The Martin House Saison River House Is All Rapids and Froth

A Martin House saison sporting a frothy cap.
A Martin House saison sporting a frothy cap.
Scott Reitz

The can is a filthy liar. The cowboy painted on the front of the saison from Fort Worth's Martin House seems as relaxed as the river he's fishing. The body of water could be a lake it's so still, but pop open the top and you're greeted with class II rapids, a surging froth and a beer that's not ready to settle down until it's ready to settle.

It took a lot of effort to get this pint of beer into a pint jar; lively carbonation fed a lasting, white fluffy head. Things did eventually settle down though, and I was able to pull out my inner tube and settle in for a late evening session.

There's a good bit of fruit in this beer — something lemony and a bit like Juicy Fruit chewing gum — but it's tempered by a hoppy bitterness. Remember our old friend, the charming Four Corners hermano Super Bee? He was dry hopped and the flavors were verdant and floral. The hops in this beer were added a little earlier in the brewing cycle, and they've left my humble pint jar with a quiet bitterness.

Still, the River House may more closely resemble a saison compared to our violent, buzzing friend. The beer is pale yellow, cloudy and the yeast is obviously present. At 5 percent ABV it's a beer you could sip while you float the whole way down the river, if you've got a better tolerance than me.

I'm happy just to float here, though, tethered to the dock with a cooler floating by my side. River House won't ever be my favorite saison — he seems to lack a depth of personality — but if he fell onto my raft I wouldn't push him overboard.

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