Almanac Beer Company is based out of Northern California and is taking an unique approach on how they create ‘fresh’ beer. Co-owners, Jesse Friedman and Damian Fagan started as home brewers who wanted to create uncommon styles of beers with local, fresh ingredients from farmers markets. In 2010, they began to brew on a larger scale while maintaining their vision of producing fresh beer by partnering with small farms in the the Northern California area for natural, fresh-picked ingredients. Almanac Brewing offers their year round Fresh Beer Series, a Fresh Beer Limited Series, a Farm to Barrel series, as well as special releases.
Saison Dolores is a dry-hopped California style saison with local rye and wheat that is offered as part of Almanac’s Fresh Beer series.
Appearance: The beer poured a very translucent, golden orange color with a bubbly white head that settled quickly.
Aroma: Very aromatic beer with fruity esters of melon, pear, and a little banana. Extremely earthy smell from the rye, slight white pepper spice and a fresh hop abundance from the dry-hopping of this beer.
Taste: Notes of pale fruit like melon and apple at first sip are then followed by a slight spice and almost bready clean finish. A little clove flavor was also presented. It was a very interesting take on saison, almost tasted as if I was drinking a Belgian styled beer.
Mouthfeel: Light to medium body, with moderate carbonation. Crisp, clean finish with a lingering spice.
Overall: While it was very earthy with a slight spice this was not what I was expecting from a farm house ale. The banana and clove we tasted made me feel as if it played on the fence of tasting more like a Belgian styled beer. Overall, it was a refreshing, earthy, and easy to drink beer that we would enjoy again.
*Note: Almanac Brewing’s bottles do not provide the bottle date- – while all their beer can be enjoyed fresh, allowing it to age for a few years will allow the flavors to evolve in the bottle.
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