With all the hype from these industrial park farmhouses fruiting their sour blondes ad infinitum, sometimes we forget the old standbys. Somewhere along the line fanboys decided that because 4% abv stainless fruited Berliners are $9, then every barrel aged sour of every type is overpriced if it cracks the double digits. I DONT CARE IF IT TOOK THREE YEARS TO MAKE IT BETTER BE FUCKING PURPLE.
Some of you may be old enough to remember back when seeing barrel aged Sours falling off the shelves wasn’t some common occurrence. Almanac straddled that valley amiably back when all those Farmers Reserve bottles were dropping and saving people with Upland inclinations. They are still grinding and putting up Calvin Broadus numbers, somehow ekeing out a modicum of success without doing 300 bottle, 1 per person, lottery only, society-exclusive runs.
The same new money assholes who want ultra acidic $8 Lacto bombs are the ones who leave solid mainstays on the shelf. If you told them Bruery Beret is basically Bottleworks XII, they would respond “Beret is barely even fucking sour…what is a Bottleworks?” This is the current market Almanac is unfortunate enough to service at this point.
The pour admittedly looks like shit. If you enjoyed the trubtastic offerings from Pizza Boy, you’ll be right at home here. The carb dissipates and dries up like a Ford model at a Yu Gi Oh tournament. If looks could kill, this would be Casey Anthony: of dubious lethality.
The nose is worlds better and your face gets rocked like those Amiga commercials from back in the day. You gotta have grey pubes to get that reference. At the outset I am sure produce masters will demand a deep purple hue and straight up jammy explosion, nothing less. This is more of a subdued approach, oikos yogurt, farmers market berries, muddled blackberries, and spent captain crunch milk. The acidity doesn’t melt my face off and seems to dance in the balance showing one fruit breast and one monoculture…breast.
don’t touch the monoculture breast.
The taste gives more of a tannic blast over and above strict juicy j exposee. You get a touch of acetic aspects however they seem to exhibit it as a type of oaky dryness rather than vinegar detonation. The fruit served as Smuckers mortar to seal these bricks together lovingly. It never drills the bicuspids, cankersores are left in check. I think a 750ml format would be too apeshit for my baby gums, but this is ideal. At higher temps you get a touch of a diacetyl sack tap right in your grease pouch. I don’t know who is intentionally drinking these at room temp but I like to do my due diligence to find maximum shit to complain about.
“This sour isn’t even that good after being microwaved, this brewer sucks shit.”
Those kinda groundless complaints run rampant around here.
Oh shit, let’s not forget about this offering either. I opened this with a group of “normal” non-cicerones at a Fourth of July party and it was their favorite beer of the day. They loved the belgian esters working in tandem with the stone fruit profile and expressed it as “this shit isn’t like all your other fancy shit.” A mark of true praise.
It is just bitter enough and refreshingly belgian pale at once then sublimating into a blithe fruit beer later. This will get drilled in summer temps with careless abandon.
While not a game changer, this reminds me of Hangar 24 Polycot or those “almost wilds” that bleach beer buttholes to prep them for deeper AWA presentation.
In summary: Almanac is still on the grind in the way that Boyz II Men still sells out arenas with solid performances. You could easily quit beer trading bullshit, buy these offshelf instead, and spend more time with your weird ass kids. He is only seven, how does he even know the word “cooter?”