Session Ale #24: LOAF (Dark Kvass W/60 Loaves) | East End Brewing Company

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23 Ratings

Brewed by:
East End Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: Russian Kvass

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 3.80%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by callmemickey on 05-31-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Ratings: 23 |  Reviews: 22
Photo of PittBeerGirl
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of drabmuh
3.48/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Yet another Kvass. Seems to be common in my life these days. Full disclosure, I drank this beer with a couple of the guys that brewed it at a tasting recently. Tasted side by side with two other kvasses I provided. I will also say that this beer is the only Kvass I had more of.

Beer looks like grapefruit juice, its like and really really hazy. Forms a white head of small bubbles and leaves no lacing on the glass. Its so hazy I can't see the carbonation.

I smelled this beer expecting it to be sweet and grainy, what I got was caraway seeds. I asked the guys about the caraway and they replied that they used rye bead with caraway and they added another pound of seeds to a 300 gallon batch. Strongly caraway, no sweetness, some graininess.

Beer is not very sweet, its very thin, strong caraway flavor on the back palate. This flavor is accented strongly by how severely this beer dries my mouth out. Finishes bone dry, leaving this odd almost sticky feeling in my mouth. I had two glasses of it, and its by far the best kvass I've ever had. Not sure I would order it in a bar but these things are getting better for sure.

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Photo of phillybeer7779
3.51/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Capones in a pint glass. Very different looking beer, looks lie orange juice actually. Smells of dark bread, which comes through in the flavor. The finish is a pleasant sourness. Very drinkable, as no flavor is particularly overpowering. Good session beer.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hmm, not sure how to review this as it is probably the only kvass I will sample for a while. Here goes. Arrived in a standard shaker glass. Appears a rather murky light chestnut color with barely a finger of off white head. The head disappeared within seconds leaving a clear view of the brown liquid in the glass. Notes of yeast, dark breads (think rye and pumpernickel), sourdough, bready grains, a tart twang, not much else to comment on. Light body and quite effervescent with a tangy, slightly sour finish. Unusual but pretty drinkable. A decent session beer. Wish more brewers would take a chance on this style.

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Photo of mikecharley
3.62/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a growler, thanks for the pickup from my brother, who lives like 2 minutes from the brewery.
Enjoyed at one of my parents many summertime bbqs.
Pours really really murky. No clarity at all. Seems like a dark unfiltered juice of sorts. Not too much head, or lacing at all.

The aroma is of bakers yeast, some wheat in there, along with a caraway rye undertone.

Taste is like a sourdough rye! Wonderfully unique. The rye is subdued, and goes great with the "sour"ness of this beer.

Loaf is a very fitting name for this brew. It tastes wonderfully different. The subtle flavor of this brew allows it to be consumed all day, if one has the desire. All around, a good beer.

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Photo of brentk56
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Capone's.

Appearance: Arrives at the bar looking more like unfiltered apple cider than beer, frankly; tan and murky with a modest head that looked more like a film than anything else

Smell: Very bready, of a sourdough variety

Taste: Whole wheat bread, up front, with a subtle, but distinct sour caraway undertone; after the swallow, the sourness diminishes and the finish is very bready

Mouthfeel: Interesting - while the body is medium to full, there is also a watery character on the finish; not too much carbonation

Drinkability: Not something I would seek out again, but glad to have been able to experience the style

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Photo of Slatetank
4.07/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap the day before my birthday just adding this review from notes.

A - Medium caramel brown w/ thin white cap comprised of tiny beading. The beer is hazy and no light passes through. The Kvass has the appearance of an unfiltered ale, like dunkel.

S - A big bread(literally)nose - lots of rye toast in the aroma, no sourness noted even though the menu labeled it as such

M - A crisp and moderately full carbonation level w/ mild body and clean finishing mild roasted feel w/ biscuit texture

T - A surprising amount of taste for such a small beer(3.5%) The flavor is tasty with bread prominent and the dark grain character ther w/ the flavors of rye and biscuit, perhaps a rye biscuit(?). The taste is enjoyable and it is simple w/ light malty taste that has mild sweetness and little yeast flavor

D - Just like the original it is designed to be drinkable and it is quenching with low abv and it hits the mark for what it is brewed for. I found this to be a nice ale for a summer afternoon and very drinkable. I could enjoy this beer back to back

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A. Loaf appears like a munich dunkel lager. It has a bit of head and some lace down the glass.

S. Smells lightly of bready malt.

T. Crisp bready notes and some residual bitterness is there too. Light overall flavor, with the malt in the forefront. Some mineral notes are there as well.

M. Very crisp and spritzy carbonation. Definately a fine attribute to this beer.

D. This is a pretty solid session beer. Ive never tried a Kvass but this seems to fall in with all the guidelines of the style. Certainly worth the try.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Capone's.

Got me with this one!!! - so kudos to East End for such an odd style. I'd tasted one a very long time ago, but it was carried back to the U.S. in a jar and I'm not sure how close it tasted to what it was originally supposed to be. In comparison, that beer was more sour, and less rye-like than this...

This was a hazy chestnut brown with a short head of off-white foam... average retention, and spotty lacing.

It actually smelled a little like caraway seeds, with a bit of bread and a soft caramel accent. Not bold, but clear, and nicely pleasant. It's not what you'd expect of a beer up front, but it's certainly not off-putting.

The flavor offered a wider maltiness, with some more caramel and a hint of soft roastiness adding to the bread and caraway; and there was, indeed, a hint of sourness to it, but it was just a pleasant poke, and not a sharp jab - more like sour-dough bread than vinegar.

In the mouth it was pretty much a standard beer, with a medium body and moderate carbonation. Smooth, and slightly creamy.

I found it more accessible than say, a Sahti, or even a heavily laden rye beer. There was just enough caraway flavor, with just enough of a touch of spiciness, and that was balanced by the bready malt. No real bitterness appeared. Unusual, but not really overtly odd, this is an interesting and tasty brew that you really should try!

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Photo of John_M
3.6/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Capone's the other day.

The beer has a brownish cola color with OK head retention, but minimal lacing. The nose is pretty exotic, consisting of burnt toast, rootbeer and a hint of brown sugar. Flavors on the palate replicate the nose, and not surprisingly, the beer is quite light on the palate. There is also a noticeable sour component to this beer, which I expected after having previous Kvass from East End. However, considering the amount of alcohol this beer has, I was surprised by how much flavor it had. Drinkability is pretty good, as one would expect for a beer with such low alcohol.

Not something I'd want all the time, but an interesting beer to try nonetheless.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank a couple of these at Bocktown, a beer I could have stuck with all night. Much different than previous years but still delicious. Darker roasts bring out a much maltier flavor than the two previous incarnatinos. Appears a dark amber mahogany color with a nicely formed cream head. Aromatics offer up rye bread with a nice yeast mix with touches of caramel chocolate and fruity undertones. Caraway seeds and spicy rye are apparent and they pretty much cover up and hop profile that is here. Flavor has a nice creamy sweet roasted malt layer with spice rye and caraway and a touch of salt in the finish. Really good, but doesn't scream liquid bread like the last two years this is a beer with bread added, and the use of bread yeast in fermentation is great. Mouthfeel has nice girth due to the proteins from the bread, carbonation was moderate very smooth overall. Drinkability was incredible one of those session beers that has enough complexity to keep you entertained and sober after a couple pints, another East End classic.

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Photo of AltBock
3.38/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was my first ever Kvass and it was East End's Dark Version. This was on tap at Capone's, but I decided to take this one home with me in a 64 oz. growler.

For my first Kvass, I went ahead and poured it into my Spatan Pilsner glass. I was expecting this beer to be a little murky, but not this murky. It was almost as murky as swamp water, but it wasn't there just yet. For the color, it was a dark amber orange with a tiny lemon yellow streak at the bottom. Sitting on top was a decent looking off white colored 3/4 of an inch head of foam. This head of foam had good retention that left behind a string of rings along the side and just a few spots of lace around the glass.

The aroma was lightly sour and was all about the fresh baked sourdough bread. No malts, hops, fruits, or even spices. The aroma loved the scent of sourdough bread and it shows it.

If you liked the aroma, then you'll love the taste. The taste was light, creamy, and slightly sour, but it wasn't by any means light in flavor. This beer had a huge taste of sourdough bread, a sprinkle of salt, and a faint touch of juicy fruits. Now, the sourdough bread in the taste wasn't as fresh as it was in the aroma. The sourdough wasn't fresh or stale. It was caught in time right between when the bread comes out of the oven and when it becomes stale.

This was a light bodied beer with a good level of carbonation and a slightly sour and salty aftertaste of sourdough bread.

Not a bad experience for my first ever Kvass. It's clearly an easy drinking beer, but if it didn't feel like a drinking down a loaf of bread every time I took a sip, I probably would have enjoyed this beer more. I know all beers are liquid bread, but this beer takes that saying to a whole new level.

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Photo of tpd975
4.02/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to CrazyMacHarris for this one.

A: Pours a somewhat murky shade of brown with a nice pillow like head. Good retention noted.

S: Like a bread factory. Lots of yeasty doughy bread with subtle notes of spiced rye.

T: Um, bready but in such a nice way. The start is like fresh doughy yeasty bread. Lots of sweet malt in the middle with a touch of spice. The finish is more roasty like the crust on a good loaf of rye.

M: On the lighter side of medium, great carbonation from the growler.

D: Very, it's a tasty ass beer with a low ABV, what more can you ask for.

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Photo of corby112
4.09/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy golden brown color with a thick creamy off-white head that lasts throughout leaving huge chunks of lacing on the pint glass. Earthy aroma with yeat/bread, caramel malt, rye and caraway seed notes. Smells slightly tart with subtle spice presence. Extemelysmooth creamy medium body. Perfectly balanced with lots of caramel malt, creamy center and tart finish. The sourness is not overpowering with lots of otyther flavors shining through including caraway see, caramel maltiness, hazelnut, sourdough bread, rye and lactic milk(?). Very smooth and extremely drinkable. Very refrshing with a zesty and tangy dry finish.

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Photo of emerge077
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to MasterSki for breaking this out yesterday... Behold, LOAF!

Poured from a growler, it gave a good "pssshht" with visible foam when opened. The color was murky, an opaque caramel color. The foam lasted well with tiny visible trails feeding into it. Aroma was all rye, very bready with an unmistakeable freshness. It reminded me distinctly of New Glarus Smoked Rye Bock. Flavor was also very bready & yeasty, it had a nice spicy aniseed component that came off as licorice at first, minus the candy sweetness. It had a rawness to it, not unrefined, but like eating bread dough while baking bread. The feel was a little slick and filmy, with ok carbonation. Far better than the artificially-sweetened, canned import variety. It was very easy to drink, a session ale indeed.

I could see myself downing a mug of this straight from a Russian Kvass truck someday...
or just making a shorter trip to Pittsburg ;)

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Photo of MasterSki
4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to Hojaminbag for sending me a growler of this - I'm glad I didn't have to drink the sketchy Russian grocery store cans to knock off the style. Served in a variety of different receptacles (plastic cups, mini-pint tasters) over the course of yesterday.

A - Looks pretty good. Two fingers of sticky foam with good retention and lots of lacing. Murky raisin orange/brown color that is alright looking, but nothing special.

S - Bready malts, rye, yeast. Pretty simple and subdued nose. Not bad, but not particularly interesting either.

T - Rye bread, yeast, caraway seeds, a little spice in the finish. Minimal aftertaste. Surprisingly flavorful for such a low ABV.

M - Soft, refreshing, mild carbonation, clean finish. Really easy to chug down.

D - I can see why East End brews this for their session ale series - low ABV, solid flavor, mild carbonation, all-in-all a really great and refreshing brew. I wonder if the Russian stuff is like this when it is fresh (and not in ancient cans after an oceanic voyage). I probably could have killed the growler by myself and been no worse for wear - we were joking that a 12oz of BCS had nearly as much alcohol content.

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Photo of philbe311
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Capone's... Now I can cross Kvass off of the style list...

A - Murky copper colored ale... A faint orangish hue.. Very slight tan head quickly fades away leaving a minimalistic lacing...

S - The nose was fairly subdued... Lots of bready malts... A vague hint of spice... Freshly sliced apple...

T - Lots of rye... Lots of biscuit... A hint of caraway seed... Slightl caramel presence... Apple... A hint of nuttiness... I kept waiting for the sourness to emerge, but it never did...

M - Light to medium bodied... Slightly thin... Incredibly smooth... Finite amount of carbonation... Coats mouth evenly...

D - May be among the most sessionable beers on the planet... Packed with flavor and substance all for 3.8% ABV... I could drink these all night long... I'm continually surprised the guys at East End...

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Photo of Hojaminbag
4.27/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A brown orange body with about two fingers of tan head that has some pretty good retention, but only leaves a little bit of lacing behind. Some sediment is left behind in the glass.

Smells ever so slightly sour, a little bit fruity, and really bready. No surprise there.

This one is tasty. The very first flavors that I notice remind me a little bit of a belgian pale ale; somewhat peppery, very light fruits and a touch of sourness. A tiny touch. After that comes a huge rye spiciness and a ton of bready flavors. Apparently there is a tiny bit of hops in this brew, but you certainly cannot taste it. Very interesting, pretty good.

Mouthfeel is is surprisingly full.

This beer is pretty tasty; I was pretty thirsty when I drank it, but I felt like I could drink quite a few of these. Surprisingly full flavored and bodied for the low ABV%. I think it is worth mentioning that with time this will get delightfully sour, as I have learned from trying an aged version.

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Photo of tempest
3.46/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Capone's in Norristown for $5.50. Appeared a dark hazy amber/brown with a short tan head.

Well, now I can say I've had kvass. It reminded me of a little of a Flemish ale for the sour aroma, though it reminded a friend of the smell of feet. The caraway stands out with a hint of rye and smooth bready flavor. The taste is plenty rich for a 3.2% ale, but then again, it's not for everyone.

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Photo of OneDropSoup
3.89/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hotly anticipated this rare style from East End.

Pours a hazy orange-brown, not unlike fresh apple cider. Or wort. Looks like some solids in the brew. Creamy khaki head, about a finger, with little lacing.

Smells slightly fruity -- maybe I'm being led by the cidery appearance, but I think I'm getting a slight apple presence in the nose, followed by some cinnamon-esque profile. There's some toast in there too, & crust. The taste is apple-ish too, with no hop profile to speak of. I'm waiting for the rye bread, & there it is in the finish, loud & clear: caraway seed and dark rye flavors. Mmm, I wanna take another drink to get to that bread.

Definitely a sensation of bread in the aftertaste, almost tea-like. I wouldn't call it "chewy" or "bready" in texture, but some of the residual solids coat my mouth. At the bottom of the growler is some residue that sticks to it. An easy drinker, I could down a few in a row no problem.

Glad I got to try this unique style -- not a big beer, but with a singular flavor I'd not had before. Big up to Scott at East End for going where few others have.

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Photo of shanecb
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A - Murky chestnut color (brown with a hint of dark red). Not really any head, and no lacing whatsoever. Pretty pleasant color, in my opinion.

S - Nice spicy character, slightly fruity or clove-like smell almost like a weissbier. Yeasty character, with some bread smell but nothing exceptional.

T - Exceptional bread taste, especially in the aftertaste. You can really get a yeasty flavor out of it, also seems to be more noticeable in the aftertaste. A little bit of the spicy sort of clove flavor that was in the smell but nothing big.

M - Thin, and not substantial. There is some nice tingly carbonation to it, however.

D - Given the taste and mouthfeel, it's a very drinkable beer.

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Photo of HitokiriNate85
4.27/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured a really dark red brown with a thin white head. Doesn't leave any lacing behind.

S - Lots of yeast character comes through in the nose with some giant bready notes in the background.

T - Wow. The smell is pretty 'bready,' but the taste is just packed with bread. It starts off with some yeast character, just like the nose, but leads into big, spicy bread flavor goodness. The finish is probably my favorite part. It just leaves you feeling as though you literally just ate some bread. Packs a ton of flavor at such a low ABV.

MF - Pretty thin with some decent carbonation that livens the flavor up. For some reason, with a bready flavor, I expected low carbonation, and while there isn't a ton, there's enough to make it refreshing.

D - Sharing the growler with fellow BA shanecb, and I'm pretty sure it's going to disappear faster than we'd want it to. It's a great way to finish a warm day.

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Photo of callmemickey
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Cloudy-orange-brown body. Moderate white cap. Moderate lacing and retention.

S: Fresh baked sour dough bread. Slightly sweet like a glazed donut.

T: Dense bread flavors. Sour dough, some rye. Again, the sweetness is there, reminiscent of a fresh, warm glazed donut. Carroway spice hints are noticeable

M: A bit dense and chewy. An interestingly clean finish though.

D: Suffers a bit from the mouthfeel. All around a nice beer, and a good demonstration of the Kvass style.

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Session Ale #24: LOAF (Dark Kvass W/60 Loaves) from East End Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.86 out of 5 with 23 ratings