Cherry Sournova

Review Date 5/20/2020  By John Staradumsky


New brewery alert! Or so I thought. Almanac Brewing of Alameda, California has been around since 2011, but Almanac Cherry Sournova is the first beer I have enjoyed from them. And enjoy it I did, hence I can tell you it certainly will not be the last Almanac beer for me. Almanac claims to specialize in “farm to barrel”; indeed, their name is derived from the legendary Farmer’s Almanac.

I was operating under the impression I had never had an Almanac beer before, but when I went to log this beer on my spreadsheet tracker, I realized that I had an Almanac Astounding Enterprises at the Taco Mac Secret Stash bash last year. Sadly, I did not take notes.

Almanac does not sell its beer here in Georgia, so I can only assume they were here for the festival only in 2019. I got my can of Cherry Sournova from Craftshack. They call this beer a “Sour Ale Aged in Oak Barrels With Cherries and Vanilla Beans.” They are quite adamant it is not kettle soured:

This is NOT a kettle sour! This naturally conditioned, mixed-culture sour ale was aged for months with thousands of pounds of cherries.

Kettle souring is technique whereby a brewer can make a sour in a few days using lactobacillus culture in the brew kettle. This is fairly common today with the popularity of “sours” on the American craft beer scene. Almanac uses the more traditional barrel souring method with roots in Belgium. These beers emerge with more complexity than kettle soured beers.

Almanac Cherry Sournova has an alcohol content of 5.1% by volume according to my can label, though their website says 5.8%. I paid $4.49 for a 12-ounce can from Craftshack online store. Total Wine sells it in California for $14.99 a 4-pack of pint cans.

Almanac Cherry Sournova pours to a hazy pink color with a spritzy short lived head and a sour berry sherbet nose (vanilla here promotes that). Taking a sip, the beer is immediately fruit with dark cherry fruit and a hint of vanilla. A touch of woody oak comes through, if only a touch, but the beer finishes very tart and sour (not puckering, but nigh puckering).

Almanac Cherry Sournova is delicious indeed, and makes you want another sip before you’ve gotten the first one down. The vanilla underlines the tart black cherry notes wonderfully and adds a luscious creamy texture. At $4.49 a can (if you ignore the shipping charge), the price is not so bad from Craftshack compared to the Total Wine price. If you get a chance to try this beer, I heartily recommend that you do.

Glad I tried it?  T

Would I rebuy it??


*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.

(B)=Bottled, Canned