I just read the copy in this Northern Brewer saison kit which says "Saisons are brewed hoppy and fairly strong in order to keep through the summer". I had always thought that, as a farmhouse ale, saisons are a low-alcohol beer brewed for consumption by farmhands. Though now that I think about it, I'm not sure I've ever had a modern saison lower than 5 or 6 percent, which has me doubting the low-alcohol provenance.
Which is it? And if it's traditionally low-alcohol, why are modern saisons not so?