Al's of Hampden / Pizza Boy Brewing

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Wild Ale
4.51 | pDev: 6.43%
Al's of Hampden / Pizza Boy Brewing
Pennsylvania, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Notes: A white wine barrel fermented american sour ale aged on apricots.
Reviews: 24 | Ratings: 174 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Sabtos
Sabtos from Ohio

4.06/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A loud fizzy head quickly dies to nothing, leaving a lightly hazy gold body when you start off towards the top of the bottle, while getting into the bottom it becomes a foggier orange-amber.

Sour and effervescent, this exhibits white wine and champagne flavors that become more prickly and funkier towards the bottom of the bottle. Tart, bright apricot even glides into citrus before a just dry finish. A little neutral oak and yellow apple develops with some toasted seed and cracker as it warms.

Sep 30, 2019
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breadwinner from California

3.32/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Popped the bottle to a rather alarming smell of pickles, sort of bread and butter-style. Truly bizarre (though I do like pickles!) Clearly some strong acidity was forthcoming. And, indeed, on the palate this was an absolute tooth melter, just brutally astringent. There's a sweetness in there struggling to get through, but it just can't compete with the puckering acidity. I don't know if I'd pin apricot/peach on this one. There's an underlying fruitiness, yes, but it's not well defined. I honestly don't know the bottling date on this, and I'm wondering if it was an older one, thus the dominating acidity. Either way, this wasn't very pleasurable to drink.

Apr 21, 2017
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aleckpa from North Carolina

4.27/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This beer was amazing. It is golden straw and pretty transparent. It smells like fresh peaches and apricots. So fruity, yet you get some funk. The taste is just as fruity but sour. It's acidic but not overbearing by any means. It is thin and carbonated perfectly.

I'm not the biggest fan of sours. I do enjoy them, but they are hit or miss for me. I could definitely see myself having this again if I were able to get my hands on another bottle.

Feb 11, 2017
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stevoj from Idaho

3.5/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2016 Boise stone fruit bottle share on 8/27. 750ml bottle thanks to steve. Hazy golden pour , small white airy head. Tart, fruity, some wooden notes. More grapes than stone fruit. Lighter in body, but plenty sour.

Aug 30, 2016
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Myotus from Texas

4.63/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Poured gently at 46°F from a 750ml bottle (batch 2) into a tulip. Consumed on 11Aug16.
SMELL: Gargantuan aromas of sweet peaches and apricots are supported by strong sour green apple and hay aromas, and mild aromas of earthy yeast, tobacco, oak, lemon, orange, grapefruit, tangerine, and green bell pepper. Subtle butterscotch aromas
4.75 out of 5
TASTE: The taste theatrical opens with a massive explosion of peach and apricot. An instant funk is established as strong sour green apple flavors and mild flavors of earthy yeast, tobacco, and oak burst onto the palate. Mild flavors of orange, tangerine, grapefruit, lemon, and bell pepper roll out to add a spicy citrus characteristic as the tartness and tobacco flavors increase slightly. Mild flavors of hay quickly trail as the citrus flavors grow stronger. A touch of butterscotch sweetness enters lastly as the hay flavors grow to strong while all other flavors maintain.
4.75 out of 5
NOTE: I am loving these encounters with near perfect beers. Never before have I had a barrel-aged sour that contained such a dominating fruit profile. Even with such a dominance of peach and apricot, the beer itself was an extraordinary exhibit of balance. The only element that would make this any better, in my opinion, would be to either dry hop this or ferment this with mangos in addition to the peaches and apricot.

Aug 27, 2016
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rudzud from Massachusetts

4.61/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Thanks to JLindros for sharing.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice hazy golden orange hue with a two finger that fades to leave a thick blanket and nice lacing.

S - Aromas of loads of oak, light vanilla, great acidity. Solid stone fruit.

T - Taste is excellent oak and vanilla, really acidic stone fruit. Really good fruit notes with amazing acidic tartness with lovely fruit and oak balance.

M - Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated, lightly flemmy, very acidic.

O - Overall this was a just excellent beer, wonderful stone fruit, almost eye wateringly acidic but well worth it. Don't think this will age well, however, it is absolutely delicious.

Serving type: bottle

Jul 16, 2016
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Knapp85 from Pennsylvania

4.4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured out as a slightly hazy orange color with a thin white head on top. The smell of the beer is funky with some decent fruity aromas. The taste of the beer has a pretty good amount of tart apricot with some malt in the late finish. The feel is dry. Overall it's a pretty good Wild Ale.

Jun 28, 2016
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stephenjmoore from Maryland

4.33/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Mostly transparent golden body with a thin, frothy bone-white head. Aroma is sweet peaches, earthy funk, fresh grass and oak. Flavor is tart and funky up front, peaches come through in a big way in the middle and then a wave of sour towards the middle to the end with a dry oaky finish. Body is insanely dry, lingering sticky tartness and medium carbonation. Lots and lots of funk and tartness in this one. Peaches compliment, but to me is is more sour than fruity.

Jun 16, 2016
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jlindros from Massachusetts

4.67/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Thanks to drew, noslenwerd

Nice huge foamy head, hazy murky blond honey orange color.

Nose super sour, tons of peach apricot stone fruit, lacto creamy sour, nice funk.

Taste super sour, great lacto and pedio souring, tart, tons of sour peaches and apricots, a great lambic flavor, big vanilla oak, an amazing tart sour peach apricot lambic, buttery oak, like peach cobbler.

Mouth is med bod, soft, nice acidity, very sour, just a little flemmy, juicy peach feel, nice carb.

Overall incredible. One of the best sours I've had outside of Belgium.

Jun 09, 2016
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Stevedore from Oregon

4.24/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml cork and caged bottle. Served in a snifter glass.

Pours a slightly hazy, lighter orange-yellow body, one finger white head, good retention, bits of lacing. Its a bit pulpy looking as well. Smells of overripe peach and a bit of cereal grain, moderately lactic. Mostly its overripe peach; very nice harbinger of the fruit behind the beer. Flavour is more of a well-rounded apricot tartness, mild cereal grain, oak, a bit of grape must, moderately lactic, not too vinegary. It's classic American wild ale, and it's done quite well. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, good carbonation, bursting with stonefruit flavours even to the finish. A bit one-dimensional, but if you want a big tart apricot bomb, this is a pretty good option. Akin to one of the DeGarde Imperial Apricot Bu's, but with more body and balance.

May 07, 2016
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lurpy1 from Minnesota

4.37/5  rDev -3.1%

Great sour on a par with some of Russian River's stuff. Nose is a little mellow but wonderfully sour. Weird thing is, I paid $25 for a bomber, while I could get 3x that amount of HopTart for $10 and HopTart's almost as good. I probably won't get it again due to the value prop but if you get the chance to try it, absolutely do so.

Aug 28, 2014
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MDDMD from Pennsylvania

4.31/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-hazy orange amber color with e decent white head and a little lacing

S-grain, wheat, fruity, sour, funky

T-yeasty funk, hints of apricot, lemon, sour grapes, little oak

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, tart and puckering, but not astringent

O-happy to see domestic sours of this quality, wish it were more widely available

Jun 19, 2014
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Liberatiscioli from Pennsylvania

4.78/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look: excellent off orange hazy amberish color
smell: peaches and apricot are present and just smells wonderfful
taste: compared to others this is the most balanced they`ve done. Excellent balanced of sour and fruit. Sooo good.
feel: fruit up front,zinger in the back puts a smile on your face.
Overall: they knocked this out of the park with everything especially with whats counts most FLAVOR! This reminds me of the funkers with a bit more TLC. Excellent job!

Jun 13, 2014
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mdfb79 from New York

4.38/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 1/25/14 notes. At the brewpub, bottle split 4 ways.

a - Pours a murky bright orange color with one inch of white head and low carbonation evident.

s - Smells of apricots, white wine, oak, earthy notes, light funk, and floral notes. Tons of apricots, very nice.

t - Tastes of sour apricots, sour fruity malts, funk, oak, grass, earthy notes, floral hops. Taste is more sour than the nose. Lots of fruit, awesome taste.

m - Medium body and low carbonation.

o - Overall a fantastic beer; second best beer I had from them behind Sunny Side Up. Highly recommend buying a bottle if you ever visit them.

Jan 27, 2014
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Dreadnaught33 from District of Columbia

4.46/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle enjoyed at Pizza Boy, poured out behind the counter.

The beer pours a healthy cloudy orange with little to no head or lacing, just a ring of white around the sides. A nice bright look.

The smell has some nice stuff going on and it reminds me of some of the cantillon beers like mamouche because of the earthy, flowery overtones. Peppery, yeasty, tart bright fruit. I get some peach in there along with the apricot. A nice dry sour aroma, well done. A touch of oak when I get my nose in there.

The flavor follows suit and wasn't as peppery or tart as I expected. The white wine barrel takes the day here followed by the fruit and then a splash of tartness and dried flowery herbs at the finish. A nice dry finish, but it has a nice lingering flavor with a touch of vanilla too. A good body and decent carbonation, I would probably want a bit more to compliment the flavors.

Overall an elegant and nice sour. Not as heavy on the fruit, people who prefer more of the spicy, pepper and earthy sours will love this one. I definitely enjoyed it.

Jan 25, 2014
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pmarlowe from Virginia

4.39/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Mini tulip glass. Generously poured by the barkeep from behind the bar.

A: Pours an opaque, light golden-straw color with a half finger of dark orange-tinted cream head. Minimal lacing and bubbles, with a thin collar. Clears out after a good half hour of sitting.

S: Sour and a bit of funk, stone fruit, a moderate whiff of white wine, vanilla, an oak and spice backbone. More wet hay and earth as it warms.

T: A mouth puckering, moderate to light sourness that doesn't get in the way of the drinkability. Pretty clean tasting, with moderate apricot, tannins, and a little sweetish white wine in the background. Moderate oak flavors are well integrated.

M: Medium body and carbonation. Pretty soft on the tongue.

O: Very solid and highly drinkable. On the level of something like RR’s Temptaton in terms of quality. The fruit is subdued but the sour is at a good level, not overpowering.

Jan 22, 2014
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MasterSki from Canada (ON)

4.1/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Nate for sharing this one. Served in a Cantillon tulip.

A - Foam quickly settles to wisps, a thin collar, and specks of lace. Hazy peach flesh-colored body.

S - Funky and dirty; some enterobacter here for sure. Very wild, with hints of cheese, diaper, and baby vomit. Some light oak, and hints of stone fruit malt and lactic acidity.

T - The taste is more acidic and less funky. Stone fruit malt and vinous oak come out lot more and the sulfurous and dirty flavors retreat significantly. Quite sour, but not excessively so.

M - Dry, medium body, with zesty carbonation, and a bit of tannic oak in the finish. Quite acidic, with stomach distress setting in after a decent-sized pour.

D - The aroma is very dirty and might be off-putting to some, but letting this warm a bit does it quite a bit of good. The flavor and feel are quite enjoyable; a well-craft American wild.

Oct 01, 2013
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Alieniloquium from Florida

4.33/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750 mL unlabaled bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Hazy bright orange. Nice white head. Chunky foam on the surface. Retains pretty well.

Smell - Lots of nice apricot. Lemon peel acidity. A touch of funk, but light. Wheat and grain.

Taste - Grain and fruit. Less distinctly apricot, but you still get it. Lactic sourness. A touch of wine in the finish. Lemony.

Mouthfeel - Medium light, well carbonated. Moderate sourness.

Overall - It actually has some of that lambic character, which surprises me. This was a remarkable treat to have driving through Harrisburg.

Jul 16, 2013
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RblWthACoz from Pennsylvania

4.36/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Initially I was geeked to be able to get a chance to try this one. Then I started wondering how good it would actually be.

It is good. Super sour, in a very gueuze kind of way. I don't really get any apricots on here, as it is noted on the board. But the sour character is full, unwavering, and exactly as it should be. I would imagine that this would get better with some age, but I wonder if the bottles will be around long enough for that.

Jun 12, 2013
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Rifugium from North Dakota

4/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: bottle at Pizza Boy

Hazy orange-amber pour, with a chaotically coagulating layer of off-white head, splotches of lacing on the glass, and a plethora of floaties in suspension right from the start. Strong aroma, lactic sourness, tart fruit, funky, brett...I could tell heartburn was in my near future. This beer kind of reminded me of Cascade Apricot, although maybe even a bit more intense in its sourness. So yeah, sour taste, lactic, apricot pulp, yeasty/bretty funk, some barrel notes, but the sour/fruit aspects pretty much drowned out any wine flavors that might have been present. I'd say this really need more time to mellow out to get any complexity out of it, but as it stood, it was still a good brew. Medium body, ample carbonation, full of flavor. Good, but still needs time to reach its potential. Either that or I got a bottle from the bottom of the barrel. Either that or drinking the whole bottle myself was just too much.

May 31, 2013
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Slatetank from Pennsylvania

4.18/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I had this from the bottle at Al's new location in Enola, enjoyed with August and Tim.

The color is a golden peach hue with thin white cap w/ sticky lace pattern and tight bead. The smell is lightly funky with some mild lactic aroma ala greek yogurt. The feel is super-sour and puckering with dry and light tangy and funky yeast with high carbonation.

The taste has a light fruitiness with a yeast quality that is dominant with the lacto pretty acidic in the flavor but not enough to be uncomfortable to the tastebuds, just very tart and a little lemony with mild hint of funk to round out the taste with lots of carbonic acid since it is highly carbonated making it seem dry. The overall impression is very flavorful wild ale with the bacteria dominating making a very sour end result.

May 20, 2013
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orangesol from Pennsylvania

4.4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a bottle on opening day of the new Al's of Hampden.

A - Pours slightly hazy yellow with a small film of white head, dissipating down to a light ring around the outside of the glass, leaving very light strings of lace down the glass.

S - Smells of strong lactic sourness, mild apricot and peach sweetness, oak from the barrels, brett must and some nice funky cheese. Nowhere near as cheesy as the single barrel peach was but still quite nice. A little one dimensional initially but it really grows into itself as it warms up.

T - Starts off with plenty of lactic sourness giving way to hints of fresh fruit, wet basement must, drying oak tannins, a bit of cheesy funk and some chewy base malt. Finish is mild all things considered, a little chewy with some mild sourness, leaving the palate dried for awhile after the finish.

M - Medium body with moderate carbonation. Crisp, sour feel from start to finish. Flavors are well balanced and it has more carbonation than meets the eye.

O - A very nice wild ale. I have heard this called "baby Fou' Foune," multiple times now and I can see where that is coming from. It is comparable to an aged bottle of Fou' Foune but it lacks the strong fruit presence of a fresh bottle. Definitely worth the price of the bottle to try it but lets not get carried away here.

May 01, 2013
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philbe311 from Pennsylvania

4.19/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml for on-site consumption into a Pizza Boy snifter....

A - A sturdy pour yields only a slight bone white colored head that quickly fizzes a way leaving no discernible lacing or collar... The slightest bit of lacing sticks to the glass... The color is a vibrant slightly glowing orangish amber... There is a slight yet distinctive haziness... A modest bit of carbonation...

S - A good bit of funk to start... It slightly obscures the other ingredients that I know are present... The Apricot and fruit notes are next... A slight white wine barrel component compliment be some faint vanilla tones...

T - Wonderful balance and complexity... The fruitiness of the apricots... The moderate lactic tartness... The complexities of the white white barrels... Even some light vanilla notes... This has aged wonderfully in the bottles... The wow factor really starts to emerge as this one warms a bit...

M - Light to medium bodied... A slight carbonation... Crisp... Even and consistent... Velvety throughout... Starts a bit lush and finishes a bit dry... Spot on for the style and quite enjoyable...

D - A very well rounded excellent American Wild Ale... It's even more remarkable when you consider that Pizza Boy is still a fairly new kid on the block... This bodes very well for the future of the brewery that I'm excited to witness and enjoy over the coming years... I highly recommend stopping by if your in the area or driving a bit our of your way if you're not... This is a dam fine brew by any measure...

May 01, 2013
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stakem from Pennsylvania

4.46/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Not to be confused with permasmile peach which was a limited draft only offering that was just peaches. This listing is for the blend of american wild ales that was aged in wine barrels with some having peaches and some having apricots.

Served at Al's for in house consumption via 750ml bottle. The brew pours orange in color with a bit of haziness about it. The cap forms white in color and collapses leaving some patches of lacing effect on the glass. The way the head coagulates across the top looks like it has some protein or pellicle keeping the spots together.

The aroma has some juiciness left to it which smells fruity and somewhat like peaches/apricots but that might not be readily identifiable if you weren't expecting that based off the description. Behind the juicy quality of the brew is a huge funky brett inclusion that is wild with a bit of earthen and horsey aspect.

The flavor is sour with a bit of that juicy fruit aspect before the onset of brett funk. The way this brew has aged and blended together is pretty damn fantastic. It has a perfect balance of character and is deeply complex that I feel like I am hardly scratching the surface of this brew's nuance. How many more words can I use to describe fruitiness and brett funk? There, im done.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is a fantastic wild ale with plenty of both sourness and residual juicy aspect that demand your attention throughout the experience. I drank this glass way too quick, I will need to have this again soon to fill in some voids of this review. Exceptional stuff.

Apr 30, 2013
Permasmile from Al's of Hampden / Pizza Boy Brewing
Beer rating: 98 out of 100 with 174 ratings