicate effervescence that enhances the complex notes, blending together in a balanced finish." 

Appearance: Clear, lemon yellow, good amount of carbonation, and a light white head on top that fizzes away like a carbonated soda.

Aroma: Light amount of Brett yeast from the beginning to give it a light funkiness with a light amount of sourness to it. Hint of bubble gum, rice, and a faint aroma of apple juice at the end. Considering this beer has been aging since February 2018, I was expecting more of a funk or barrel aroma so far.

Taste: The wild rice is the first thing I get in this beer to give off a bit of a cerealy profile to it. It's a bit grassy from the hops used, while I get a light amount of barnyard funk and a very faint sourness from the Brett yeast used. Light notes of bubble gum, decently sweet, easy to drink.

Overall Thoughts: I'm happy that I finally got to try this beer as I've been thinking about this beer since my visit to the brewery nearly a year ago. That said, I was hoping the Brett would pop out more in this beer, or that it would have more of an aged oaky vibe to it. It's very light for a Saison but has a nice wild rice profile to it that you get in every sip, something I haven't seen since Half Pints did a wild rice beer collab with Central City a few years ago. I'd like to see Trans Canada bottling and releasing more wild yeast themed beers because we just don't ever see beers brewed with Brett or wild yeast at LCs in Manitoba. 7.0% ABV

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