Almanac Comes To NYC
By: Eric Sturniolo
After loving them from afar, we are so excited to have San Francisco’s Almanac Beer available in New York City for the first time ever. The week of September 15th was a busy one, with release parties at Rattle N’ Hum, Blind Tiger, Bar Great Harry, Torst, Bondurants, and The Craftsman.
Our favorite Almanac beers are from their ‘Farm to Bottle’ series. These beers are brewed with fruit, then barrel aged in wine, rye, or brandy barrels. As they age, flavors from the wood are imparted into the beer. We recommend buying two bottles of each, one to enjoy now and one to age in your beer cellar (up to three years).
These are the five best varieties available both in bottles and on tap in the city:
1. Dogpatch Strawberry (American Wild Ale- 7.50%ABV) – our favorite from the “Farm to Bottle” series, this sour is brewed with California strawberries, then aged in wine barrels for eight months. More sour than funky, there’s a strong strawberry and cherry flavor with a slightly tannin aftertaste.
2. Dark Pumpkin Sour (American Wild Ale- 7.00%ABV) – perfect for the Fall, with organic heirloom pumpkins and spices, and aged in wine barrels for one year. This is different from our favorite straight pumpkin beers like Southern Tier’s Pumpkin. Instead of a slice of pumpkin pie in a glass, this is more like a great sour with a pumpkin background. There’s also tastes of dark fruit (cherry and fig), cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon. A very complex beer.
3. Farmer’s Reserve Citrus (American Wild Ale- 7.00%ABV) – brewed with citron zest and Bergamot oranges, this beer is a citrusy, sour explosion of flavor. Acidic and tart, with some musty funk and lactate flavors, this is perfect for sour lovers.
4. Heirloom Pumpkin (Barleywine – 12.80%ABV) – 1,000 pounds of organic Heirloom pumpkins go into this beer, which is then aged a year in rye and brandy barrels, then blended. If you’re looking for a serious pumpkin beer, this is it. Strong in both alcohol and flavor, it’s like eating pumpkin pie topped with a brandy caramel sauce.
5. Cerise Sour Blonde (American Wild Ale- 7.00%ABV) – This last one has Rainer and Bing cherries, then aged in wine barrels. A nice balance of sour, tart, and oak, with nothing being overwhelmed by the cherries.