Phi | Picobrouwerij Alvinne

very good
15 Reviews
no score
Send samples

Brewed by:
Picobrouwerij Alvinne

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BlazerT on 05-14-2014

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 15 | Ratings: 112
Photo of DispyDnb
4.14/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tap at Muted Horn, Berlin. Slightly hazy golden color, small white head with decent retention for the abv. Smell si a strong and weird lactic sourness, mostly sweet and sugary; almost got scared about it since it was quite unusual and new to me. Taste is again strong lactic sour and some sweet stuff that maybe comes from the spruce brances. Soft carbo, medium body, the 11% abv has completely disappeared, crazy stuff. Something that you don't find often around: extremely different from the rest but fairly drinkable, love it or hate it.

 541 characters

Photo of kliner88
4.11/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Very tasty sour. Poured into a pint glass -- light tan head grew and dissipated pretty quickly. Dark color for a blonde ale, more similar to a Flemish red. Toward the end, a small yeast monster coagulated in the bottom of the glass -- I should have poured more elegantly. Smell and taste are very sour -- again, similar to a Flemish red -- much more sour than i anticipated. Overall, a delicious beer that i'd drink again. Highly smooth and drinkable for such a high ABV.

 477 characters

Photo of dipso123
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Slightly hazy with standard white head - rather short lived. Not wildly complex but very pleasing. Finishes slightly sweet and pleasant on the tongue. Surprises: very little of the tart character you might expect in a "wild ale" and hides the alcohol exceptionally well. I would have guessed it was about 5% ABV and it is twice that. Great beer to introduce a friend to Belgians. Could see drinking quite a bit of this in a session were it not for the 10% ABV.

 460 characters

Photo of Immortale25
4.24/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into an Ommegang stemmed glass. No freshness date. Be forewarned: my bottle was a bit of a gusher.

A- Pours a medium amber color with a 1/2 inch off-white head that retains a bit before becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and minimal surface foam. Not-so-resilient lacing leaves tiny clots behind.

S- Funky/tart aroma with some Brett character and big acidity.

T- Great balance of tartness, funk and bready malt. Dry and tangy with notes of green apple, pineapple and lemon. Alcohol is very well hidden underneath all the acidity. Soily aftertaste.

M- Moderate pucker for the style with medium carbonation and a body leaning toward the lighter side.

O- A very nicely done wild ale that gives just as much funk as it does sour while still packing a hearty alcohol punch.

 801 characters

Photo of amano_h
4.16/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sour cherries, apples, caramel, and spicy oak strike first on the nose. Sprinkles of citrus with bits and pieces of barnyard funk follow but isn't quite as pronounced as it was with Omega.

The ever-so-familiar sweet after sour pattern is also seen here this time with caramel batting first and sour cherries following up. Subtle notes of sour apple and barnyard hay surface as the brew glides further down the tongue, leaving behind a mild trail of bitter hops, lactobacillus, and spent yeast.

This one feels a little more prickly than Omega, but has that similar medium body and carbonation. The finish is neither dry nor sweet, but the balance feels kind of awkward to me. It's definitely leaning toward the sweeter side, though.

 733 characters

Photo of Zach136
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - thin white head, golden rod body.

S - Big sweet lightly caramelized malt character. Reminds me of chess cake with some lemon spritz.

T - lemon and stone fruit acidity over a sweet biscuit backbone.

M - medium bodied, with an acidic drying finish

 252 characters

Photo of metter98
3.99/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is slightly hazy yellowish amber in color and has no visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high white head consisting of large bubbles that died down a bit, leaving lacing on the surface, a collar around the edge of the glass, and lots of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of sourness are present in the nose along with some notes of oak and cherries.
T: The taste follows the smell, having flavors of sourness and oak with notes of cherries and other fruits such as apples.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and somewhat tart on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer does a very good job at masking any traces of alcohol—it tastes more like a 7% abv beer than a 10% abv beer.

Serving type: bottle

 776 characters

Photo of MrIncognito
3.74/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Disclaimer: I am not a sour expert. But here is my take:

A - Dark amber body with hardly any head to speak off. Very thin layer of white foam on top after a stiff pour that fades to minimal lace very quickly.

S - Acidic tartness in the nose with sour apples and very faint malt. Somewhat sweet and alcoholic
T&M - Sour apple cider with some brighter citrus coming forth. Low carbonation keeps it from being dry.

 417 characters

Photo of oldn00b
4.56/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This is a fantastic sour, especially for the price. It's by far my favorite of the three (Phi, Sigma, and Omega).

Phi is medium body, citrus forward, bright fruit sour. Delightful carbonation. Sour is pretty big but very much in line with the overall profile. It isn't overpowering or boozy - it's quite refreshing. A really great find for about $6.

 354 characters

Photo of clayrock81
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a light orange body with minimal head and lace. The aroma is slightly tart/sour with a bit of funkiness and mostly a sour fruit aroma with some citric notes and spice. Light to medium bodied beer that is slick while maintaining an acidic sharpness with hints of sourness and finishes crisp. Minimal sweet and bread malts along with some light fruit (apples, pears) flavors and hint of barnyard funk add balance to the acidic sharpness and flavor to beer. ABV is well-hidden and it caught me b/c this is not a heavy beer that requires slow sipping.

 558 characters

Photo of heygeebee
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

hmmm..... Alvinne turn out another sour that is moderate strength in terms of taste but a real blast in terms of ABV.
So yes, it's drinkable, it's slightly sour, but it's a biiiiig lot of alcohol, which to be fair hides itself well.
Might have done better with a year or so in the bottle.

 288 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
3.99/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours a relatively clear dark golden yellow in color with light amounts of gentle visible carbonation and a faint amount of amber highlights. The beer has a two finger tall sudsy foamy dark beige head that reduces to a thin film covering the entire surface of the beer with a medium thick ring of medium sized bubbles at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of slightly sour cherries and citrus/lime over the top of lighter aromas of caramel malts and lacto sourness. Hints of barnyard/hay.

T: Upfront there is a light flavor of caramel malts with light flavors of citrus/lime. That is followed by moderate to strong flavors of slightly sour cherries, light fruit (apple + pear), and barnyard hay. Finally, there is a moderate to strong flavor of sour dark fruits and lacto. Hints of red wine vinousness.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation and a light amounts of acidic prickliness.

O: Very enjoyable with enough complexity to be interesting but not off-putting. Tart and sour but still approachable. Definitely worth grabbing, these guys (Alvinne) are really turning out some really nice sours.

 1,177 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Diving deeper into the soul of sour, the pico-brewery of Alvine devises a wild ale of innocuous yeast for a highly acidic taste, refreshing drinkability and an alcohol content that's mild and friendly, wait... what?!

As the beer's rosy golden pour ensues, its releases a champagne-type head of spritz and sprite, but its nose is decidedly tangy, tart and tinny. With the supple sweetness, seemingly of sweetheart candy swirling on the tongue, its sweet and sour taste ventures to the sour grape, dried citrus and crabapple types of acidity.

And that acidity continues its dominant track through the middle palate. Sour limes, under-ripened berries, tannic rose wine, hints of vinegar and grape give the ale a strong fruit presence while the earthen spices of white pepper, sea brine, burlap, copper, oak and a soft medicinal character retaliates in an even-keel balance.

As the medium-light ale trends dry and sour, a high rate of refreshment culminates in a beer that drinks much easier than a ten-percenter should. As its strength is tucked nicely behind the sourness, the ale echoes with cinnamon, wheat and damp hay.

 1,123 characters

Photo of dcmchew
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Dark golden, almost amber, small white string of foam.
Nice sour complexity on the nose, mostly lactic, with some cider apples sweetened with lots of caramel. Lemon, some hay and herbs, fresh hops, faint sour cherry, floral notes, faint honey. Smells really appealing.
Crisp and sour start, but sweet too, like sugared slices of lemon. Sweet cider notes, light pear, overripe cherries, even faint melon. Splash of honey with fresh floral notes. Lactobacillus shines in the finish, along with some funky, also doughy yeasts, with a creamy dry hay feel. Bitter hops, but not enough to cover the sweetness.
Aftertaste isn't that dry, the tartness fading away beneath the malty sweetness and the thick yeasts. Hops tend to linger, too, which is nice. Alcohol hidden perfectly. Medium body, low, but somewhat prickly carbonation.
A big sour ale, sweet, but also fresh. Great contrasts, but not overly complex.

 904 characters

Photo of BlazerT
3.6/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Teku glass. After opening, very lively carbonation. The beer alomstly exploaded out of the bottle.

A: Hazy orange liquid with very big head, which dissapears very quickly, no lacing;

S: Very nice funky aroma - lemon, apple juice, basement, oak and wine. You can smell lactic acid. Touch, but only touch of booze.

T: The start is sour, kicking and sharp - quite funky. Definetely you can taste apple juice, in between some sweetness - honey The flavors are very tart, gastric, yeasty. The end in unbalanced - some malts, sour fruits. The aftertaste is pretty mild, dull and animal hair like. Despite high ABV (10%), no alcohol recognizable.

M: Medium bodied and dry. Finish is semi-sweet. Very lively carbonation in the beggining. No alcohol warmth.

O: The beer is really aliving, like caffeine kick. Maybe some say that it's pretty unbalanced and chaotic. The Phi is very drinkable, you don't feel any alcohol. Great for hot, summer days.

 944 characters

Phi from Picobrouwerij Alvinne
4.06 out of 5 based on 112 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.