It’s not uncommon when Brian and I are driving around Missouri that we will top a hill or round a bend and marvel at the “classic Ozarks” vista—rolling hills and trees as far as the eye can see. Sometimes the sun is setting in the hills, sometimes it’s rising. Sometimes fog is obscuring the depths of the hollows. There are bluffs. There are rivers. There are waterfalls. It’s always breathtaking.
The first Europeans to venture in our hills centuries ago were French surveyors, and they aptly called this area Aux Arcs, French for “to the top arc”. Pronounced “Ozark”, the centuries old French word describes this area where the Big Piney River and many other unique natural areas that encompass most of Southern Missouri, parts of Northern Arkansas and even stretch into NE Oklahoma and SE Kansas. And Piney River Brewing is fortunate enough to be in the heart of it!
If you visited the brewery last year, you may have had the opportunity to try a beer we made that paid homage to our French heritage here in the Ozarks—Aux Arcs Saison. This beer has returned in 2017 and is available in very limited supply.
Aux Arcs is a French saison that is dry-hopped with Nelson Savin and Mosaic hops. The French saison yeast is really fun; it throws lovely fruit characteristics that go so well with the hops, especially the delicate Nelson Savin. The dry-hopping technique also provides a wonderful hop aroma.
This is personally one of my favorite beers that we’ve ever made. I love the balance between the yeast and the hops. As someone that grew up in the Ozarks with family that has been in the Ozarks for generations, I love the connection we’ve made in naming the beer in honor of the land and its history.
Aux Arcs is available now at the BARn. It’s also available in most of our distribution areas throughout the fall months, but there’s a limited supply of this beer. Enjoy while you can!
In the 1600’s French surveyors and cartographers set out exploring a large chunk of prime real estate later known as the Louisiana Purchase. Those explorers named the most Northern bend of the Arkansas River “Aux Arcs”, which we pronounce Ozark. Aux Arcs means “to the top arc” which ended up describing all the hills, hollows, forests, plateaus, and river bends known to the world as the Ozarks.