Spiced with juniper berries and finished with a twist of lime, The Morton Arboretum’s refreshing new brew, Joy Path Juniper Saison Ale, will make its official debut later this June. This warm-weather beer, which includes berries harvested from the Arboretum’s own grounds, follows its first namesake brew, Arbor Oak Amber Ale. Both are brewed in partnership with Chicago’s Lake Effect Brewery.
A farmhouse style of ale, the saison, which means “season” in French, imparts a citrusy zing and is a perfect accompaniment to any summer gathering. The beer receives its name from the Arboretum’s Joy Path—a walk that takes visitors past a variety of gardens and beautiful native woods and was a favorite of Arboretum founder Joy Morton.
Dusty blue-green in color, the berries of Chinese juniper are technically cones, structured much like pine cones, but with a far more tender exterior that makes it an attractive treat for many birds. The aromatic, piney fruit of the juniper is used to make gin and can be blended into marinades and sauces for meat such as pork and venison, among others. Rugged and useful landscape plants, junipers also have ornamental appeal as they are widely used in bonsai and holiday decorations.
“We are excited to introduce this flavorful summertime ale, a great follow-up to our first beer, which remains a favorite with our visitors,” said Anna Cosner, director of retail and events at the Arboretum.
“We’re looking forward to bringing this saison ale, a type of beer that is becoming increasingly popular with craft beer drinkers, to the Arboretum,” said Clint Bautz, co-founder of Lake Effect Brewing Co. “We think the distinctive juniper spice and note of lime really sets this brew apart.”
Beer lovers can also samples of Joy Path Juniper Saison Ale at the Arboretum’s June 25 Craft Beer Festival.