Beer Review: Saison Dupont

It was recently announced that the Be Our Guest restaurant opening soon inside the new Fantasyland in Walt Disney World will be the first restaurant  in that park to serve alcohol.  While there have been some rather vocal opinions both for and against this move, I decided to take a Switzerland position and am only concerned with the quality of the beer being served.  (I’m not a wine guy so I would be out of my league trying to comment on that.)

Whether you’re for or against the serving of alcohol in Be Our Guest, their beer selection is pretty impressive.  You can check out the list here, courtesy of The Disney Food Blog.  All in all, I think Disney did a great job with this one.  They could have easily gone the easy route and stopped at Hoegaarden, but bringing in Saison Dupont and Chimay Blue, and (to some extent) Kronenbourg 1664 really gives the beer selection a sense of credibility.

On a recent trip to my favorite local beer distributor, I happened to pass a 750 ml bottle of Saison Dupont.  It couldn’t have been more fortuitous, since I had just read the above article by DFB, so of course I had to buy it!

Saison Dupont -- Magic Kingdom's newest beer

I found the back label to be particularly interesting, so here it is in its entirety:

Brewed at one of Europe’s last farmhouse breweries, in Hainaut province, Saison Dupont is a 4-star, world classic example of the Belgian Saison style. This increasingly rare specialty originated before the age of refrigeration as a beer to be brewed in winter for summer drinking. The style required a beer sturdy enough to age in the bottle but refreshing enough to be enjoyed in warm weather. Saison Dupont fits this description perfectly. It has a big, fruity bouquet, and dense head. The taste starts fruity but ends dry and very clean with a light refreshing body.

Saison Dupont -- Magic Kingdom's newest beverage

A bottle-conditioned unfiltered Belgian farmhouse ale, Saison Dupont feels like a special occasion beer that’s easy enough to drink on a week night.  Once you twist the cage off the top and pop the cork, you can immediately smell the fruity fragrance of the brew (and luckily, it doesn’t foam like champagne when you pop the cork).

Saison Dupont -- Magic Kingdom's latest beverage

Estelle and I poured into a Mickey Mouse standard pint glass and an Epcot Food and Wine weizen glass, respectively.  The beer had a very foamy head and was a light golden color.  It had a sweet, slightly bubbly taste with hints of apples and pears.  Refreshing yet complex, with a slightly tart, grassy, crisp finish, it also featured a very clean, smooth mouthfeel and aftertaste.

Saison Dupont -- Magic Kingdom's latest beverage

Saison Dupont tastes like a beer that will be perfect for Be Our Guest.  It’s well-balanced, easy to drink, and is likely to pair very well with the expected dinner fare at the restaurant.  It can be thoroughly enjoyed by beer snobs and Bud Light drinkers alike, and is not likely to scare anybody away.

Saison Dupont -- Magic Kingdom's latest beverage

Whether you’re well-versed in the differences between Belgian farmhouse saisons and trippels or you only usually stick to Bud/Miller/Coors, Saison Dupont seems like a safe bet for everyone.  It is complex enough to please even the most distinguished palates, yet safe enough to appeal to people who don’t usually drink well-crafted, superior beers.  I give Disney a lot of credit for adding this beer to the menu and can’t wait to enjoy it in the new restaurant myself.

We purchased a 750 ml bottle for $10.95.  According to the menus provided by Disney, it will cost $7.25 in the restaurant, which I assume is for a pint.  Saison Dupont has a 6.5% alcohol content by volume, and according to Beer Advocate it is rated 93/100 by both the readers and “the bros.”  Check it out here.

Saison Dupont -- Magic Kingdom's latest beverage

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A book publicist who loves writing about Disney and books, and sometimes Disney books.

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