Saison translates to “Season” in English. Farmers across Europe would make Farmhouse Ales for the summer months for a few reasons…
Most importantly it was a “big” beer. They added “extreme” amounts of hops and malt to have a beer that wouldn’t spoil in the hot summer months. The hops were usually very low in Alpha Acid content so the beer was not overly bitter. It was considered a strong beer for the time even though it topped out at 4% ABV.
Malts: Pilsner, Wheat, and White Wheat
Hops: Nobel Hops – Tettnang & Hallertau
If you want a good read about the History of Farmhouse Ales and also the method in which they are made I would HIGHLY recommend this book. http://www.amazon.com/Farmhouse-Ales-Culture-Craftsmanship-Tradition/dp/0937381845