As I walked in, on the new bottles board, it said "AFA Old Plowshare Stout" and "AFA Cru D'Or". So I asked for the stout (and the soup, which was a cream of potato with bacon and scallops; it was delicious).
At first the bartendress had difficulty finding the new beer, so I mentioned Aaron normally puts the newest stuff in the front cooler, so she looked there, didn't see them, until she saw the bottles with a red splotchy thing on the cap. She pulled it out, and it was the beer.
This one poured somewhat dark, light did leak through on the sides, so it looked somewhat thin. It had quickly dissipating head that left those little rings of foam, I realized after looking at it for a while, that it reminded me of spaghetti-o's. It didn't have much smell, possibly due to the full pint glass, but I think I picked up some chocolate malt and smoke. It felt rather thin on the tongue, and possibly a little bubbly.
It tasted of malt and slightly bitter. It was almost like a smokey tea, with some chocolate. It dried out my tongue as it left. It's apparently 5.7% ABV. Originally it was made for Whole Foods as an organic stout, but is now getting broader distribution.
The AFA stands for Authentic Food Artisan, and I'm not sure what that means. I do know this is listed as an organic product, so it might have something to do with that. It went pretty good with the soup.
The beer I finished my soup with was the North Coast Cru d'Or. This one is listed as a Belgian Style Abbey Ale. It's 8% ABV so it's a little bit stronger than the stout. It poured brown with a little bit of head. It smelled sweet, almost sickeningly sweet. It was also fruity, possibly dried apricot?
It felt thicker than the stout on the tongue, so it was thicker and higher ABV than the stout. It tasted fruity, I thought I noticed several dried fruits in it, apricot, nectarine, orange. It was a sweet bomb! There was some honey in it, and maybe some tart plums. I searched for some spices, but couldn't find any. Was hoping to maybe get a little pepper, but it wasn't there. This beer was awesome.
After I finished it, I realized that it reminded me of Orval. I wonder if that was the "Belgian Abbey" they were trying to reproduce? Cru d'Or, for Val d'Or. It'd be neat to sit down with one of these, an Orval, and a Goose Island Matilda and do a blind tasting... if only I had Matilda... oh i do!
The final beer I had on Saturday was Ramapo Valley Brewery Passover Honey Beer.
Supervised by Rabbi Zushe Blech this brew is the first Kosher for Passover Honey Beer in over 2000 years. Enjoy this unique creation made with water, molasses, hops, honey and Passover yeast.Exactly how there can be "Passover yeast" is beyond me, as God hates Yeast!
Exodus 12: 19 Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses: for whosoever eateth that which is leavened, even that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he be a stranger, or born in the land.Leaven is Yeast.
This "beer" is actually mead. Why it claims to be honey beer and not mead is a mystery (the mead name may be off putting?) There is no grain used in this, and apparently there is such a thing as passover yeast. (kosher l'Pesach yeast).
Kriddy said it reminded her of paint thinner or nail polish remover. I found it to be too sweet. It was better than the last mead that I had, but still wasn't that great. It'd probably be really good with some flavoring (a dash of koolade).