Allagash River Trip

Although Allagash is one of the more established American craft breweries, they’re constantly putting out new beers to keep things fresh. Let’s see how one of their newer offerings is.

ABV: 4.8%

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “A companion to backyards, backwoods, and balconies alike. River Trip is a low-ABV, Belgian-style table beer with hop-forward grapefruit and stone fruit notes. It’s brewed with local grains and spiced with coriander for an extra hint of citrus. Dry hopping with Comet and Azacca contributes to the mix of melon and grapefruit notes in the beer’s aroma. Good for any adventure.”

Random: I like that Allagash is putting more beers into cans. It lends itself well to camping and hiking.

The beer poured with a two finger, pure white head. It was quite thick. It took forever to dissipate, but only left moderate lacing on the glass. The body was cloudy and lemon-yellow in color. There were some floaties as well. The nose was fragrant and started with a floral note and quickly went into Belgian yeast. There was some white peppercorns and grapefruit as well. I didn’t pick up a huge amount of spice. The taste was more citrusy than the nose. I picked up lemon and grapefruit, both flesh and peel. There was some spice with white peppercorn and coriander. There was a slightly yeast note as well. The body was light with a lot of carbonation. It had a quick finish with citrusy. I thought this was an easy drinking beer that lends well to hot weather.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Spencer Trappist Ale

This is the last of the Spencer beers for awhile. Let’s see how it was.

ABV: 6.5%

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Trivia: According to, “Spencer was first settled in 1717 by Nathaniel Wood, and first permanently settled by Samuel Bemis in 1721. Spencer is located in central Worcester County, twenty minutes west of Worcester via Route 9, and about forty-five east of Springfield via Routes 49, 20, and the Massachusetts Turnpike. It was officially incorporated on April 12, 1753, splitting from the town of Leicester. Spencer was named after the then-acting governor of Massachusetts, Spencer Phips. Spencer was the home of the Howe family of inventors, including Elias Howe, who perfected the lockstitch sewing machine. In 1784 Spencer was a major stopping place on the Old Boston Post Road’s stage route between Boston and Hartford, and on to New York. Passengers changed stages in Spencer, as one coach would come from Boston and connect with one coming north from Hartford. Each stagecoach would turn around and return whence it came. Travelers often stopped for the night at Jenk’s Tavern in Spencer, as did General Henry Knox, pushing his cannons through the streets of the town on his way to Boston from Ticonderoga, and George Washington in 1789. Spencer still has colonial-era milestone markers showing the route of the old post road. When the War of Independence broke out in 1775 it found Spencer ready to take part; fifty-six men under Captain Ebenezer Mason immediately set out to Boston. Many of these men later took part in the Battle of Bunker Hill. A total of 313 Spencer men are known to have served in the Civil War; thirty-two lost their lives in the service of their country.”

Random: Despite being a history buff, I never really got into the American Revolution. I should brush up on that.

This beer poured with a one finger, white head. It dissipated at a moderate pace and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a hazy yellow color with lots of carbonation visible. The nose had some banana along with some yeast and not much else. The taste was much of the same. It started with banana and went into yeast with a slight sweetness from the malt. It had a medium body with corresponding carbonation. The finish was quick and had some malt sweetness. Since this beer was a gift, I’m not sure how much it was. Either way, I really enjoyed it and would have it again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Trader Joe’s Audaciter

The day after a holiday is always rough, especially when you have to go back to work, like me. I guess a beer will make it better.

ABV: 7.5%

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the Trader Joe’s website, “With a name like Audaciter (that’s ‘fearless’ in Latin), it’s no surprise that this Abbey Style Blonde Ale has a strong, spiced flavor profile to match. It has a golden, slightly cloudy hue, and is enjoyably effervescent, with champagne-like bubbles that form a rich, white head when poured into a glass. Its effervescence and warm spice allow it to stand up to (and wash down) the rich, buttery flavors of the Channa Masala Pasties. Brewed exclusively for Trader Joe’s, each 750 mL bottle is $5.99 or per market price*.”

Random: Trader Joe’s beers are really solid and very well-priced.

I definitely know that I used the wrong glass for this beer, but it was a long day. The beer poured with a finger of loose, white head. It dissipated quickly and left very little lacing on the glass. The body was hazy and bright orange. There was some carbonation visible. The nose was incredibly fragrant. It started with a lot of spicy, Belgian yeast and quickly went into pear notes and flowers. There was some clove and allspice next and finished with Grains of Paradise. The taste was equally as complex as the nose. I got Belgian yeast and esters up front, followed by some stone fruit of peach and apricot. Next, was the pear and white grape notes. The spice was present that I found in the nose, but relatively subdued. Alcohol was well-hidden and body was on the medium side with champagne-like carbonation. It had a sticky and lengthy finish. The bomber was $5.99 and each ounce was $.27, which is a bargain. This was a solid beer worth a try.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Petrus Trader Joe’s Sour Blueberry

Tonight’s selection is another Trader’s Joe special beer.

ABV: 7.3%

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Trivia: According to, “It all started in the 50s… Would you believe we started out as a small chain of convenience stores? It’s true. Way back in 1958. We were called Pronto Markets. In ‘67, our founder, the original Trader Joe, changed our name (yes, to Trader Joe’s) and the way we do business. We made the stores bigger (if you can imagine), decked the walls with cedar planks and donned our crew in cool Hawaiian shirts. Most importantly, we started packaging innovative, hard-to-find, great-tasting foods under the ‘Trader Joe’s’ name. That cut our costs and saved you money. Still does. And that’s important, because ‘Value’ is a concept we take very seriously. And by ‘Value,’ we mean great everyday prices on all of our great products — no sales, no gimmicks, no clubs to join, no special cards to swipe… How do we do it? We buy direct from suppliers whenever possible, we bargain hard to get the best price, and then pass the savings on to you. If an item doesn’t pull its weight in our stores, it goes away to gangway for something else. We buy in volume and contract early to get the best prices. Most grocers charge their suppliers fees for putting an item on the shelf. This results in higher prices… so we don’t do it. We keep our costs low — because every penny we save is a penny you save. It’s not complicated. We just focus on what matters — great food + great prices = Value.”

Random: Trader Joe’s is my version of hell since it’s always so crowded.

The beer poured a one finger of pink head. It dissipated quickly and left only limited lacing on the glass. The body was a dark purple that was impossible to see through. Given that, I couldn’t see any carbonation. The nose was filled with blueberries, yeast and some oak. The taste was much of the same. It had some funk along with white vinegar tartness. The blueberries came through next along with vanilla and oak. The body was light and the booze was well hidden. It had a lengthy and sticky finish with fruit. Val picked this up for me on a Trader Joe’s trip, so no idea how much this one was. Either way, I enjoyed this beer a lot and glad I got to try it.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Trader Joe’s Sour Framboise By Petrus

Tonight’s selection is another beer that Val picked up from Trader Joe’s.

ABV: 7.3%

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Petrus is all but an average beer. Petrus is a real sour, with roots that date from ages ago, brewed in Belgium according to the finest brewing tradition. Despite its age, it is young at heart! It is the sour beer reference. Though not for sour people, but for people who don’t care about trends and hypes. People who trust their senses, rely on their own good taste and are eager to explore new boundaries. Petrus is a slow, unpredictable and wild beer that takes lots of patience. No wonder it is a beer for people who understand the urge to slow down. This beer, aged for 2 years in oak foeders, should be enjoyed sip by sip. Indeed, a real sour… takes time. Petrus is intriguing, enigmatic and therefore impossible to copy. Only the master brewer fully grasps the complex brewing processes. He rules the mysterious microbiology in the oak foeders. That truly is science with a touch of magic. So why not accept that mystery, cherish the secret and embrace the experiment? Do you dare to take that experiment to the next level? Simply savoring Petrus is already quite a rewarding experience, but do you dare to start your own blending experiment with the Petrus sour beers? How sour do you want your Petrus blend? Try and taste until you reach your personal level of sour beer perfection.”

Random: I always find it interesting who Trader Joe’s partners with.

The beer poured with a large, three finger, pink head. It dissipated quickly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was clear and bright pink. There was a lot of carbonation visible. The nose had a lot of funk and sourness to it. Quickly, raspberries came through next. The taste had a lot of white vinegar. It quickly went into some funk and then raspberries with a touch of vanilla. The body was on the lighter side with lots of carbonation. The finish was lengthy with funk and raspberry. This beer was a gift from Val, so I have no idea how much it was, but I enjoyed it a lot. I would definitely have it again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Port City Trader Joe’s Belgian Style Pale Ale

Today’s beer is one specifically brewed for Trader Joe’s. Let’s see how it was.

ABV: 5.3%

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “To continue our celebration of DC Beer week we will be tapping a firkin of our latest collaboration with Trader Joe’s. To celebrate Trader Joe’s fiftieth anniversary, we’ve brewed something special – a delicate, straw blonde Belgian Pale Ale. Notes of pear and black pepper serve as prelude to soft, biscuity malts and a refined, balancing hop presence. The tasting room exclusive firkin is dry hopped with Eureka hops – imparting aromas of tangerine, grapefruit rind and citrus. Borinquen Lunch box Food Truck will be serving authentic home-cooked Puerto Rican cuisine and Shane Gamble will be providing the tunes in the beer garden.”

Random: I love the food from Trader Joe’s, I just hate how crowded it is.

The beer poured with a large, three finger, cream-colored head. It took forever to dissipate and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was slightly cloudy and a dusky orange. There was moderate carbonation visible as well. The nose was muted with some old grass along with coriander and wheat. The taste was very crisp. It started with some lemon and orange citrus and quickly went into the same coriander and wheat that was apparent in the nose. Some bubblegum and yeast came through next. The body was on the light side with a lot of carbonation. It had a lengthy finish with bubblegum. Val picked this one up for me during a Trader Joe’s trip, so I’m not sure how much it was, but there was nothing special about this beer. I wouldn’t rush to have it again.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Perennial Southside Blonde

Val and I took a trip to Philly awhile back and ended up at City Tap House in University City. That was the first City Tap House that I went to and they’ve since expanded to Logan Square in Philly and DC as well (I’ve now been to all of the locations). They have a great beer selection and their food is usually pretty good. If you find yourself in the area, it’s definitely worth a try.

ABV: 5.5%

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Southside Blonde is a sessionable Belgian-Style Blonde Ale that is light-bodied and dry with a hint of fruitiness from the yeast. Southside is a friendly pairing with a variety of foods and an approachable choice for all types of beer drinkers”

Random: Val got me a keyboard cover for my new laptop so it doesn’t get filled with cat hair.

The beer poured with a two finger, fluffy white head. It dissipated slowly and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was slightly hazy and bright yellow. There was moderate carbonation visible. The nose started with some spicy Belgian yeast and light honey sweetness. It also had a little bit of white grape. The taste started with a slight funk and quickly transitioned into white grape and Belgian yeast. It also had a grass characteristic as well. The body was very light and had a lot of carbonation. The finish was quick with white grape and grass. The beer wasn’t super complex, but was very drinkable and paired really well with food.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0