Brew Review

Beer Review – Russian River Consecration Ale

Empty Trophy Bottle of Russian River Consecration Ale

Sometimes hanging out with our old friend The Alemonger is a bit like an acid trip as he spins off on rants about the squirrels that have laid siege to his home or how cheese and eggs are a communist plot to enslave us all.  Other times hanging with  The Alemonger is an adventure into the brewed universe.  Sunday night was both.

The Monger was having a bad week (as per the aforementioned squirrels plus a bad neck) so we all decided to meet at the Pour House in Westmont, NJ  for our sometimes-weekly Sudsy Sunday gathering.  This was the Monger’s attempt to call for a “do over” and start the new week off right with some quality brew therapy.

Now you’ll always find good brew at the Pour House but every once in a while  you get to taste something special.  Thanks to the GM, Remo, this was one of those nights.   The Pour House had “liberated” some Russian River Consecration Ale from one its cousin restaurants in PA and Remo offered the Ale Monger a complementary tasting.  Fortunately G-LO and I were along for the ride.

The Consecration Ale is hard to categorize.  Sure, it is technically a Barrel Aged Sour Ale but I have had enough craft brewed sour ales that have left me puckered and wanting for some mouthwash.  This stuff is unique, it goes beyond craft brewing and enters a new world of artisanal brewing.

Here are the specs:

  • Appearance: Poured more like a sparkling wine than a beer with plenty of carbonation and a light quickly dissipating head.  The color was that of a deep cherry red that reminded me of homemade birch beer.
  • Aroma: The smell lets you know you are in for something different.  You pick up old world wine or port, vinegar, than tobacco, molasses and cherrys/currants.
  • Taste: Very carbonated (again like a sparkling wine).  It has that signature tartness of a sour ale.  At first it punches you in the mouth then yields to sweet dried fruit.  The finish is long and lip smacking.
  • Style: Barrel Aged Sour Ale
  • ABV: 10.0%

A few words of caution, don’t take my account as a prediction of how this will taste to you.  I expect that this one will hit everyone a little differently.  Some will love it, others will hate it.  You have to try this one for yourself.

Most importantly this unique brew is one that should be shared and enjoyed with friends.  Perhaps around the table as an end to a great meal.  While it will draw the ire of the Ale Monger I recommend trying this ale in a small pour (4-6oz) as a digestif after dinner paired with a soft cheese like brie, crusty french bread, fig jam, and dried fruit.  Enjoy!


Bartender Shout Out: If you are at the bar at the Pour House ask for Marci.  She knows her beer and drinks and will always steer you towards a great beverage.

5 replies »

  1. Thieves!! You stole the bottle. That’s going to cost you a bit more on Ash Wednesday, right?

    I don’t have time to deal with you people right now so I’ll have to address just a couple quick bullets:

    1. The egg & cheese lunacy is not related to a Communist enslavement plot – it is far, far more insidious than that and you know exactly what I mean.

    2. Excellent job with the review – especially the part about elevation to artisanal brewing. You know how hard it is for me to be complementary without being equally abusive so you should think about framing this comment.

    More to come……..


  2. Well done on the review Herr Wookie! It was definitely an interesting beer. For whatever reason, it reminded me of a fruity Italian wine such as a Lambrusco (the good ones, not that Riunite or Giacobazzi crap), or this wine that I would have at my cousin’s house in Milan which he would buy in massive quantities from this little winery in his home town. Now I’m craving the wild mushroom Risotto that they made us during our last visit. It would go so well with this beer!


    • Yup, this brew was closer to wine than your typical suds. It was calling to be paired with a rich and creamy dish.


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