Monday, June 3, 2013


San Francisco's ALMANAC BEER CO. really "got their barrel on" the past year or so, having set aside some terrifically enterprising ales brewed with a variety of fruits for aging. I had the first manifestations of this program - "Farmer's Reserve #1 and #2" - during SF Beer Week's "Sour Sunday" event, and then bought bottles of them upon release as well. Turned out that I didn't think all that much of "Farmer's Reserve #1" when I had it in the bottle, which, as I mentioned in my review, was the first time I've ever had true reservations about an Almanac beer. I popped the cap on "FARMER'S RESERVE #2" and prayed that it should not suffer a similar condemnation, for then I would be skeptical of my own palate, the palate that pronounced both of these beers as major winners during the Sour Sunday event.

No worries, not in the least, "FARMER'S RESERVE #2", which is "brewed with heirloom pumpkins, fuyu persimmons and fresh ginger" - and is aged in white wine barrels, no less – is excellent. As it warms, all sorts of flavors start to emerge, even that of pineapple. It smells of the barrel, and that smell is good. It's a wild, Belgian-style ale that thankfully didn't take on a ton of white wine flavor, and instead is more a wicked cocktail of foodie fruits and spices. These guys are really pushing the proverbial envelope with every new beer, and there are two new ones out just this past week. Even Norwegians love 'em! 8.5/10.

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