March 13, 2024

We are thrilled to share the inside scoop on our latest innovation brew – the Libra Lemongrass Ginger Saison. The first non-alcoholic Saison in Canada! We sat down with our talented Brewmaster Hogie to discover the inspiration behind the brew, the flavour profile, perfect food pairings, and more through an insightful Q+A. Let’s dive into his responses!

Q: What was the inspiration behind creating a Saison?

A: The inspiration stemmed from the versatility of the Saison style itself. Traditionally, brewers or farmers used whatever ingredients they had on hand to brew their Saison, so you’re open to unlimited creative potential with this beer style. We’ve brewed quite a few alcoholic Saison’s in the past at Upstreet including Mango Passionfruit, Marigold and Apple, and Dry-Hopped Basil. There’s a lot of freedom when creating a Saison, so we seized the opportunity to create a fresh, herbal beer that is perfect for Spring.

Fun fact: Saison’s are an Easter driven flavour containing a lot of inherent floral, aromatic compounds that pair well with lots of different herbs, fruits, and spices.

Q: What was the inspiration behind the Lemongrass and Ginger flavours?

A: Saison’s are meant to be dry, refreshing, and easy drinking, mostly due to the nature of the yeast. Because of this, we were able to use local malt made with local PEI barley and wheat, which is really cool! This is the first Libra beer made with the shoreline malt from PEI, and the yeast is from Escarpment Laboratories in Ontario. Overall, the brew is meant to be calming and fresh tasting with pops of lemon and ginger.

Q: How would you describe the flavour profile?

A: The first words that come to mind – herbal, floral, lemon, light spice, dry finish. Overall, this beer makes you feel like you’re drinking something healthy – it’s really refreshing and has a nice light ginger warming sensation in the finish. In addition to the lemongrass, the beer actually has the equivalent of 1/8 of a lemon’s juice in it, so it almost gives off a lemon-tea vibe. 

Q: What are some recommended food pairings to go with this beer?

A: Thai green curry, fresh Vietnamese spring rolls, sushi, or coconut cream pie. Anything fresh will pair really nicely with this Saison, such as your favourite salad.

Q: Most of your beers range between 30-50 calories and 4-9g of sugar, can you talk about how this beer differs from that range?

A: This brew only has 20 calories, 1g of sugar, and 1g of carbs. I don’t usually focus on calories or carbs, it’s always just an added bonus. Since great examples of Saison’s are really dry, they don’t typically have any residual sugar – this brew was flavour driven, we prioritize flavour first; the rest just happens. We’ve seen similar results with our other brews – we try to make them as flavourful as possible while still being non-alcoholic, and they just happen to be low-calorie and low-carb too.

“We prioritize flavour first; the rest just happens.”

Q: You’re a bit of a mad scientist when it comes to the flavours, can you talk about how Libra is always pushing the boundaries and innovating new flavours?

A: Saison’s are a creative outlet for brewers – I had never heard of or tried a non-alcoholic Saison, so I was really curious to see if I could create one with tons of flavour. Our Saison doesn’t taste like a traditional beer, which is really interesting because as a result it caters to both the non-beer drinker and the craft beer enthusiast. There is no scenario in a Venn diagram where those two categories overlap (the non-beer drinker and the craft beer enthusiast), so it’s really cool that we created a beer that does.

Q: Where would you picture yourself enjoying this beer?

A: Anytime you feel like you deserve a little treat, really! You can pair it with your lunch, drink it in the afternoon (like I am right now), or in the evening before bed. It could also replace your daily tea, or be your companion during a peaceful moment throughout your day, such as during a meditation.

Q: Is there anything else about this brew that you would like to share?

A: I really enjoyed the hands-on aspect of brewing this beer – I was in the brewery making the tea, adding bags to the kettle, etc., so that was a really unique experience. We had never made a beer like this where we blend the tea and mix it with the beer, so the process of brewing itself was really enjoyable. Part of the fun was going from point A to point B throughout the day – hooking things up, making messes, and doing it all again the next day. That’s part of our key thing here – we make the beer ourselves and we love to do it.

“That’s part of our key thing here – we make the beer ourselves and we love to do it.”

We’re so excited for you all to try this new limited release brew, embodying the spirit of balance and creativity that defines our brand. Grab yours now at!