Friday, April 22nd Brews Cruise

Well friends, we've survived another week, although there were times I wasn't sure we'd make it to the end! Tyler and I are in the process of buying a house and man, is it a headache. Home buying has definitely tested of our relationship and patience. I'm lucky that at the end of the day, I've got someone that shares the same values as I do and makes his opinions known. Hopefully we will soon be able to show you our new home! With all of this going on, we certainly needed some libations to ease the stresses.  I don't know about you, but I'm ready to pop open a cold one or two. Without further ado, I would like to present this week's Brews Cruise selections:

1. Almanac Dogpatch Sour
Where I Had It: Brickhouse Craft Burgers and Brews
Style: American Wild Ale
ABV: 7.5%
My Rating: 3.5/5

I respect Almanac Brewing not just because they constantly put out high-quality beer, but because of their values, too. Almanac is a farm-to-barrel brewery, meaning they use locally sourced fruit and ingredients to make their brews. Dogpatch Sour definitely did not disappoint. It pours a light copper color and produces a bright white head. The bubbles are small and few, leaving the flavors to roll over the tongue freely. Aromas of lemon and barnyard funk give way to flavors of citrus, funk, and slight cracked pepper. *Warning: this beer is definitely going to pucker your cheeks!* Sour beers are slowly grabbing hold in the Green Bay craft beer market, but the progress has been minimal. The rest of the country has been captivated by this classic category, and it's been fantastic to have a front seat and a small hand in the development of the Green Bay craft beer movement. If you're looking to branch out and try a new style, Almanac Brewing offers great representation of what sour beers should taste like. 

2. Perennial Jack Rose
Where I Got It: Ridgeview Liquor
Style: Fruit Beer
ABV: 8%
My Rating: 4.5/5

In my opinion, Perennial Brewing out of St. Louis is a severely under-appreciated producer (at least in the Green Bay market). They push the envelope with flavors, styles, and concepts. I sometimes hesitate when reading the Perennial labels and wonder if the flavor combination is going to work out, but I usually trust their products and give them a whirl (and a swirl!). 

I was blown away by Jack Rose. Perennial calls it a "hybrid"; they first mix beer and cider and then carefully throw in some key lime and pomegranate juice. At first sip, I confused the lime juice with hints of Brettanomyces. Upon reading the label, the lime notes clearly came forward. The sweet pomegranate juice balanced the citrus characteristics. Even though this brew contains cider, lime juice, and pomegranate, the overall taste isn't sickeningly sweet. Elegance and subtle complexities weave their way throughout the drinking experience and leave the consumer wanting more bottles. A very drinkable beer, I think the Perennial Jack Rose will appeal to a wide variety of palates. 

3. Une Année The Devil's Reign
Where I Got It: Ridgeview Liquor
Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale
ABV: 9.2%
IBU: 38
My Rating: 3.75/5

Une Année Brewing, located in Chicago, focuses on Belgian and French styles, which totally makes my heart sing. I've got a soft spot for Belgian beers and I snatch them up whenever I can. Une Année is relatively unknown in the Green Bay craft beer market, but they deserve recognition. Their beers are clean and traditional, with a few unconventional (but delicious) tweaks. 

Take The Devil's Reign, for instance. It's a collaboration with DryHop Brewers that features Simcoe and Citra hops, which lend lovely notes of orange, pineapple, and pear. High effervescence cascades over the tongue and brings a lingering, slightly bitter finish. The golden colored ale has an elegant white head that reveals aromas of bread, horsehair, and slight citrus. While it pours daintily and excitedly into a tulip glass, this brew isn't to be messed with. It's a powerful brew that sneaks up on you and seduces you into finishing the whole yourself. No shame.

Have you recently had beer that blew your mind? Tell me about it! Better yet, if you want to share beer with me, I'd love to write about your brews. Shoot me an email at to babble about beer. Cheers!