Barcelos Brews: Almanac Beer Co.

This is a slightly expanded review from something I posted in a quidditch group (there are quidditch groups for everything, y’all) that I felt like sharing with the wider world. Want more brew reviews? Let me know! I’m hurting for content ideas lately but this is right in my wheelhouse.

If you’re a fan of sours, I cannot recommend Almanac Beer Co. enough. They took the farm to table food philosophy and applied it to beers. They’re doing all kinds of styles now, but their sours are their specialty.

We went on a field trip to their brewery up in Alameda last weekend, but they also have a taproom in SF and their beers are pretty easy to find at my local haunts like Original Gravity.

Flights of sour (and stout) fancy

On to the beers! Behold, the tasting flight I picked out. I’ll be breaking them down from left to right.

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A rainbow of beers! From left: Coconut Noir, Hibiscus Ginger Lime, Raspberry Sunshine, and Summer in the City.

First up, Coconut Noir, because I would not be me if I wasn’t drinking a stout even in the height of summer. This was a solid coconut stout if you’re into it, and I am. 9.0/10

I was hoping they’d still have the Dynamo Donut Imperial Stout that I sent to Jaxon Matheny of Hoops, Hops, and Heels (aka my favorite quidditch podcast not starring me and Smythe), but it was limited edition. My poor broken heart. If you see a can of it out in the wild, let me know!

Next up, Hibiscus Ginger Lime was a solid summery sour. I was hoping it would be more ginger-forward (I didn’t notice it much), but hibiscus and lime are a nice combo for the season. 8.2/10

Raspberry Sunshine was my hands down favorite. Not a punch in your face sour—more like an affectionate shove from the girl who has a crush on you but don’t know how to articulate it. I liked it so much that I got a 32 oz growler to take home. 8.7/10

Finally, there was Summer in the City, a citrus and vanilla “sour.” Maybe my sour tolerance is high, but it just wasn’t sour enough for me. An entry level sour, I suppose. Boring but not offensive. 5/10

Bonus beers

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Not here to steal your man. Here to steal your man’s beer.

If you’re looking for something a little more #crushable, the Rustic Honey Lager that Jimmy got is for you. It’s a super summery, perfect porch sipping beer. We can’t afford a porch in the Bay Area, so bringing home a 64 oz growler was the next best thing. 8.4/10

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Not even maracuja could make me love an IPA. But I tried.

I also tried Passion Project, a sour IPA with passionfruit, on the brewery tour. I usually hate IPAs. This was aight. Passionfruit makes (almost) everything better. 6.5/10

Final thoughts

This is where I’m supposed to tie this all up with a bow, right? Well, props to Almanac for starting off small and putting out great sours before expanding to fresh beers like IPAs (eh) and stouts (be still, my heart).

If you’re a fan of sour beers, visit their Alameda brewery or their taproom in SF if you’re ever in the Bay Area. And if you’re not, there’s still something for you, so bring your friends.

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We ended the day with a well-stocked fridge.

Enjoyed this review? Let me know! I can definitely make this a regular thing. Oh, and follow me on Untappd if you want a glimpse of what I’m drinking in real time.

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