Almanac Hoppy Sour: El Dorado

Val and I ended up at another place in Pennsylvania that was having a sour day. The menu said that they had a few bottles of Cantillon, but they were sold out by the time we got there. So, I settled on a sour from Almanac.


ABV: 7%

Style: American Wild Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “We blended our sour blonde ale aged in wine barrels with our brettanomyces farmhouse ale fermented in foeders to craft a complex wild ale base. Laced with flavors of stone fruit, oak, and earthy funk it’s the perfect complement the fruity punch of El Dorado Hops. El Dorado contributes aroma of pear, watermelon, and plum. Enjoy this hoppy release fresh for maximum aroma. Pair with fish tacos, seared scallops and grilled stone fruit.”

Random: Val and I have started binging on “Scream Queens.” It’s not great this season. Maybe it gets better after a few episodes.

This beer poured with a half a finger of white head. It dissipated quickly with no lacing left on the glass. The body was hazy and yellow with no visible carbonation because of the cloudiness. The nose was very fragrant and tart. It quickly went into notes of green apple and pears. There was some apricot as well. The taste started with lemon juice and citrus peel. It quickly went into pear, plum and apricots. After it warmed a bit, I picked up the oak as well. The booze didn’t make an appearance, but the beer was pretty dry. It had a light body with high carbonation. The finish was lengthy and tart with pears and lemons. As usual, I enjoyed another sour from Almanac, big shock there.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Devils Backbone Ale Of Two Cities

I’ve been getting into lighter beers lately. I’ve heard the evolution of the craft beer drinker discussed on many a podcast and I definitely fit that. I started with the big hoppy beers, the higher the IBUs the better. I transitioned into the barrel aged beers and then the funky, sour ones. Now, I’m back into the land of pilsners and kolschs. A really good pilsner or kolsch is quite refreshing and I’m hoping this one is up to the challenge.


ABV: 4.7%

Style: Kolsch

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “The next beer from the family brew project is a Kolsch-style ale using American hops, with the two cities being Cologne in German and Lexington, VA where our Outpost brewery is located. Enjoy this crisp golden ale.”

Random: This beer came in at 18 IBUs.

The brew poured with a finger of white head that dissipated quickly, but left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, straw yellow with high carbonation visible. The nose was very grainy and had a honey-like sweetness. There was some grass, but the grain took over. The taste was also on the sweeter side with milled grain and honey. It had a lightly toasted white bread note with mild hop aroma. The body was light with high carbonation and had a quick, toasted grain finish. This beer didn’t really do it for me. It didn’t drink like a typical kolsch and it couldn’t decide where it wanted to go. I won’t be having it again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Sole Euro Spliff

This was another beer that I had at The Pour House. I was looking for a light beer to throw back while watching sportsball and this delivered.


ABV: 5%

Style: German Pilsener

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “WE ARE … A GYPSY BREWERY. Brewing is in our bones. We craft our glorious libations under the roof of another brewery that we respect and trust. We practice our craft on some of the finest and most technologically advanced equipment that has been invented. Occasionally, we pack our bags and hop over to Europe to collaborate with foreign friends in forward thinking fermentation. WE BREW … CURIOUS & CULINARY ALES. We search for the outlandish while respecting the balance of culinary flavors. Beer is food, and our food is good. Each of our offerings is crafted to pique your interests, excite your senses, and challenge your taste buds. We want to create a sensory experience that provides sustenance for your soul. OUR OBSESSION … IS FLAVOR. We ensure every part of our ales, from the packaging to ingredients are as serious as we are. We support local hop farms, Pennsylvania malt-houses, and other farmers to provide us with special ingredients (like honey, maple syrup, herbs and spices) that are unique to our region.”

Random: The brewery website has no information on the website about the individual beers, which is one of my biggest pet peeves.

The beer poured with a half a finger of white head that dissipated slowly. It left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was clear with lots of carbonation visible, which was a good sign. The nose was filled with mineral water, grass and stones. The taste was crisp and clean with the same stone flavor. Grass was slightly more muted in the taste. It also had a pleasant minerality to it. The body was thin and crisp with generous carbonation. It had a quick finish with grass. This beer was exactly what I wanted, easy drinking and clean. I would have this one again.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Sole Gypsy Tears

I was looking for a light beer to drink while watching a sportsball event at The Pour House, so I settled on this. Let’s see how this was.


ABV: 5.5%

Style: Gose

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “A FOOD INSPIRED BREWER IS BORN. Joe Percoco is a food nut. He has always strived to learn everything possible about taste. At very young age, before being able to work officially, he traded time in a bakery for pastries, sips of wine and an old Italian man’s stories. After working as a cook at multiple restaurants for actual pay, Joe began investigating where food came from by working on an organic farm in the Appalachian Mountains. He learned to drive a 70 year old tractor, how to raise pastured animals, and everything there was to know about growing a good ingredient. Not only did he learn about ingredients, but through cultivating the land with his hands, he also became aware of how sustainability keeps nature at its finest for the production of clean, beautiful food.”

Random: I could go for some berries and whipped cream.

The brew poured with a half a finger of pure white head. It dissipated quickly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was pink and hazy. I couldn’t see any carbonation in the beer. The nose was fragrant with blackberries and raspberries. There was a lot of yeast and a touch of sourness. The taste had even more berries. It also had a lot of yeast and wheat. I didn’t pick up much tartness on this, which was odd for a gose. The body was very light and the beer drank a lot more like a witbier than a gose. The body was thin with high carbonation. It had a quick finish with fruit. The beer was easy to drink, but it had none of the salt or the tartness that a normal gose has. I wouldn’t rush back to this one.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

4 Hands Passion Fruit Prussia

Val and I found a World Market in Pennsylvania that wasn’t all that far from the new Pour House restaurant. We decided to stop there before going shopping. The food there is quite impressive and it had become a game day stop for us. I just wish it was closer to us, since it’s about a 45 minute drive. They turn their taps pretty frequently and this was one of the selection they had on tap when we passed through there. It’s also the first selection that I’ve had from the brewery.


ABV: 4%

Style: Berliner Weissbier

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “The Passion Fruit Prussia is our non-traditional look at the classic Berliner Weisse style. Brewed with a generous amount of passion fruit, this beer pours golden in color with a nice tart finish. A perfect compliment to the summer heat.”

Random: This is a seasonal that is available from April to September.

This beer poured with no head on top of a hazy, lemon yellow body. It had a lot of carbonation on it. The nose had notes of passion fruit, lemon juice and lemon lime soda. The taste was pleasantly tart with light passion fruit flesh and tart lemonade. There was a note of lemon drop candy as well. The body was light and drinkable with a lot of carbonation. It had a quick finish with lemon. This was an easy drinking beer and one that I had no problem finishing. I would highly recommend this beer.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Grimm Maple Bourbon Double Negative

Today’s selection is a beer that I was very excited to try, so let’s get to it.


ABV: 11%

Style: American Double/Imperial Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “To make Maple Bourbon Barrel Double Negative, we added ultra dark maple syrup to the base recipe of our reigning GABF champion imperial stout. Then we aged it in Heaven Hill bourbon barrels. The result is a decadently roasty, balanced stout with a tasteful dollop of rich maple (not too sweet!) and pronounced whiskey barrel notes of toffee, vanilla, and booze. Best served at cellar temperature or even up to room temperature.”

Random: The cats are not enjoying “Into The Woods.” They don’t like all of the loud sounds.

This beer poured with a half a finger of tan head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing. The body was black with no visible carbonation due to the color. The nose had a lot of maple syrup and brown sugar that quickly transitioned into booze and then bourbon. I didn’t pick up a lot of smoke or roasted malt. The taste was more subtle than the ABV would imply. It had a lot of sweetness from the maple syrup and brown sugar and then moved into ash and smoke. There was a mild coffee note with roast and finished with some booze warming at the end. The body was on the thicker side with light carbonation. It had a lengthy finish with ash and brown sugar. I tossed this beer in the fridge for awhile to give it some age, so I don’t recall how much I paid for it, but I know it was expensive. This beer was excellent and I would highly recommend it.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

Mispillion River Not Today Satan

The name of this beer reminds me of the Church Lady skit from SNL, which always makes me crack up. If you haven’t seen them, I highly recommend searching them on You Tube.


ABV: 7.3%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Even Hell is looking for more diversity these days. That is why a lot of folks claim Billy, from Human Resources, was appointed the new Lord of Darkness. Like Billy, this beer is a little unexpected. The unholy joining of El Dorado, Centennial, Columbus, Cascade, and Mosaic hops and 7.3% Alc. by Vol. leaves souls begging for a drink of water. Not today, Satan. Not today.”

Random: This came in at 55 IBUs.

This beer poured with one finger of cream-colored head. It dissipated quickly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was slightly hazy and amber-colored. I saw moderate carbonation in the body. The nose had some pine with some roasty malts. It also had a vegetal note with a herbaceous quality. The taste was even more hoppy than the nose. I picked up pine and green vegetables. After a few sips, I picked up green bell pepper. The malt came through a lot more at the end of the sip. It had some heavy caramel malt that was quite sweet. The booze was also pretty hot on this one. The body was on the medium side with high carbonation. It had a quick finish with the sweet malt. A can of this was $1.83, which came to $.15 per ounce. I thought this was a decent beer, but it seemed to be dialed up a little too much.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Night Shift Furth

Night Shift is getting increased distribution in this area. I picked up a four pack of these cans in Philly and was ridiculously excited to see it without making a drive up north. I first got to give their beers a shot when my parents brought some home for me from an antiquing trip in Massachusetts. They had no idea what they were bringing home for me, but they have fared pretty well in the blog.


ABV: 5.5%

Style: Hefeweizen

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Named after a Bavarian city, this globally enjoyable hefeweizen sips with soft, fruity notes of banana, wheat, clove, and orange rind.”

Random: We just started watching the movie version of “Into The Woods” and Christine Baranski is in it. This makes me happy.

The beer poured with a half a finger of pure white head. It dissipated slowly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was shockingly clear for the style and straw yellow in color. It had a lot of carbonation visible. The nose had a lot of bubble gum and banana. Wheat came through as well. The taste started with banana and bubble gum, but had a slightly metallic taste that was unpleasant. There was some mild clove spice as well. The body was thick for the style with high carbonation. It had a quick finish with clove and bubble gum. I don’t remember how much I paid for this one, but I did like that it came in sixteen ounce pounder cans. This wasn’t a bad beer by any means, just not the best one that I’ve ever had. I don’t feel the need to revisit it.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Penn Ginger Beer

If you follow this blog at all, you know Val likes fruit beers and ginger beers. She picked this one out and let me give it a review. It’s also the first beer I’ve ever had from the brewery.


ABV: 4.5%

Style: Herbed/Spiced Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Real grated ginger root gives this beer a subtle aroma and just a gentle kick of ginger flavor that makes it lightly refreshing yet pleasantly spicy. A great warm-weather session brew.”

Random: I used to always have ginger ale on planes when I traveled, but I started to switch to tomato juice. One time, instead of regular tomato juice, I got Bloody Mary mix. It wasn’t my favorite.

This beer poured with a finger and a half of pure white head. It dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was clear and straw yellow with moderate carbonation visible. The nose had some ginger in it. What was striking about it was that it was definitely real ginger. There was lightly toasted malt as well. The taste was just as filled with real ginger. It didn’t have anything else. I searched for any other flavors, like hop or malt, but it was all ginger. The body was light with high carbonation. It had a quick ginger finish. We picked this up for $1.54 a bottle ($.13 per ounce). I wasn’t a big fan of this, but Val had no problem finishing this one off. I wouldn’t rush back to this one.

Untappd Rating: 2.5/5.0

DuClaw Quick Start My Heart

Tonight’s beer is one that Val picked out for me. It was a shelf turd in the mixed six-pack area. DuClaw puts out a lot interesting beers and this one sounded like it would be hit or miss, but nowhere in between.


ABV: 6.8%

Style: Milk/Sweet Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Our Strawberry Milk Stout is medium/full-bodied and black in color with a silky mouthfeel, a moderately strong 6.8% ABV, and sweet flavors and aromas of strawberry and chocolate, accented by notes of coffee and caramel, that will ‘quickly’ make it one of your favorites, too.”

Random: Strawberry jam is my favorite, with raspberry being a close second. I just don’t like when the seeds get caught in my teeth.

The brew poured with a half a finger of tan head that dissipated quickly. It left no lacing on the glass. The body was dark brown in color with no visible carbonation. The nose had a lot of bitter chocolate with strawberry syrup. The strawberry syrup was incredibly artificial. The taste was also filled with bitter chocolate and lactose. There was also smoke along with the same strawberry extract note. The body was thick with moderate carbonation. It had a quick and bitter finish with chocolate. A bottle of this was $1.67, which broke down to $.14 per ounce. I could see where this beer was trying to go, but the artificial fruit notes took away from the beer. I wouldn’t have this beer again unless they changed the recipe.

Untappd Rating: 2.5/5.0