Anchorage / Crooked Stave Between The Staves | Anchorage Brewing Company

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Anchorage / Crooked Stave Between The StavesAnchorage / Crooked Stave Between The Staves

Brewed by:
Anchorage Brewing Company
Alaska, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
A sour ale fermented in oak foudres with 3 strains of brett, the beer was then aged for 11 months in cognac barrels.

20 IBU

Added by dwagner003 on 01-09-2014

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 42 | Ratings: 285
Photo of stevoj
4.09/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle share from Matt. Light, effervescent, sweet, all around great. A nice break from the crowd(bottle share and tons of styles) and palate cleanser.

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Photo of stephens101
4.28/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown with a quickly diminishing tan froth. Smells tart as hell with plenty of freely floating vinegar and sour fruit notes. More balanced than expected, which is a good thing. Grapes, prunes, slight vinegar, taffy and black licorice to the tongue. Dry-ish and medium in body. Could easily get to this one again.

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Photo of dar482
4.33/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Th beer hits of oak, fruity notes from the cognac barrel, caramel, dried plum, red berries, along with tart cherry and toasty malts. It follows with a tart vinegary quality like a Flanders red.

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Photo of cpetrone84
2.51/5  rDev -38.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Pour is dark brown with off white head. Nose has an off plastic, burnt wood, booze, toasted grain, and sour cherry. Flavor is better, still overly sweet and singular. Sour cherries dominate, faint booziness, light wood, acetic acid. Soft feel, low carb, semi dry.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.33/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

BOTTLE: Branded black hood-and-wire cap over a cork. Appealing printed-on label with intricate art. 2014 vintage. Brown glass. Batch #1 (JAN/2014).

7% ABV. 20 IBUs.

Reviewed live as a sour ale per the label. Expectations are high given the two breweries involved. Served cold into a stangenglas and allowed to come to temperature over the course of consumption.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: About 1.5cm wide. Off-white colour. Recedes inside 25 seconds - somewhat pathetic. Leaves no lacing as it recedes.

BODY: Deep brown colour of average vibrance. No yeast or sediment is visible. Has a nice glow about its bottom.

It's an appealing appearance for a sour ale, but is far from unique or special, and boasts no stand-out attributes.

AROMA: Brettanomyces funkiness, barnyard straw/hay, dampened oak wood, fruity must, vaguely fruity hop notes, lactic acid, and faint sourness (maybe a 3/10 in terms of intensity).

I find no overt cognac. There're also no overt hop notes, off-notes, or boozy notes.

Aromatic intensity is average. Suggests a brettanomyces-driven sour ale with a fairly simple build.

TASTE & TEXTURE: Acidic and somewhat vinegary/acetic, which coaxes out more of the oak & barrel notes. I pick up on no cognac whatsoever. There's a cardboard-y barnyard character indicative of overdampened oak barrel. Time has not been kind to this bottle. Vague fruit. Backgrounded oak. Some barrel sugars. Wine-like lychee-ish fruity acids.

Brettanomyces funkiness is present but not dominant, and the sourness isn't as bacterial or truly spontaneous/wild as that of the best beers in the style. Sourness is a 3/10 in terms of intensity, and seems tame and clinical. Hints of jammy fruit and Balsamic vinegar.

Balanced and enjoyable, with some nice brettanomyces complexity, but not a horribly intricate brew for a sour ale.

Mouthfeel is acidic but not puckering or smacky. Smooth and wet, with subtle undercarbonation (probably a result of its age). Light-bodied. Not too hefty or thick on the palate. Not syrupy, chewy, gushed, hot, booze, astringent, harsh, rough, or scratchy. Damp. Unrefreshing.

OVERALL: It's not the tip-top quality beer you'd hope for given Crooked Stave and Anchorage are behind it, but it's a competent brettanomyces sour ale that will please the discerning drinker. the cognac isn't noticeable at all; maybe it's reticent, maybe it's absent. Drinkable but not world-class, Between The Staves will satisfy, but won't impress. Lacks a harmony of texture and taste, and a gestalt build. But I do like it, and will enjoy finishing the bottle with company.

Low B-

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.52/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Deep brown with a khaki collar. Heavy brett and toasted malt. Light acidity. Taste is dark fruits and strong tartness. Heavy brett earthiness. Dark fruit sourness in the back end with some toasted malt bitterness. Medium body. Pretty interesting. I don't get any barrel, though.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.55/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750mL corked and caged bottle poured into a snifter.
(A)- Pours a very dark burnt sienna brown color with some ruby red highlights. Reminds me of port in the glass. Minimal tan froth.
(S)- Big notes of dry funky oak. The cognac is evident. Metallic fruits with a deep funk.
(T)- A deep oaky maltiness meets a complex dry funky Brett. Bits of dark fruits. Lots of Brett funk and barrel in this.
(M)- A good carbonation level. Very complex with big barrel and big Brett funk. Not overly tart, but there is some.
(O)- Anchorage always pulls off very complex and dynamic beers and this one is no different. Great stuff

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Photo of cjgator3
3.3/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Enjoyed a bottle of this at a recent bottle share. This is a sour with with nice touches of brett, oak, and cognac giving it an added layer of complexity.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.99/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into snifter. Batch #1, bottled January, 2014.

A: Pours a very dark mahogany brown with a thin but fluffy light tan head that slowly faded into a thin, bubbly collar. A few spots of wispy lace was left down the glass.
S: Funky, musty, and earthy brett on the nose with scents of red grapes, cognac, and a clean bright tartness. I get hints of red wine vinegar, stone fruits, and cherry skins.
T: Oak and cognac barrel, black cherry, red wine, mild vinegar, stone fruit and a clean but very mild acidity. The finish is buttery with a heavy, sticky fruity sweetness. The aftertaste is full of musty earth, stone fruits, slight caramel, and a hint of dark wine. Flavors are vinous, dark, and full of red fruit tones, and I get lots of cherry pits and just a faint hint of cheese as the beer warms.
M: Greasy and slick mouthfeel, oily, with a full and heavy body and very mild carbonation. The acidity is light, and there is no real tartness to the beer like you would have if lacto was involved.
O: A very approachable and flavorful dark sour beer. Definitley different than most other Anchorage beers with more acidity coming through than creamy yeast. Good, well executed, but not my favorite.

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Photo of Alequine
4.43/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What an outstanding beer. It was not something that was known to me and I was able to share this with a friend which was outstanding as it made for more of this to drink. This beer was joyous to drink so in reading up on this beer I was disappointed that this beer has been retired. Travesty. This beer was made with such an artisanal touch - A sour ale fermented in oak foudres with 3 strains of brett, the beer was then aged for 11 months in cognac barrels. What details!

The beer poured a light brownish color with slight see through. No lacing visible. Poured light but smooth with a slight aromatic vinegary smell along with toffee and cognac in the bouquet. The mouthfeel to me was light but enhanced by the moderate carbonation. This is a tasteful balanced sour with the initial taste of light vinegar, cognac, toffee and fruit (grapes maybe?). The finish had a dry oakiness with a slight acidic ending with the swallow. This is an outstanding beer and was a very pleasant surprise to drink. I am very disappointed that this beer is no longer brewed. Bring it back!

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Photo of mverity
4.28/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep caramel brown with some light tan head. Fair lacing, good legs, thin collar persists. Aroma is dry hay, very light smoke, tart plum and dark cherry all with a big brett funk. Taste is much like the aroma with the dark fruits playing well with the earthy smokiness. I get a faint herbaceousness as well. High carbonation and medium body. Very bubbly on the tongue.

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Photo of M_C_Hampton
4.44/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: poured from a 750 mL bottle into a snifter, dark red brown with a short tan head that dissipates quickly, clear

S: balsamic vinegar, oak, sour cherries, dark fruits

T: the sour flavor here is quite powerful but balance by oak tannins, tart cherry, vinegar, hints of flavor from the cognac barrels slip in as the beer warms

M: medium body, quite chewy, mouthwatering

O: bottled Jan 2014, this beer was purchased in Orlando, Florida in May and cellered, it was an excellent purchase, thanks to the store owner who whipped it out of hiding behind the counter

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Photo of ccrida
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Very nicely done sour in the Flemish style, with a just a kiss of vanilla and cognac. Smooth, a little acidic pucker but not pungently sour. Elegant really, with very nice depth, but on the relatively subtle side, particularly on the nose. Light and digestible body, highly drinkable, and outright delicious.

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Photo of ADZA
4.68/5  rDev +13.9%

A joy to have this drop to be honest after the big wraps and so on, on pour its s murky brown hue with a creamy one finger head and not much lacing, smell is wow cognac mainly along with funky oak and raisins I could smell this all day, mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation and the taste is wow its such a balanced sour with cognac on the start followed by a funky Brett fest, raisins,, a touch of toffee, grapes and finished with a dry oakiness and overall sublime wish this was easier available cheers.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.35/5  rDev +5.8%

Bottle gifted by daknole. Thank you, my friend, for the great hang, conversation, and delicious beers. The beer is a dark chestnut hue with tinges of russet and crimson, sporting a thin, beige collar. The aroma brings brettanomyces, funk, cherry, oak, a touch of spice. Similar flavor, with additional notes of balsamic vinegar, black currant, red wine, port. Subtle notes of nuts, earth. Light to medium bodied with moderate acidity. Similar in some regards to an oud bruin. A delicious beer. I’ll be sipping on this for the next couple hours. Cheers Dak!

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.3/5  rDev +4.6%

With the newer and more avant-garde brewers making ales of a century gone by, what's old is certainly new again as the ale makers of Colorado and Alaska join forces for a distinctive sour and toasted taste that harks to historic flemish ale.

Its tawny garnet brown appearance carries a sightly ominous haze- casting bronze and ruby aspirations agains the glass. Piquant aromas strike the olfactories with a sense of red wine vinegar, sour under-ripened fruit, cherry, grape along with a balance and tingle from peppercorn. Its toasty early palate is accompanied with steely caramel, light coffee and heavy kilned vanilla bean.

The tangy acidity overcomes the palate with sharp lime sourness and a backdrop of vinous dry cabernet, light balsamic, sour grape and cherry, crabapple and a salty-sweaty drift to savory things up a bit. Malt contributions are of toasted bread crust, lightly charred grain and oak. As the carmel and vanilla dissipates, the bright acidity becomes paramount along with that tangy fruit and peppery spice balance.

With the toasted char and peppercorn shining it the ale's dry finish, its light and acidic body is as refreshing as it is characterful. As its finish brings about palate-stripping thirst quenching effects, a cloud of sour fruit and wood lifts and seems to evaporate in the aftertaste.

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Big want of mine for a while. ..two of my favs collaborating on one brew.
Purchased at Lokal Burger in Miami. Still pour ...caramel thin syrup looking. ..not much pop to the cork either. Smell is super funky...woody...a hint of chocolate.
Really nice.
Taste is funky sour..lots of critters in here. Caramel wood and a hint of the sweet cognac. Tart mouthfeel...but easy.
Overall a fantastic brew and I would love to add one to my cellar.

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Photo of impending
4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25


750ml into a tulip. Pours prune juice dark, beautiful garnet when strongly back lit, minor head receded leaving a still surface, zero lacing.

The flavor crosses from tart into sour with the sour dominating, minor throat irritation. Grape skin, prune skin, fairly funky, oaky tannic finish. No hint of cognac to be found, wood is the dominant note joining the sour from between the staves appropriately.

Thinnish mouthfeel with no spritz yet fine all the same.

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Photo of ArrogantB
4.09/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle purchased from Crooked Stave for $17 (cheaper than their beers). I like Anchorage so I was excited for this and was not let down. Dark brown color, huge head that disappeared with a quickness. Aroma was a fruity, sour, oud bruin but no cognac that I could detect and I used to drink it quite regularly. Flavor again had no cognac but was a very nice brett, oud bruin, and then this great floral quality underneath that impressed me. Overall a nice beer and I'm glad I have another bottle.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
3.95/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. Shared by Sasha - thanks. Corked and caged 750ml.

A: Pours brownish with a thin (1/16-inch) white head which leaves a few spots of lace.

N: Plenty of oaky tannins, some flanders basalmic, and slightly funky brett.

T: More basalmicy flanders type tartness, a trace of cognac, red wine, fruity and funk.

M: Medium body and light carbonation. Finishes tart, vinous and oaky.

O: Not worth the price.

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Photo of Get_Lowell
4.56/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a wine glass at Shelton Brothers tasting at the Wine and Cheese Place.

A: Dark brown, cloudy, touch of red when light hits it, bubbly and leaves sparkling carbonation trails upon swirl.

S: Oak, tart, fruit, very pleasant.

T: Starts with sweetness from red malts, gives the slight impression of cherries, middle brings both sour and sweet into balance, finishes with a sour punctuation mark that leaves you anxious for the next sip! Masterfully done.

M: Medium body, moderate carbonation, very pleasant

O: Loved this beer! Reminded me of a red flanders with the malty sweetness. From start to finish this is well balanced, complex, and a joy to drink. Go find yourself a bottle!

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Photo of macrosmatic
4.42/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes. Poured from 750 mL bottle into a Firestone Walker snifter.

A: Pours a dark rich brown to mahogany in color, translucent. Forms a one-finger eggshell head with visible carbonation on the low side.

S: Funky, barnyard Brett, some cognac, toasted malts, and oaky tannins.

T: Funky tartness, oak dryness, cognac that doesn't dominate, and roasted malts. Near the finish is an almost fruity (cherry?) sweetness (possibly from cognac ethanol). The flavors remind me a bit of a cherry cola in overall impression. Some lemony citric tartness integrated as well, which increases as the beer warms. Sweet and tartness linger into the hang, which finishes dry overall.

M: Medium body, moderately low carbonation sensation, and has low alcohol burn.

O: This was a different beer, but really tasty. Not overly funky or tart, but balanced in its own way. The cognac flavors were unmistakeable, but well-integrated into the beer. Nicely done, and highly recommended. I am curious as to what the Brett will do over some years in the cellar.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.14/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottle I brought to share at the post-FWIBF bottle share held at the Adelaide Inn in Paso Robles, CA.

Batch # 1. Bottled 1/2014.

Pours a murky reddish-brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is sour with malt, peach ring candy, apricot, and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with sour fruit and peach ring candy flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of acidity on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with an interesting peach ring candy I am getting in both the smell and taste.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.82/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Corked and caged 750 ml bottle from Tipples. Pours brown with a half finger khaki colored head. Aroma of green apples, wood, balsamic, some interesting booze notes, twigs and leaves and vegetal notes. Interesting I guess but a little strange. Flavor is light sour black cherries with a hefty bit of dry oakiness, some booze that I assume is the cognac, and a lingering mellow cherry apple vanilla flavor left on the palate. Fruity notes begin coming out from the cognac with additional sips. Medium plus mouthfeel for a sour, with low carbonation--but not flat by any means. A very good sour in the red/brown style.

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Photo of mrkdwrds
4.34/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Anchorage is a favorite of mine, and if they keep producing beers along these lines that will continue to be true in the future. 750 mL cork and caged bottle served into a wine glass.

Between the Staves pours a rich amber/brown, with little head. Aroma is incredible - there is a fruitiness that seems signature of Anchorage beers to me at this point that is balanced by cognac complexity and sweetness. The taste is excellent - there is that same signature Anchorage taste accompanied by some oak, and a nice level of acidity/sourness. Mouthfeel is average for the style - well-carbonated, not too heavy. Overall a great wild ale, one of the better shelf offerings I've tried in recent memory.

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Anchorage / Crooked Stave Between The Staves from Anchorage Brewing Company
4.11 out of 5 based on 285 ratings.
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