Derek Warren

HOW TO PAIR BEER WITH EVERYTHING: Valley of the Heart’s Delight by Almanac Beer Co.

HOW TO PAIR BEER WITH EVERYTHING: Valley of the Heart’s Delight by Almanac Beer Co.
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Beer: Valley of the Heart’s Delight

Brewer: Almanac Beer Co.

Style: American Wild Ale

ABV: 7.00%

Description: Valley of the Heart’s Delight pours bright orange amber with a very light white head that disappears quickly, leaving little in the way of lacing on the glass. The aroma is filled with a wonderful sour funk character, backed with hints of apricots and traces of white grapes and pale malts. The taste follows the nose, but with an explosive tart kick on the palate. Strong notes of apricots wash over the palate with hints of vanilla from the barrels melding with white grapes for a refreshing and complex taste profile. The bright carbonation and medium body are absolutely perfect and leave behind a tart, dry finish that leaves you wanting more.

Valley of the Heart’s Delight is proof that Almanac Beer Co. is a brewery that knows how to brew world-class sour beers, and it’s an absolute must-try beer!

Ideal setting: Fruit aromas, effervescent carbonation, and flawless tart kick make this a beer that is perfect for enjoying while relaxing outdoors. While some may frown upon drinking alone, this is a beer that is best savored and appreciated in solitude while in an outdoor setting of some manner on a warm sunny day.

Ideal music: Some beers make you want to kick back and relax due to a high ABV, but some seem to have this quality without the high ABV. Valley of the Heart’s Delight is most definitely a beer that, after one sip, you simply want to relax with on a sun-filled afternoon on your back porch while listening to some good music. Great folk and jazz albums are the best pairing for a beer of this caliber, especially for a relaxing afternoon or evening outdoors in warmer weather.

Some great albums to enjoy with Valley of the Heart’s Delight are:

  • Ray LaMontagne – “Trouble”
  • The War on Drugs – “Lost in the Dream”
  • Bear’s Den – “Islands”
  • Miles Davis – “Birth of the Cool”
  • João Gilberto and Stan Getz – “Getz/Gilberto”
  • Paul Desmond – “Take Ten”

Ideal movie: Apricots are most definitely a summer fruit, and any beer featuring fresh apricots with perfect carbonation and a sour kick is a beer that will instantly make you dream of summer. Movies that also have strong tones of summer are the best match for a delicious beer such as this one!

Some great films to watch while enjoying Valley of the Heart’s Delight are:

  • “The Sandlot”
  • “Summer School”
  • “Wet Hot American Summer”
  • “Meatballs”
  • “Stand by Me”
  • “National Lampoon’s Vacation”

Ideal book: Sour beers, especially the great ones like Valley of the Heart’s Delight, are beers that require a great deal of attention, as they are fairly complex. This is a beer that necessitates a lot of attention to fully appreciate the subtle nuances and tart, uplifting flavors within each sip. A book that aids in a deeper appreciation of great beers is the best pairing with this beer.

Some great books to read with Valley of the Heart’s Delight are:

  • “American Sour Beers” by Michael Tonsmeire
  • “Wild Brews: Beer Beyond the Influence of Brewer’s Yeast” by Jeff Sparrow
  • “Beer for All Seasons” by Randy Mosher
  • “Designing Great Beers: The Ultimate Guide to Brewing Classic Beer Styles” by Ray Daniels
  • “Experimental Homebrewing: Mad Science in the Pursuit of Great Beer” by Drew Beechum and Denny Conn

The perfect experience: The warmer weather is finally starting to break across much of America, and with it, our back porches and yards are finally usable. Valley of the Heart’s Delight is a beer that is best enjoyed while sitting outside on a warm afternoon listening to some of the great music recommendations.

How to Pair Beer with Everything is a weekly column about stimulating all of the senses through beer. Look for it every Thursday on NEPA Scene.