Beer of the Week: September 14
Ballast Point's Brother Levonian Saison
Posted Friday, September 14, 2012, 12:39PM
Brother Levonian, Saison (6.2% ABV)
Dave Levonian is a name plucked out of local brewing history. The first customer at Home Brew Mart (the homebrewing supply store opened by Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits owner Jack White) in the mid-nineties, he was known for homespun beers that garnered national awards. He was also popular among San Diego brewers and drinkers alike for traveling the world and bringing back obscure beers to share with his sudsy contemporaries. Sadly, at the young age of 39, Dave passed away after a brief battle with non-smoking lung cancer in 2008. As a way to simultaneously cope, pay homage and support the family of their fallen friend, once a year, Ballast Point (and The Lost Abbey) brew a 15-barrel batch of this saison, made per the specifications of Dave’s original recipe. Proceeds from sales of that beer go to Dave’s wife and daughter. That’s reason enough to tip a glass, but on top of its humanitarian appeal, it also tastes outstanding (it was the first recipe I sought out when I started homebrewing). Curacao, orange peel, coriander, grains of paradise and orange blossom honey compound the fruity, floral notes of Belgian saison yeast and bring on heavy flavor for this light-bodied warm season refresher.
You can check it out or get a growler fill of Brother Levonian at Ballast Point’s tasting bars in Scripps Ranch (10051 Old Grove Road) or at Home Brew Mart (5401 Linda Vista Road), or try a special version brewed with sancho and basil flowers. Both of those ingredients were grown at Suzie’s Farm where that beer will be served during their annual outdoor Autumnal Equinox Dinner. The beer was crafted specifically to pair with a salad being cooked up for the event by chef Joe Magnanelli from Cucina Urbana.
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