NAME: Araignée French Saison from Spider Bite Beer Co. in Holbrook.
WHAT: A saison, or farmhouse-style ale, made with a French saison yeast, Nelson Sauvin hops, wheat and pilsner malt.
THE POUR: In the glass, this has a light amber hue and a foamy head that quickly fades. It tastes as if tangerines and spruce were duking it out, with traces of pepper and white flowers.
STRENGTH: At 6.6 percent alcohol, it has spine, but isn’t overly boozy.
BACK STORY: Spider Bite Beer Co. co-founder and brewer Larry Goldstein brews three farmhouse-style ales (two grisettes, and this saison), a rustic and earthy style whose fruity-spicy profile is a natural fit for warmer weather, and can also appeal to wine drinkers. (Anthony LiCausi is the other founder.) For the Araignée, Goldstein uses a French saison yeast that is cleaner than more commonly used Belgian saison yeast. “You get the crisp dryness with a winelike character, and none of the earthiness or funkiness that you can get from the Belgian strains,” said Goldstein, a former chiropractor. That Chardonnay-like character is reinforced by the Nelson Sauvin hops, known for almost tropical juiciness. Araignée is brewed twice a year; this round was brewed on April 25 and will be on tap until it runs out (but it’s a small batch, so that may be soon).
COST: $6 for a 14-ounce pour at the brewery, $10 for a crowler (or a 32-ounce half growler) and $16 for a 64-ounce growler.
WHERE: Spider Bite is distributed throughout the tristate region (and as far as Rochester, New York and Ohio), but track Araignée down in its natural habitat — the Spider Bite tasting room, which is in a Holbrook industrial building. Inside, you’ll encounter a cozy, unfussy space with a small bar, a few hi-tops and an indoor picnic table, plus lots of bright green Spider Bite branding and memorabilia. If Araignée has been tapped out, there are at least six other beers on rotation here at any given time, from multiple IPAs to the signature Boris the Spider Russian Imperial Stout.
Spider Bite Beer Co., 920 Lincoln Ave. No. 5, Holbrook; 631-942-3255, spiderbitebeer.com