Sunday, November 24, 2013

Anchor Brewing Company Zymaster Series No. 4 Fort Ross Farmhouse Ale

Hello beer lovers and welcome to another edition of the NorCal Beer Blog's brew review.

Tonight’s featured beer is Anchor Brewing Company Zymaster Series No. 4 Fort Ross Farmhouse Ale. I’m a long-time fan of Anchor Brewing Company and was looking forward to trying this beer.  With so much beer to drink and review it took some time to get to this beer and then to review it.  I’m cutting into my summer vacation beer reviews and most recent Maui trip to bring this local beer review to light.  I plan to weave in and out vacation and local beers over the next few months.  I’m thinking it will take me that long to get each review written and posted.

From the Anchor Brewing Company website: “San Francisco, CA (June 10, 2013) – Today, Anchor Brewing announces the release of the fourth brew in our Zymaster® Series, Fort Ross Farmhouse Ale.

Over 200 years ago, ninety miles up the coast from San Francisco, the Russian American Company built a stockade that became known as Fort Ross. It was home base for Russia’s fur trade and, in the 1820s and ’30s, supplied the Russian colony of New Archangel (now Sitka) with grain from “bread plants” like wheat and barley. The farms were small and the harvesting primitive. Reaping was done with sickles and threshing by driving horses over the sheaves.

Among the native plants at Fort Ross is a perennial evergreen shrub, prized by the local Indians for its healing powers, whose purple flowers bloom from May to early July. The Spanish missionaries called it Yerba Santa or Holy Herb. Our Zymaster® Series No. 4: Fort Ross Farmhouse Ale is inspired by the wheat, barley, and Yerba Santa at Fort Ross and the hardy souls who harvested them. Fermented with a local saison-style yeast, this unique brew celebrates the history and flora of Northern California like no other.

Our Fort Ross Farmhouse Ale (7.2% ABV) is a Belgian-style farmhouse ale with a California twist. The unique bitterness and earthy spiciness of Yerba Santa, a native California herb, perfectly complement the fruitiness and clove-like flavors created by a local saison-style yeast. And in addition to hops, barley malt, and wheat malt, we used toasted Belgian wheat malt, which gives our Fort Ross Farmhouse Ale its distinctive maltiness and burnished bronze color.”
Let’s get started!
Appearance: Pours a burnt copper color with a large fluffy off-white head and spotty lacing.
Aroma: Sweet malts, yeast funk, citrus, toasted malts, spice and fruit.
Taste: Grainy, bready and sweet malts, Saison yeast funk, clove, coriander, banana, herbal and citrus hop bitterness in the background.
Overall: Enjoyable and crisp, Anchor Brewing Company Zymaster Series No. 4 Fort Ross Farmhouse Ale is delicious.  This 7.2% ABV offering from Anchor Brewing Company delivers.  I wholeheartedly recommend picking up a bottle or two of this to try.  I plan on picking up more of this very well rounded and affordable beer.


Mark Harvey

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