Friday, September 9, 2011

It's Friday!

Bottle #2295

Our golden ale reflects a dueling love of classic Belgian ales and American hops. We balance two row barley, pilsner malt and wheat with a touch of Magnum bittering hops added at the beginning of the boil, and a California-sized addition of Citra hops added at the end of the boil. This late hop addition adds a delicate grapefruit-peel aroma. We then age the beer in used oak wine barrels from California wineries with two hundred pounds of fresh Cherokee Blackberries, and another fifty pounds of Marion, Ollalie and Boysen Berries. All of our berries were hand picked at the family owned and operated Sebastopol Berry Farm.

After six months of barrel aging with the fruit, we blended the barrels back together with freshly brewed "base-beer" to reinvigorate the citrusy, hoppy aroma. Blended beer is re-fermented in the bottle to provide a final layer of complexity. Bottle conditioning provides a natural carbonation of superfine bubbles, similar to classic sparkling wines. The finished bottle is alive, and will continue to evolve and change over time, gaining nuance and character for years. Almanac Beer Co.

Almanac logo

This is interesting and delicious. The yeast is nicely represented, the fruit a little mild but I like blackberries better than cherries. An oaky musty roundness with a bit of tannin, the barrels left a mark. Not sure it's worth the money but it was a long time in the making and a Bay Area Must Have. Threw one of these Darlings in the cellar and learned a lot from the documentary.

Save that empty for the next batch of Corvusblanca. Different bottles for different beers, you know, all the small bottles of Corvusblanca were from Belgians. The Pallidus bottles were the traditional APA bottle and I've been sanitizing Anchor bottles for a California Common. Big old Jolly Pumpkin bottles for Vigoratus. If you're drinking cases of Pliny save me those bottles. They are a nice mid size.

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