March 2, 2017
Martin Beves in 7/10, AUSTRALIA, Costa Nikias, FARMHOUSE, La Sirène, La Sirène Urban Pale, SUMMER BEERS, farmhouse-style

Costa Nikias from Melbourne's La Sirène brewery is on a crusade to expand the horizons of the average beer drinker. In particular, he is passionate about introducing people to ‘farmhouse-style’ brews.

This is a style of beer which originated in rural areas of France and Belgium in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They were typically brewed on farms using untreated water and grain and hops grown on site.

What makes this style special is the way in which they were fermented. The wort was deliberately left exposed to the air allowing wild yeast and bacteria to be introduced into the wort resulting in spontaneous fermentation.

The resulting beer would take on characteristics of the yeast and bacteria found in the local area. Interestingly, this can result in great variation in flavour from breweries in different regions or even breweries within the same region.

Whilst ‘farmhouse’ brews are poorly defined they can be generally described as a slightly funky and yeast-forward beer. Examples of well-known farmhouse style brews include Saison, Grisette and Bière de Garde.

Costa decided to ease drinkers introduce to ‘farmhouse-style’ by making a kind of pale ale/farmhouse hybrid which he describes a ‘hop-driven juicy Farmhouse Pale Ale’. I couldn’t find much about this brew other than it uses their in-house yeast strain and is 5.2% ABV.

Pale, cloudy yellow with a fine white head. Light to medium body, clean mouthfeel and moderate carbonation. Banana, clove and spicy aroma. Starts with a mild bready malt and a sharp citrus flavour cutting through it. A clove, peppery and moderately funky flavour creeps in with an acidic and moderately dry and bitter finish. It’s kind of tastes like a cross between a Hefeweizen and a Saison that would go down very nicely on a hot day.

An interesting hybrid of styles and another solid brew from La Sirène.



Article originally appeared on Beeriosity (
See website for complete article licensing information.