May 15, 2015

Southern Tier Grand Arbor

It’s been about a year and a half since I last reviewed a Southern Tier product. I know that I’ve enjoyed many of their brews over that time, but to not take notes on a new one!? That’s just not right. So I’m gonna make up for it with Grand Arbor, a tasty and unique saison.

Grand Arbor as you may have guessed isn’t your grandma’s saison. This 8% ABV brew has a healthy dose of maple syrup added in during fermentation. The result is a beer that has a decent yeasty character, a moderate sweetness and overall woody trait that helps separate it from the rest of the saison crowd.


A big stack of frothy white foam rests atop the golden brew.

Southern Tier Grand Arbor photo


Grain, yeast, soft hay notes, a light bit of funk, a welcome earthiness and a gentle touch of maple syrup all combine for an enticing aroma.


A solid amount of grain and decent bit of funk dominate as yeast, maple syrup, woody traits, hay and a touch of alcohol follow smoothly behind. The lightly viscous mouthfeel and moderate sweetness take the saison in a slightly different direction than the norm as the beer finishes with a lasting bit of maple and tingling hop bitterness. I do like the woody and overall earthy nature of this brew.


Grand Arbor is a tasty take on a saison. The use of maple syrup may not be unprecedented, but here it gives the beer a unique character that I particular enjoyed. The beer isn’t as zippy or snappy as some examples of the style, but on the cooler March evening that I originally enjoyed this beer, it was ideal.

Rating: 4/5

More: ,