A farmhouse ale is not a single style of beer. It’s actually a broader category of styles. It can be a saison, bière de garde, gueuze, or sahti. In general, a beer that falls under the farmhouse ale designation will have a bit of a funky flavor, kind of like wet hay or earth. It will also be tart, like an unripened strawberry, and leave your mouth crisp and dry. Other than that, the possibilities are endless.
Farmhouse ales are traditional summer beers in France and Belgium that were made in the winter and drunk throughout crop planting, maintenance, and harvest. Beers were given to seasonal workers who tended the crops, or the “saisonniers” in French, so it wasn’t made with top-shelf ingredients people sought out. It was made with natural yeast and the leftover crops that didn’t make it to market the previous year.