Pestilence | Rivertown Brewery & Barrel House

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
39 Ratings

Brewed by:
Rivertown Brewery & Barrel House
Ohio, United States

Style: Flanders Oud Bruin

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Pestilence is a sour brown ale brewed with 7 varieties of malted barley and wheat, organic whole Hibiscus flower pedals and spicy hops from the Hallertau growing region of Bavaria. The name Pestilence is derived from the ancient biblical term for infection or plague. Through a natural process called sour mashing, we expose the mash to airborne elements for a period of 48 hours allowing for a natural infection to arise causing the beer to sour. After this process is complete, we collect the sweet, sour runnings and introduce the spicy hops. We then boil it for a period of 1 hour and steep it with fresh hibiscus flower pedals. The end result is a wonderfully aromatic blend of fresh botanical herbs and mouth puckering sourness.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Ratings: 39 |  Reviews: 17
Photo of Zonian1
2.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Photo of crytion
3.5/5  rDev +47.1%

Photo of C_Roetting
2.75/5  rDev +15.5%

Photo of NateMac13
2.25/5  rDev -5.5%

Photo of NW2285
2.75/5  rDev +15.5%

Photo of MSandahl23
2/5  rDev -16%

Photo of Boilerfood
1.75/5  rDev -26.5%

Photo of Urbancaver
1.2/5  rDev -49.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Pours out of the bottle looking like a fairly normal beer. I try normally to review the appearance before the aroma but with this beer I just can't....
The aroma dominates. Puke is the only thing that comes to mind. Bile and vomit and acidic aromas overtake the whole room.
I out my nose near this beer attempting to sniff it and I feel immediately like I am going to vomit. It's very hard but I'm going to try to the a sip
Sip went off horribly. It honestly tastes better than it smells.. By a lot. But still not good. That and the mouthfeel is weird. Overall this is one of the worst beers I've ever had. Worse than triple bock by a lot. A huge fail of a beer

 661 characters

Photo of ONUMello
3.3/5  rDev +38.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a tulip
A: Muddy brown, noticeable yeast particles, a 1/2-finger head that disappears almost as soon as it's poured
S: Melt down some toffee/caramel/butterscotch, pour in some cream & add a handful of flowers. That combination is what I smell. Intriguing, but not necessarily something I want to smell all day
T: A strong sourness is the first thing that comes across. I like acidity in beverages and this is very strong. Tart green apple up front, a large squeeze of lemon & lime, and just a bit of the sweetness & toffee characteristic from the nose on the finish
M: Thin & puckeringly sour though not unpleasant if you don't mind the sourness
O: While perhaps not for everyone, I enjoyed taking my time to sip and contemplate this beer. I think it's my first time trying the style, and I will definitely search out more. Based on this one bottle, I would love to see Rivertown do a collaboration with Cleveland's Indigo Imp. I will also add I really like the layout/design of the beer's label.

 1,020 characters

Photo of alexknuckles
1/5  rDev -58%

Photo of SDG1070
2.75/5  rDev +15.5%

Photo of FalconA
2.5/5  rDev +5%

Photo of buschbeer
3.47/5  rDev +45.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1 pint mason jar. It is not really a growler. Party Town in Florence fills pint jars and growlers.
Served in a flute

A - It looks like the jar was filled from a mud puddle. There is some brown sludge on the bottom of the jar. A fairly aggressive pour yielded me a couple inches of tan head.

S - I get some tart aromas and I swear I get some cocoa.

T - I get some tartness through the middle. It tastes similar to green apples. That's about it. There is no lingering sourness and really no other flavor than the green apple.

M - Moderate.

O - It's different. I would either prefer more sourness or some other flavors to go with the tartness.

 648 characters

Photo of gpawned
2.5/5  rDev +5%

Photo of meanmutt
2/5  rDev -16%

Photo of VncentLIFE
2.75/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Thanks dakkon54. Ive heard things about this beer, but here we go.

It pours a light murky brown with a nice stream of carbonation. Those bubbles are feeding nothing, literally. Small ring for a head.

The smell has lots of dry grain. Kind of smells like Brett ran rampant for a long time on this sucker. Oud Bruin for sure.

Oh the taste is interesting for sure. It starts off very nice. Tart cherries and dark fruits come out straight away, with that nice amount of Flanders Red tartness to it. I really like it up until that point, then theres this flavor that comes in. Its like dry nutty grainy chocolate. It leaves this peanuty like feeling of dryness when I exhale.

I really wish It had stayed with the original flavors, but not. I dont get any floral hibiscus notes at all, which is kind of a disappointment.

 818 characters

Photo of cbeer88
1.89/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Tasted blindly courtesy of the Blind BIF. Poured into Founders snifter.

Appearance: Color is somewhere between dark amber red and brown. Very thin head, and very little lacing.

Smell: There is something rather foul in the smell. I'm not going to go so far as to call it poop, but it is in that general direction. Let's give it the benefit of the doubt and say basement must, but I have never smelled this before in a beer. Slight fruity berry flavor, in a "these strawberries have been sitting in the fridge for a month" kind of way.

Taste: Oxidized to hell and back. Wet cardboard dominates the backend of the sip. Up front there is a very acetic tartness, and a bit of a mild fruity berry flavor. Decent malt profile, the beer is kind of sweet in spite of the tartness. Really stale aftertaste that I don't like at all.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, and pretty well carbed despite the lack of head.

Drinkability: Not very good - this beer is past its prime.

Overall: I think there was perhaps once something tasty here, but age has not been kind.

 1,050 characters

Photo of Envelopes
1.75/5  rDev -26.5%

Photo of Ryan011235
1.18/5  rDev -50.4%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

On tap in tulip at Bodega on 4/26/12

Medium, rusty brown color. A one half finger head leaves only bubbles around the collar and a few drips of lace.

This smelled like Jolly Ranchers and trash can at first. Then like sour candy. It's waaay sugary. Floral overtones and dirty water. This smells like bad candy, not beer. Oh boy, it tastes like bad candy, too. Tart dark fruits and sour apple. The finish has a puckering notion rattled with musty, dirty lingerings. Carbonation is brash, hurtling anger amid the sourness. Light body with an unpleasant finish.

If sour candy is your thing, you might like this. It ain't for me though. The base brown ale is basically not there.

There's a reason this stayed on tap at Bodega for weeks and weeks. No one was buying it because it sucks.

 785 characters

Photo of csustar001
2/5  rDev -16%

Photo of jsurfs82
3/5  rDev +26.1%

Photo of Mark000
1/5  rDev -58%

Photo of jampics2
1.52/5  rDev -36.1%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Hands down the worst beer I've had in ages.

This beer is pestilence personified. A plague in a bottle.

Poured a rich brown color with slight hints of red when illuminated. No head at all. Decent enough look for a Flanders Bruin.

The smell was the first sign that something was wrong. Very wrong. Candied walnut, blue cheese and vomit. Disgusting. Where's the fruit? Where's the acetic or lactic? Alls I gets is gastric acid.

The taste followed. There's moderate acidity. There's some hibiscus adding floral tartness. But this honestly tastes like dead baby's vomit. Seriously, stuff me full of walnuts, hibiscus and blue cheese and give me an hour and I'll puke up this beer. So much butyric acid it's not even funny. This should be pulled from shelves.

Mouthfeel was OK. Carbonation was light and airy.

Overall, avoid this. Or drink it if you're into atrocious beer. I'd drink Crazy Ed's and Mama Mia every day for the rest of my life if I never had to have this again. Piss poor, especially considering the greatness of the Rivertown Lambic. We know you can do better, Rivertown, don't sell beer that you *have* to know is just really, really bad.

A beer so bad I had to come out of review retirement to write this.

 1,224 characters

Photo of vrbulldog22
2.25/5  rDev -5.5%

Photo of CFHMagnet
2.89/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I don't know if the people of Rivertown don't understand calenders and have bought into the hype of the 2012 "Mayan Apocalypse" junk or if it's just a marketing ploy, but I do like the "Pestilence" name/theme, and I won't let my disdain for the apocalyptic crowd affect my judgement of the brew.

An aggressive pour netted me a thin half finger of head that was gone before I could get a good read on the color. Body is a mahogany color with not even an attempt at lacing. Lots of bubbles noted though.

Head wasn't bad to begin with. Nice malt, a little flower; and then the cheese reared it's head. It's like a whiff of cheap cheese-food.

Thank goodness I don't taste cheese. Flavor is a light sour apple with vinegar spirit. A bit of flower and lemon comes through on the end.

Mouthfeel is light, with carbonation very much present, but not overly biting. Washes down clean, not sticky.

 894 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Pestilence from Rivertown Brewery & Barrel House
Beer rating: 2.38 out of 5 with 39 ratings