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Almanac Beer Co.

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Wild Ale
4.06 | pDev: 8.62%
Almanac Beer Co.
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
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Notes: This 100% brettanomyces ale is brewed with Mosaic hops, fermented warm and soured in wine barrels. Right before bottling, it’s dry hopped with Nelson hops to create an aromatic and sour ale that embraces both our love of farmhouse funk and tropical aromas of passionfruit, mango and melon. A delicious contradiction of flavor and style.
Reviews: 21 | Ratings: 173 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.92/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Had this in July 2015.

Pours orange, white head 1/5". An appearance most often associated with an ipa, especially in these "Donald Duck cryo hop juice" times. Neat aroma, Mosaic hops giving plenty of those tropical fruit and to a lesser extent, citrus tangerine like notes, but there is also some stone fruit apricot smells too alongside Nelson's hippie armpit weed. Nice.

Pronounced sourness, but in a clean way, this isn't neglected barnyard and 5 year old horse blanket, its a clean, fruity sour, probably a 7 on the 10pt wild ale sour scale. Keeps dropping mango, papaya, apricot throughout. Not overly acidic, well carbonated. Even at 7% it drinks with no effort. I'm not sure what makes this a wild ale as opposed to a sour ipa, but they describe the same thing. This is definitely one of the better ones, albeit more expensive than when they are branded ipas instead of wild ales. Wood is largely absent beyond the white grape impression.

At the $10 price point, these were an easy pickup.

May 12, 2020
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John_M from Oregon

4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Saraveza farmhouse ale fest. While a bit on the tart side for, there was a lot going on in this beer that I enjoyed (very tropical fruit nose, replicated on the palate, but interwoven with the sour component). Interesting beer, and one I'm glad to have tried.

Mar 29, 2015
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.04/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

when i read the description of this, i simply had to have it, two of my favorite things combined, hoppy wild beers are where its at for me right now, so this was a cool find. the execution of the idea though is far from perfect. the base sour is exceptional, like all almanac beer, very very high quality and quite distinct. the wine barrel comes through in the nose as much as the sour does, complex and mouth watering. the hops though really arent as vibrant as happening as i expected, especially for two of my favorite varietals, its hoppy sure, but nelson and mosaic have a lot more potential than this one. hazy beer, not much head, very very pale. hops in the smell are more grassy and springtime than anything else, i dont get the tropical fruits. the taste is similar, great blonde sour, with a little extra passion fruit sort of tang, maybe from the hops, but im looking for nelson, which shouldnt be hard to find, but i cant find it here. maybe i sat on the bottle a little too long and its faded, but ive known wilds to hold their hops better than others, and it hasnt been all that long. wonderful base beer, short a little on the carbonation this time, but complex and deliciously juicy, but i get more lemon and wine barrel than i get hops, and for me thats a negative. really yummy still though, just not as advertised.

Mar 28, 2015
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GreesyFizeek from New York

4.26/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle shared by Barry last night.

This one pours a slightly dark orange, with a half inch head, and not a whole lot of lacing.

Smells fairly sour, with a bit of citrus, white wine, and some woody oak type aromas.

I wish this a bit more hop forward, as the sour qualities did tend to dominate. There is some nice citrus and grape flavors that could definitely be the Nelson hops. There's a lot of white wine flavor, which definitely goes along with the white wine qualities of the Nelson hops. There's a pretty snappy tartness here as well.

This is fairly light bodied, with a moderate level of carbonation, and a tart and juicy mouthfeel.

Thought this still had the same sort of "house character" that all Almanac sours have, this is definitely one of the better beers from them I've had.

Mar 15, 2015
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scottfrie from California

4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled December 2014.

A: Pour s a dark, slightly hazy, amber/iced-tea color with a thin and soft white head that faded into a fuzzy collar. Broken rings of soapy lace was left down the glass.
S: Huge tropical, floral, and citrusy hop notes with very juicy and sweet scents of kumquats, papaya, lime, passion fruit, and slight mango. The brett hits next with dry, yeasty, doughy and fruity scents. There is a bright tartness to the nose, and a mild earthy must. Definitely reminds me of kumquats.
T: Citrus, musty barrel, and brett dominate the palate. I get flavors of lemon-lime, tangerine, passion fruit, and kumquat. The brett is floral and creamy, and there is musty vinous quality overall from the oak. Tartness is clean and citrus-like. The finish is floral and juicy with hints of tropical papaya and mango, and the aftertaste has a lingering fruit nectar sweetness and honeydew.
M: Very soft and creamy carbonation, medium-full body, chewy and lightly greasy mouthfeel. The tartness is bright without too much acidity. The finish is buttery from the vinous oak.
O: Definitely a delicious sour ipa. Not as hoppy as others I’ve had, but definitely more complex. One of my favorites for Almanac thus far.

Mar 02, 2015
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brentk56 from North Carolina

4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a murky honey color that is not particularly attractive; the bubbles don't really make a head though they do provide better than expected lacing action

Smell: Passionfruit, ripening cheese, white wine grapes and a hint of mango

Taste: Passionfruit flavors, up front, with the white wine grapes adding a vinous dimension; slightly funky, in the middle, and somewhat acetic, in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: I have found that I don't much care for Brett pale ales and IPAs but this one is more to my liking, perhaps because the hops are restrained and their is a sour dimension that I had failed to anticipate

Mar 01, 2015
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AgentMunky from New York

3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Hazy auburn. It's less tart than acidic, and the Nelson provides a second of nice tropical fruit, but then I think the hops more clash than complement the beer. Decent finish.

Feb 08, 2015
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Etan from Wisconsin

3.91/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark murky orange with a coarse white head.

S: Lactic, not much in the way of hops, but a good amount of lemon and orange and wine barrel.

T: Burst of lactic and a bit of acetic sourness first, followed by yogurt, grapefruit, buttery wine tannins.

M: Light-bodied with medium carb.

O: A nice yet simple AWA. Would have liked more hoppiness.

Feb 07, 2015
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kiki3drt292 from California

2.91/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Clean and crisp at first, but where are the hops? The acidity has a burn to it, and finishes off with a buttery gloss that sticks around far longer than enjoyable.

Feb 03, 2015
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draheim from Washington

4.07/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375mL into a tulip. Pours a dirty golden w/ minimal head a few floaties released from the bottom of the bottle. Probably should have poured more carefully.

Aroma is tart, citrusy, acidic. Clean and sharp.

Taste follows nose. Juicy and citrusy, sour, crisp. Slightly coarse grainy quality from the pale malt.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, balanced. Finishes semi-dry.

Overall an enjoyable sour from Almanac that seems a little different from their various fruit beers.

Jan 25, 2015
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Budinetz from Pennsylvania

4.37/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle dated December 2014.

Poured an orange-amber, raw honey, type of color with a thin layer of white head that dissipates rapidly. Some visible lacing around the glass as I sip but nothing insane. Smells of Brett yeast, some wine characteristics from the barrel, and very little malt. A touch of floral hops is present on the nose but ever so slightly. Tastes sweet up front with a bit of puckery , sour, tartness. Great balance of sour with a decently hopped backbone. Quite drinkable despite the abv of 7% and the mouthfeel is on point. Not too puckery/sour and not overly bitter. Not sure if this would benefit from aging, but it was awesome fresh.


Jan 24, 2015
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CraftEyeDoc from North Carolina

4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle Dec 2014, opened Jan 2015

A - copper orange body with very little head; white ring that persists around the glass

S - lots of lemon and mango.

T - huge sour punch that fades quickly and nicely into lemon/mango; after multiple sips the sour is less pronounced and you get a lemon/mango flavor that just explodes in your mouth and is backed up by a very nice sour flavor; there is some funk but it is very light and in the background

M - light feel that allows the flavor to dominate

O - Much more sour from the first sip than I was expecting but the flavors work well together. I can see why some would not like this beer and other would love. If you are a citrus sour fan I would say this is a beer you should definitely try.

Jan 13, 2015
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RaulMondesi from California

3.75/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Funky like your significant other after Bikram Yoga; sour like a pack of Warheads, and woody like the diving board your grandmama jumped off during the 30's. A bit cloying in the end...

Pretty much good and average.

Jan 12, 2015
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vfgccp from New York

3.86/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle Dec 2014, opened Jan 2014

A - Nice copper orange body with a finger of spongy orange-white head. Nice retention and lace, especially for a sour.

S - Mmmm. Classic bright tartness for an American Wild with lemon, pine, bitter clementine, and mango.

T - Astringent sour pine, lemon rind, some of the mango from the nose, asparagus, and bread dough. Odd gingerbread finish.

M - Bland mouthfeel. Medium body with a thick finish. Low carbonation.

O - Surprisingly bready for an American Wild.

Jan 11, 2015
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Greywulfken from New York

4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: deep hazy amber body under a coupla fingers of ivory foam; cap of foam persisted and left brief tentacles of lace behind

S: citrusy grapefruit and lemon, oaken wood and clothes drying; floral overtones; wine-like aromas as well

T: powerfully tart grapefruit and wine impressions, then citric fruits and drying wood; wine barrels and sour ale up front; hops - Mosaic and Nelson - contribute milder characteristics of white grape and lemon; brettanomyces is faint in the background, just rounding off the edges

M: immediately puckering; intense first sip - tartness revisited with each sip, but smooths out; slight astringence and tingle; drying close; medium-weight body, modest fuzz of carbonation, slight funk of brett more noticeable on the finish

O: very impressed with Almanac's barrel work with their Farm To Barrel series - this one brings some hoppage to a pale sour ale, featuring brettanomyces and aged in wine barrels. Sour fans would be remiss to pass up on it; a solid drinking experience.

Jan 10, 2015
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SammyJaxxxx from New Jersey

4.17/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a golden orange with a 1 finger head that quickly dissipates and leaves some nice lacing.
S: Smells of pears, apples, wine and some funk
T: Plenty of sour fruit, apple and pear with white wine flavor at the end. Not smelling or tasting the hops
F: Nice crisp mouthfeel with a nice funky finish.
Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and easy drinking. I wish it had a greater sour element. The only reason I am missing the hop presence is because they advertised it that way.

Jan 05, 2015
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Modernrickk from California

3.86/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Ugly looking orange beer with a little foam that stick to the glass like little clouds. Smells like a wine. Sour fruits puckered my bout in the initial taste. As it warmed I could definitely smell more of the Nelson hops .. If it only tasted like Nelson this beer would rock.. Mouthfeel is real refreshing .. Overall not bad at all. Tasty wine like flavors here

Dec 28, 2014
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UCLABrewN84 from California

3.89/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottled December 2014.

Pours a murky dark orange with a foamy khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is slightly sour with fruit, funk, white wine, and buttery wood aromas. Taste is much the same with sour fruit, white wine, and wood 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 good beer that is tasty, but I am not getting a lot of hop qualities over the sour and funk characteristics.

Serving type: bottle.

Dec 25, 2014
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nj111579 from California

4.53/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Big nelson aroma. Light bodied, bone dry, nice and tart, not super sour. Really nice balance. Color could be better but I'm knit picking. Nelson sauvin aroma really comes through on the nos, which is nice since they advertise them. This is what the 2014 Le Terrior should have been. It's lime the 2013 Le terrior but better. Outstanding ber, one the best Almanac has put out. I bought two and am contemplating buying the local shop out.

Dec 24, 2014
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Wowcoolman from California

3.77/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Unbalanced and overall pretty gross. Smells of sour apples, burnt rubber, and puke, with a little cinnamon spice element I am assuming is from the hops. Very acidic in taste, with a puckering mouthfeel. Yuck. What a waste of ten bucks. May strip enamel from your teeth.
Update: on tap version was much more drinkable

Dec 20, 2014
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KevSal from California

4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Hoppy sour ale? Heck yes!

Hops are not as prominent as I'm hoping for, like batch 60 or le terroir, but it's in the same vein. Very tasty, but much like their other sour beers. Worth a try for some sour hoppy fix

Dec 15, 2014
Devil's Advocate from Almanac Beer Co.
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 173 ratings