Pine Island's Drowned Lands Saison

This Warwick hamlet brewer's onion-inspired concoction reveals multiple layers of flavor


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Candy onions, farmhouse beer... it's all good.

Photo by Pine Island Brewing Company

The Hudson Valley is, as we know, hopping with great brews, but what about those peculiar pours that go below the radar or rely more on cult appeal? With that in mind, we've decided to bring you a weekly series focusing on weird and tasty taps, starting with Pine Island Brewing Company's new, onion-forward creation. 

Weird Local Beer of the Week: Pine Island Brewing Company Drowned Lands Saison

The Gist: This Orange County brewery is literally bringing us back to our regional roots, infusing its Drowned Lands Saison with sweet candy onions, fresh picked from John D. Madura Farms, right down the street.

The Story: Pine Island Brewing is keeping its hometown history alive and on tap. This unique saison nods to the fact that Pine Island was once a flood plane known as the "Drowned Lands," and was unusable for farming owing to frequent Wallkill River backups. In the mid-1900s, local farmers took it upon themselves to join together and build the Cheechunk Canal, draining the swamp by hand to expose its rich land. Onion growth flourished, and even today, Pine Island is known for producing some of the world's tastiest bulbs.

So What's It Taste Like? “These aren’t your normal onions,” says brewery founder Mike Kraai. “They’re sweet enough that you can cut them up and bite into them like an apple.” Used for their natural sugars, candy onions offer the perfect balance to saison spices, like cardamom and ginger. And rest assured that with its light, dry body and mild onion notes that refrain from overpowering the pour, the only tears you’ll be crying are those of joy.

 

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