Archive for the ‘Almanac Beer Co.’ Category

One year, my sister and I tried to grow lavender in her garden. Unfortunately, the animals ate it before we could harvest any of it. I enjoy the use of lavender in beers and hopefully this one works out.


ABV: 7%

Style: Saison/Farmhouse Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “This golden brett beer captures the flavors of spring. We layered hand-picked lavender grown at Eatwell Farms in Dixon, California and aromatic wildflower honey together with our oak-fermented brettanomyces blonde base beer to create this this funky, floral delight. A hint of minerality provides a complex backdrop of floral spring flavors, and a nose of meyer lemons, aromatic botanicals and bosc pear. Serve with rosemary rack of lamb, ripe Taleggio cheese and roasted pear with vanilla ice cream and honey. Our Farm to Barrel beers focus on the eons-old tradition of aging beers in oak barrels, and our de Brettaville saisons expand upon this tradition by highlighting the magical properties of wild brettanomyces yeast. We start by brewing a bright and aromatic farmhouse ale with a blend of twelve “brett” yeast strains. After a vigorous primary fermentation, the beer is racked into wine barrels to mature. In cask, the beer takes on the complex flavors of the oak, and the brettanomyces yeast creates an exotic melange of earthy funk and tropical fruit flavors. This wild ale is alive in the bottle and will continue to mature for years.”

Random: Baby clothes are insanely cute, especially the pajamas with feet.

This beer poured with a quarter finger of white head. It dissipated slowly and left a crown on top of the cloudy, yellow body. It had moderate carbonation. The nose had lemon juice, sourness and lavender. I also picked up some peach too. The taste was moderate tart. It had lemon juice, honey, lemon curd and then floral notes and lavender. I wish the lavender was more pronounced. It had a moderate body with high carbonation. The finish was quick and tart with lemon. A bottle of this was $12.99, which broke down to $1.02. I had no problem drinking this beer, but I needed more of the lavender. This just wasn’t their best work.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

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

Almanac is quickly becoming one of my favorite breweries for sours. I can tell the difference now when breweries use fresh fruit. I saw this hanging out on the shelf at Half Time and immediately grabbed it because it was the last one.


ABV: 7%

Style: American Wild Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Pluots are some of our favorite fruits. Created by cross-breeding apricots and plums, there are dozens of varieties with an amazing range of color and flavor. All through the summer, Blossom Bluff Orchards picks each variety at its peak: Dapple Dandy, Honey Punch, Flavor Queen, Black Kat & Dapple Jack were all added to a sour blonde ale and aged in wine barrels to create this funky oak-aged brew.”

Random: The beer podcast I’m listening to is talking about how good Goose Island King Henry is. I’ve never even seen that on the shelf.

The beer poured with a one finger, pure white head that dissipated by the time I took a picture. It left no lacing on my Tree House Teku glass. The body was totally cloudy and a pink orange color. I couldn’t see any carbonation due to the haze on the beer. The nose was filled with white vinegar, plums and apricots. Yeast came through too with some orange zest. The taste was awesome (as expected). The amount of fruit that came through was ridiculous. It had fresh plums, apricots and then a tart cranberry note which was in the background. I also got white and apricot flavored vinegar. Yeast and then a warm vanilla note from the oak came through. The alcohol was well hidden and this was insanely drinkable. The body was medium thick with generous carbonation. It had a lengthy tart finish with plums and apricots. This was not a cheap beer at $12.99 for a 12 ounce bottle ($1.08 per ounce). Despite the hefty price tag, I would have this again. It’s not going to be an everyday drinker for me, but more of a special occasion beer.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

This is the first Belgian-style beer I’ve had from Almanac. I love their sours, so I’m hoping this beer is just as good.


ABV: 9.5%

Style: Quadrupel (Quad)

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “San Francisco, a.k.a ‘The Paris of the West,’ has long been home to a diverse culture of bohemians and a bastion of art, creativity, and progressive thinking. This decadent dark quadrupel-style ale was created in that same spirit–brewed with dark candi sugar, dried flame grapes, and orange peel, then fermented with a French ale yeast. Pair with funky Roquefort cheese and visions of a grand tomorrow! Our Fresh Beer Limited Series builds on our tradition of brewing with California-grown ingredients to deliver the very best in farm-fresh beer. Each imperial Fresh Beer Limited Release features even bigger flavors, bolder yeast characters and more intense hop aromas, reflecting our rich Californian agricultural bounty. Every beer is brewed, packaged and shipped with an eye towards maximum awesomeness.”

Random: I’ve never been to Paris, but Val has.

This beer poured with a finger of light brown head. It took awhile to dissipate and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a murky dark brown with no visible carbonation, due to the color. The nose was filled with raisins, dates and a sweetness as well. It was like a dark, sweet honey. There was also a maple quality to it with yeast. The taste had cola, raisins, dates and a red grape quality. It also had yeast and red wine note. There was some spice as well a sweetness at the end. The body was medium thick for the style with insanely hidden booze. Moderate carbonation was present. The finish was quick with raisins and cola. The bomber was $11.99 ($.55 per ounce) and purchased in New York. As usual, another great beer from Almanac.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

It seems like everyone is making a beer with Mandarina Bavaria these days. It’s a flavorful hop, so I was curious to see how Almanac treated it.


ABV: 7%

Style: American Wild Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Mandarina Bavaria hops are Germany’s answer to the bold, vivacious US varieties found in West Coast-style brews. This hop is the daughter of Cascade and Hallertau, combining characteristic New World citrus flavors and aromas with the subtle spice of German noble hops. We blended our wine barrel-aged sour blonde ale with foeder-fermented brett saison to craft a complex base of stone fruit, oak, and earthy funk to compliment the tangerine and lime-like character of Mandarina. Each sip teases a new flavor, from grass to grapefruit to peaches and finishes crisp and dry.”

Random: The room we use as an office is the coldest room in the house, even in the summer. My feet are freezing.

The beer poured with a one finger, white head. It dissipated at a moderate pace, but left no lacing on the glass. A very small crown was left on top of the clear, bright orange body. I couldn’t see any carbonation. The nose started with a lot of citrus, specifically a lot of tangerines and grapefruit flesh. There was also some tartness and oak and some sweetness. The taste was amazing. It started with the same citrus. There was a lot of tangerine and Cara Cara oranges and the tartness was present, but not overwhelming. It also had a vinous quality as well and the oak went nicely with the citrus qualities. There was some bread from the yeast at the end. The body was light with some carbonation as well. The finish was lengthy with oak and tartness. This bottle was $11.99 ($.94 per ounce), which isn’t cheap, but well worth the price. This beer was just outstanding. It had so much citrus flavor and the oak gave it incredible depth. Get this.

Untappd Rating: 5.0/5.0

One of the beer podcasts that I listened to had a feature with the brewer from Almanac. He went through all of their processes and how they get fruit from local farmers and only brew with what’s in season. After hearing about that, I’m not going to lie, it made me start looking out for their beers. That’s why this came home with me from New York…


ABV: 7%

Style: American Wild Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “We selected the very best hand-picked blueberries grown in the hills of Butte County, California, and added them to a sour golden ale aged in wine barrels. The resulting beer is infused with a delicate blueberry essence, a reminder of long summer days. Our Farm To Barrel beers build on the eons old tradition of aging beers in oak casks. Farmer’s Reserve Blueberry is a golden ale fermented with our house sour culture. After primary fermentation, the beer is racked into wine barrels on top of mounds of freshly picked Northern California blueberries. After many months of maturing in the barrels, the beer takes on a luscious purple-pink tone, berry flavors and a lip smacking tartness. Farmer’s Reserve Blueberry is alive in the bottle and will continue to mature gracefully for years. Pair with funky cheeses, citrusy winter salads and robust meat dishes like short ribs or venison.”


This beer poured with almost no head. What was there was pure white. It dissipated by the time I tried to take a picture. The body was cloudy and a light red color. There was a decent amount of carbonation visible. The nose was incredibly inviting. It had fresh blueberries, lemon flesh and white wine grapes. The taste started with lacto sour character and lemon flesh. It wasn’t overwhelming, but significant. Blueberry juice came through next and then, oak and white wine. There was a subtle vanilla character from the barrel as well. The body was light with high carbonation. The finish was quick with lacto sourness and oak. A bottle of this was $13.99 ($1.17 per ounce), which is certainly expensive, but worth the price tag. This beer was outstanding. The level of the sourness was perfect and the blueberry character added depth to it and I loved the character from the oak. If this is a beer that you can find and you like sours, you need to have this beer. You won’t be disappointed.

Untappd Rating: 5.0/5.0

Val and I went out for some Mexican food in Pennsylvania and they had this beer on tap. I figured it was worth a try.


ABV: 6.5%

Style: Oatmeal Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “This spiced dark beer is inspired by 24th Street in San Francisco’s Mission District, also known as El Corazon de las Mision (the heart of the Mission). This vibrant street is full of color, energy, and life. A small, family-run taqueria dots every corner, each serving their family’s version of Horchata – a traditional Mexican rice drink spiced with cinnamon and vanilla that’s the perfect match for street tacos. We took the classic ingredients of Horchata and put them into a milk stout, brewed with a blend of dark malts, oats, lactose, and almonds from GL Alfieri Farms and finished with whole vanilla beans and Vietnamese Saigon cinnamon. The result is an inky, dark ale with hints of spice and sweetness that’s the perfect match for an Al Pastor or Carne Asada taco from your favorite taqueria.”

Random: One of my favorite Mexican dishes is Carne Asada.

The beer poured with less than a half a finger of tan head. It dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a dark brown color with no visible carbonation due to the color. The nose was filled with almonds and sweet condensed milk. I didn’t pick up any cinnamon or other spice. There also wasn’t a lot of roasted malts in the nose. The taste was really creamy, and again, the sweet condensed milk note came through. Almonds were there as well, and finally, the cinnamon note came through. The spice was really mild and it needed more to cut through the creamy flavor. Roasted malts and a hint of smoke were at the end of the sip. The body was thick with low carbonation. The finish was quick and nutty. I thought this beer was going to be outstanding, but it was just alright and it didn’t leave me wanting more.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0