Vrienden | Allagash Brewing Company

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146 Ratings

Brewed by:
Allagash Brewing Company
Maine, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.20%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Vrienden is a collaboration with New Belgium Brewing in Fort Collins, CO and was brewed in July of 2010. Brewmaster Peter Bouckart worked with us to come up with a recipe to be brewed both at their facility and at ours, with subtle differences in each. Both beers used the same base recipe. The Vrienden- Fort Collins version was brewed with belgian endive and hibiscus flower. The Vrienden- Portland version was brewed with dandelion greens and elderberries. Peter then came to Allagash to assist with the brew itself and, a few weeks later, Jason and Rob went there to help with their brew. The beers were fermented using a blend of New Belgium's Lactobacillus strain and the Allagash Brettanomyces strain.

The resulting beer is mildly tart, fruity and slightly hoppy.

Added by Thorpe429 on 03-15-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 146 |  Reviews: 68
Reviews by thepeter:
Photo of thepeter
4.07/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fluffy and pretty nice head clinging to the glass. Light in color, Aroma of lemon zest, floural, earth and funk. Tastes similar very light and not too strongly flavored. An easy sour beer that has toned down elements of funk and osur, without much if any barnyard. Very soft and light on the palate. Overall a very nice beer that I am glad to have tried, alcohol was very well hidden and I liked how easy it was to drink and enjoy.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of bishopdc0
4.17/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at the GLB served in a tulip

The color of the beer is orange amber it was presented with a slight head but seemed to be a bad pour.

The nose is fruit. Citrus mixed with cherry and a tart ending. It is slight earthy end

The taste is a fruity iambic, cherry with a slight carbonation to start the elderberries come in and make a slight earthy taste on the sides of the tongue. Its tart reminds you of that different strains are used giving a little more complex finish then I'm used to in iambics.

The mouth is the only area you can tell it is 9% numbs and makes up for the lack of carbonation.

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

375ml brown bottle, no freshness date needed as this one will probably be good to drink for a while.

LOOK: Bright orange hue, pasty lacing ... looks inviting.

SMELL: Grassy, vegtal, tart, marmalade, musty cellar, herbal, woody, mint, esters, lemon zest

TASTE: Smooth, dry, tart, lemon pith, vegtal, medicinal, dried grass, chalky yeast, musty, funk, faint barn yard, sweet onion, sour berries, dry finish

Really out there, smacks the palate with tartness. If not for the dry character it would not be so drinkable. A sipper still, glad I did not subject myself to getting this in growler form as that was not the brewers intent. I'm thinking this one will start to peak in about a year but I'm satisfied with opening it now.

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Photo of Billolick
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap at the Great Lost bear in maine a week or two ago and now a growler pour from DeCiccio's in Ardsley, NY.

Pours hazed/clouded auburn amber, minor medium tan head, quick to depart, leaves just a faint film, thin collar and no lace. On the low side of the carbonation scale.

Nose faintly of sweet and ripe tropical fruits, not much else.

On the tongue is where the interest rises, tart, fruity, herbal, moderatly sour. More ripe fruits, cherry for sure coming through as well as plums. Super dry finish, with more tart and sour goodness. Complex, interesting and flavorful offering. Glad I had the chance to give this one a couple of tries.

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Photo of tigg924
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at Rose Alley, New Bedford

Appearance: low carbonation, minimal head, reddish brown in color, clear

Smell: sour cherries and funck

Taste: sour mix—the first sip is rather puckering, cherries, berries, and oak all combine in here.

Mouthfeel: sour and puckering with some bitterness to the end. low carbonation, light body

Overall: A sipper in every sense of the word. My first sip was about as sour as I have had in a beer—certainly the most sour beer from the States I have had. Glad I got to try this as the flavors no meld well for me. Worth a try if you like sour beers. However, this is most likely a one and done for me.

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Photo of kingcrowing
3.79/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap poured into a wine glass.

Pours a clear orange red color with a small white head along with some thin lacing. Nose is fairly tame and mellow, wish I could say more.

Taste is very well balanced. Not too sour but it is tart and fruity. With rich carbonation and a crisp finish that's got an odd vegital flavor.

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Photo of Soonami
3.56/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had during Philly Beer Week at Local 44, served in a 12 oz tulip.

Golden with a slight apricot blush, topped with a fine thinly knit head yielding good lacing

A little phenolic in the nose with some musty funy and a little bit of grape.

A little bit sour with lots of grape flavor with a dry bretty finish

Smooth MF with delicate carbonation that made this feel a little thin

A good beer that was interesting.

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Photo of glid02
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Leon’s Full Service in Atlanta.

Pours a hazy light copper color with a one-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of light malts with moderate amounts of funk. Also present are slight amounts of floral hops, light herbs, and citrus rind.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though more robust. Light malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by light citrus rind flavors. Midway through the sip a surprisingly robust hit of funk comes into play before being tempered by earthy hops. The hops fade out into a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It’s got a nice thickness with smooth carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I had no problems finishing my glass and could easily have a few more.

Overall I enjoyed this version better than NB’s as the flavors were cleaner and more robust. Worth a shot.

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Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of ste5venla
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of mdaschaf
4.02/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Brez07 for sending this to me in a LIF. Review from notes.

A: Pours light pink in color with a small white head on top. Quick dissipation with no lacing.

S: Light tartness, almost has a candy sweetness to the aroma. There is some grassy and a a flower like quality that I can only assume is the dandelions. Light funk.

T: Not as sour/tart as most wilds, but that doesn't bother me at all. Nice fruit flavors with some lemon/citrus, elderberries, and some other fruits.

M: Light to medium bodied with a nice level of carbonation. As mentioned, not mouth puckering sour/tart, but I thought the level of sour was nice.

O: Extremely easy drinking, especially for 9%. Was surprised it was so high actually after drinking it. Not my favorite AWA, but well put together. Something I would love to get some more of and drink again.

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Photo of Griffith
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.39/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 32oz. growler filled 4/16/11 at Decicco's in Ardsley, NY, into LA stemware.

A: Standard pour yields a .5 finger coarse white head with poor retention. Beer is a semi-clear flourescent orange-peach. Lacing is stringy and spotty and sticks close to the top of the brew. Nice legs though. Great color too.

S: Nose is aromatic and sweet. Orange and other citrus peel, coriander, unidentified spices. Also a bit of peach and pineapple tartness. Slightly powdery with a touch of cane sugar. Very appetizing though mostly lacking in funk save for a bit of tickling Brett presence in the background.

T: Opens light citrus, coriander, other spices, and wild flowers. Feels like I'm chewing on grass mixed with lemon and orange tartness. Tropical pineapple in the middle with a powdery cane sugar end. Finish is more floral sweetness and dry. Aftertaste is a variety of sweet spices. More of a Saison than a wild ale. There's no funk and no tartness though plenty of complexity.

M: Light bodied with moderate carbonation. Mellow and slightly watery in the mouth and goes down smooth. Finish is clean and dry with a powdery, floral aftertaste that lingers. Could use some more bubbles and dryness for its style.

O: Overall I'm a bit dissapointed by this brew. However, that being said, its pretty much in line with all of Allagash's other limited sour offerings. Flavor is mellow and beer is more floral and wild than funky and sour. Worth trying if you get a chance just to experience something different within the style. However, being that the Allagash offering is very limited, probably not worth the effort.

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

A: Hazy, copper orange body. Creamy tan foam that is substantial. Retention is good. Some lacing.

S: Slightly floral, some fruit, grassy that end with funky notes.

T: Same as the nose. No discernible dandelion a la Pissenlit; cannot discern berries. Still, so tasty

M: Medium body with with moderate carbonation.

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Photo of mikey711
3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Slightly hazy golden red with about a quarter inch of white head and a nice amount of lace

S: Herbal and floral notes followed by a bit of tart fruitiness. Some brett character as well

T: The floral aspect from the dandelions is much more upfront and the elderberry and tartness comes through in the finish more with a bit of a tannic quality. some peppery notes and a bit of a brett as well to provide a bit of a lemon quality

M: Abv is well hidden and the finish is pretty smooth and clean

O: a solid offering but there wasnt anything that truly wowed me about it. i would be curious to see if this would develop further but a nice sour none the less

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Photo of Gonzoillini
5/5  rDev +23.2%

Photo of nickd717
3.82/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Gourmet Haus Staudt, surprisingly. I thought this beer was pretty rare.

Hazy golden in color with a small white head.

Mildly tart Belgian aroma, somewhat acetic, with stone fruits, floral notes, and brett.

Bretty and somewhat tart flavor with Belgian yeast, light fruits, lemon/citrus, flowers, and mild funk.

Medium body with average carbonation.

A solid beer - is this supposed to be sour? Either way I like it.

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Photo of Zbyler
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of thagr81us
3.57/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served from tap into a sampler tumbler. Poured a hazy red-orange with a minimal white head. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, sour, tart, and fruit. The flavor was of sweet malt, sour, tart, fruit, and very slight funk. It had a light feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew. The mouthfeel on this one was a little too thin for my liking on this style. It had a pretty good aroma going on, but the flavor seemed a little muted. No sign of alcohol anywhere... Definitely worth trying if you get the opportunity.

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Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of Neffbeer
3.82/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: It pours a hazy light amber color that reveals and orange hue in the light. There was a small white head that quickly faded leaving no lacing.

S: The nose is full of fruits, specifically berries (perhaps the elderberries). There is a pleasant lactic sourness present that is followed by some toasty grain and cracked wheat. The funk is relatively subdued with the fruit taking charge.

T: It begins with a some noble hops and tart berries, jammy is the adjective that comes to mind. The toasted grain and wheat surfaces mid-palate and it finish slightly sour and semi-dry.

M: Medium to light bodied with soft, lush carbonation.

O: Tasty but not as sour or funky as I was anticipating. It tastes a bit young and would probably benefit from a little age.

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Photo of jsilva
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of Diomede
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of HaveUSeenMyCellar
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of Atomicskis5
4/5  rDev -1.5%

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Vrienden from Allagash Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.06 out of 5 with 146 ratings