Brew Review: The Tap Field Guide Farmhouse Ale

The Tap Field Guide Farmhouse AleThis brew just landed in-store last week, and we were excited to try it after falling hard for The Tap Brewing Company’s Intergalactic Acid Berlinerweisse. 

The latest release from the Haverhill, Mass-based brewery is “brewed in the style of traditional farmhouse ales from the French speaking portion of Belgium. Fermentation occurs at a scorching 87 degrees (20 degrees higher than most ales) allowing the yeast to impart complex, spice-like flavors and aromas. Not a single spice is added to this brew; it’s all about fermentation.”

The appearance is a deep, amber gold color with a medium haze and medium head retention — the head dissipates pretty quickly.

The aroma is relatively faint, and mostly of malts and grains, little-to-no hops, and an ever-so-slight scent of bananas.

This medium-bodied brew lands fizzy on the palate before opening up into a lightly sweet and vaguely spicy flavor. The hot fermentation temps seem to have imparted a spice profile that’s not altogether unlike a Hefeweizen. This brew seems to walk the line between being a Farmhouse and a Hefe — the low hop profile and mild acidity with that faintly spicy aspect and a higher ABV for the style (6.8%) result in an interesting combination, indeed.

For us, the aftertaste has a burnt character that’s borderline metallic — not as dry as we expected, yet with a lingering bitterness. As the beer warms up, though, the sweetness of the malt profile becomes stronger and the aftertaste morphs into one that has more of the signature tang of a saison. As far as food pairings go, lately we’ve been pairing beers with sweet cherries that are in season (and delicious), and the combination of sugar and slight tartness with just about any beer, including this one, is winning.

This wasn’t our favorite farmhouse ale of all time, but given the fermentation process at a higher temperature and the noteworthy duality of the brew, it’s definitely worth trying. Have you had it? Tell us what you think about it in the comments!

We have bottles on sale at both our Winchester and Belmont locations for $5.50.

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