- Style: Sour Farmhouse Ale
- ABV: 6.5%
Almanac Beer Co. was founded in 2010 by Jesse Friedman, and Damian Fagan with full intentions of producing seasonal artisan ales. These beers are brewed specifically to complement local cuisine sourced and prepared with the same great care, and craft. Like many brewers, Jessie and Damian started out as homebrewers, brewing 5-gallon batches on their stove top in their San Francisco apartment. Developing a passion for crafting unique and unusual beers unavailable commercially, they wanted to take their brewing to the next level. Using farmer’s markets as the launching pad for many unique homebrews, they knew right away they were on to something. Each harvest season they partner with a different Northern California farm to supply the fruit used for their next brew. Every beer is a collaboration between the two brewers, and the local farmers.
“Passion Project is our latest experiment: a combination of exotic ingredients and processes to create something crazy delicious and original. In addition to Brettanomyces, Saccharomyces, and Lactobacillus, this beer was fermented with Pichia—a yeast rarely found in beer. Carefully controlled, it can unleash intense tropical aromas and flavors. We added ginger, grains of paradise, and passionfruit to this farmhouse ale, aged it in oak barrels with cedar spirals, and dry-hopped it with Citra, Mosaic, and Galaxy hops.” Almanac Beer Co.
Passion Project is part of Almanacs Farm To Barrel series, and is the very first barrel aged sour to come out of their new Alameda Barrel House. The beer poured a beautiful hazy lemon yellow with a pencil thin head that remained on top throughout the beer, but lent no lacing. Aromas of oak were first noticed, but when you dig deeper you’ll find wonderful notes of tropical fruits, vanilla, and a light tartness similar to plain yogurt. In the mouth there are layers of tropical fruits, and citrus that sit on top of a sweet, yet light and mellow peach nectar which helps smooth out the tartness. The slight vanilla yogurt like flavor is intermingled within all of this. As the beer warmed a bit notes of black pepper started to peek through just enough to change things up slightly.
The beer starts out sweet but that quickly fades into a dry tartness. The finish is short and quick with a slight tang at the very end. The body is thin, and very light and effervescent. This isn’t a gnarly sour that is going to strip the enamel off of your teeth. So for non-sour lovers this will be very approachable, yet for all of the “Sour Sally’s” this is certainly wild, and interesting enough to not pass up. I would say the tartness in this beer is on par with cranberry juice. It was very refreshing, and held layers upon layers of flavors without making things too complicated.