From the esteemed Almanac Beer Company comes the Dogpatch Strawberry, a barrel-aged creation that pays homage to the bountiful fields of Swanton Berry Farm in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Enriched by the sweetest strawberries California has to offer, this complex sour ale takes residence in used wine barrels, offering a taste experience that promises a nod to the fertile coastal farmlands of the Golden State.


The pour reveals a cloudy iced tea amber, devoid of any noteworthy head, ring, or enticing swirls. A lackluster entrance that fails to capture the imagination.


A potent olfactory medley awaits, featuring a ripe carton of strawberries leading the charge. Accompanied by the unmistakable influence of wine barrel notes and an underlying funk, the scent teases at sophistication, reminiscent of an adult strawberry lemonade.


The flavor profile unfolds with a dance of tart and sweet strawberries, establishing the beer’s fruity credentials. The funk from the wine barrel intertwines with a hint of very lightly toasted malt, cleverly avoiding any hop presence. The finish, however, takes an unexpected turn with a slightly vinegary funk, challenging the initial pleasantries. Despite this twist, the alcohol integration is commendable.


In terms of mouthfeel, the Dogpatch Strawberry presents itself as a full-bodied companion with only modest carbonation. A choice that contributes to the overall weightiness of the beer but may leave enthusiasts yearning for a bit more liveliness on the palate.


Comparisons to its sibling, the Dogpatch Sour, are inevitable. In this regard, the Dogpatch Strawberry manages to carve its niche, offering an experience that might even surpass its counterpart. The wishful anticipation lingers for Almanac to push boundaries further, perhaps experimenting with the harmonious blending of different vintages, elevating this already intriguing brew to new heights. A commendable effort, albeit one that comes with room for exploration and refinement.