Free Will Brewing Co: Blood & Guts Sour Ale (2015) 3/14/2017

Hey there folks!  Today, Rhode Island was hit by a “blizzard”.  In Providence, we got a fair amount of snow in the morning, and at least half of it was promptly washed away by rain in the afternoon.  Either way the weather has been very poor, which means that I have stuck inside all day.  So I decided to grab myself a sour cherry ale called “Blood & Guts Sour Ale” from Free Will Brewing Co to help distract myself from my cabin fever and the schizophrenic New England weather patterns.  Here’s the scoop:

Beer Name: Blood & Guts Sour Ale (2015)

Brewery: Free Will Brewing Co

Brewery Location: Perkasie, PA

Beer Style: American Wild Ale

ABV: 6.1%

IBU: N/A

Appearance

Blood and Guts pours a deep mahogany color with a effervescent white head that disappears almost immediately- kind of like a champagne.

Blood and Guts

Aroma

Slightly vinegary with faint notes of cherries, raisins, and figs.

Taste & Aftertaste

First of all- let’s just point out that this beer is not for someone who is not into sours.  This beer is pretty aggressively sour – it has a very prominent acetic character with some lactic tones in the background to add to its complexity.  Despite the fact that this beer has no head, it actually has a very prickly mouthfeel from the high carbonation.  I pick up some strong (dark) fruit characters in this beer- cherries are definitely in the forefront, but they don’t take over the beer.  Truthfully I was expecting something more closely resembling a Kriek (a Lambic-style beer that incorporates and features cherries heavily).  Instead, the cherry notes are balanced really nicely with notes of green apple and raisin, resulting in a complex and pleasant fruity/sour medley.  This beer starts off sweet, but finishes really dry.  It was quite delicious!

Overall Impressions

This is definitely one of the better sours that I’ve had in awhile.  This beer is neither overly fruity nor overly sweet while still packing a big sour punch.  I dove into this beer with the expectations of being delivered a cherry bomb, but instead I was given something with cherry overtones that are complimented by a supporting cast of other fruits- it was a nice surprise!  To any sour-heads out there, this beer will certainly meet your needs- it teeters on mouth-puckering, but doesn’t go over the edge.  It was definitely a good find on my part!

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Allagash Brewing Company: Farm to Face (2016) 11/26/2016

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!  I hope you all managed to find good beer in between having awkward political conversations with your family!  Despite all the craziness that is happening around us, we all have a lot to be thankful for, and, as usual, I am thankful for good beer!  This Thanksgiving I decided to treat myself with a beer from one of my all time favorite breweries in the world: Allagash Brewing Company.  Farm To Face is a fantastic sour beer brewed with local New England peaches and is perfect for the sour beer lovers out there.  Pucker up for the scoop:

Beer Name: Farm To Face (2016)

Brewery: Allagash Brewing Company

Brewery Location: Portland, ME

Beer Style: American Wild Ale

ABV: 6.2%

IBU: N/A

Appearance

Farm To Face pours a golden yellow color with a thick white head.  There is a slight haze to the beer, but it is otherwise crystal clear.

farm-to-face

Aroma

Right off the bat, you can tell this is a sour beer.  An earthy-funk dominates the aroma (akin to a sort of barnyard-like aroma), accompanied by a light acetobacter aroma (vinegary) as well as some light fruit notes.

Taste & Aftertaste

For a beer that is advertised as a peach sour, the peach/apricot type of fruitiness in the taste is more restrained than I expected (though it’s definitely present).  The earthy funk that I perceived in the aroma is not as present in the taste and is dominated by the fruit character and sourness.  I also picked up light sourdough-like qualities in the malt character, alongside some grass-like flavors (reminiscent of fresh lawn clippings).  The sourness in this beer is prominent but not too overbearing.  I mentioned in the aroma that I detected some acetobacter, but this beer does not taste like that.  There is a soft lactic acid character present in the beer blended with a much more pungent and complex sour character.  Very simply, to easily differentiate the difference between lactic sourness and acetic sourness (which are very common in many sours), think of the difference between orange juice (a soft, tart lactic sourness) versus vinegar (mouth puckering acetic sourness).  There are other types of acids and sourness that I could get into, but for the sake of simplicity, I will leave it at that.  In short, when people say they dislike sour beers, this is the type of beer they are thinking about- this beer does not hide the sour.

Overall Impressions

This is a phenomenal sour beer.  Honestly- I know that this is not a “beginners” beer, or a beer that is particularly easy to find…but it’s Thanksgiving and I had to treat myself.  This is the perfect beer for sour beer lovers.  The sourness is very prominent, but not overbearing (the enamel on your teeth can rejoice).  Furthermore the fruitiness in this beer is very pleasant, and makes for a very enjoyable sour beer.  If you are a fan of sour beer, and you see this beer on the shelf- grab it! Don’t even think twice about it.