Olvalde Farmhouse Ales…Minnesota’s newest brewery!

by Nick Pederson on April 14, 2011

Not sure if many people know about this new brewery in Minnesota so I thought I’d put up a quick post about it because I’m extremely excited and can’t wait to visit their Brewery/Farm!   I was instantly intrigued by Olvalde when I heard about them because it kinda reminds me of the small French farmhouses in Wallonia.    Olvalde Farm and Brewing Company is a small farm brewery in Rollingstone, MN.   It’s fairly close to Lake Pepin on Hwy 61 in between Hastings and La-X(crosse),WI.  They release one beer in belgian bottles in March of 2011 to select locations around the cities.   I picked up the Auroch’s Horn a Braggot at Dennis Brothers in Cottage Grove which is an absolutely fabulous beer store.   These brothers Dennis know good beer, and better then that, they know how to get their hands on it and sell it at a reasonable price!

Here’s the  review of Olvalde’s first offering the Auroch’s Horn which is a Braggot.   I was absolutely blown away by the complexity of this beer.   I’m even more impressed that such a brewery would hit the market with this style of beer in MN!

Appearance:Very nice orange appearance that’s a bit hazy living up to the unfiltered claim.
Thin wispy head the recedes pretty quick, possibly due to the glass I’m using.
Aroma: Lots of clove, a bit of banana, honey, and some fusels.  Aroma is chalk full of Belgian yeast, possible Wit yeast or some other clove, banana producing yeast.
Flavor: The flavor is all clove and honey with a bit of pilsner malt as a back bone.   Fairly sweet and not too dry at all which I was expecting with all of the honey.   I’m having a hard time detecting malt and hops which plays a background role to the honey and flavorful Belgian yeast.
Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is surprisingly medium to full bodied.  I was expecting highly carbonated saison type tartness, but I got a full bodied sweet braggot with lower carbonation.   I’m not complaining, I don’t believe I’ve ever had a Minnesota beer that I’ve ever enjoyed as much as this. (maybe Surly Pentagon)
Overall: This is a great beer, not necessarily something that I could drink every night.  It’s like a Belgian Strong ale, mixed with a Belgian Wit, mixed with a Braggot.  Or, maybe it’s just a Braggot…I don’t believe I’ve ever had a braggot unless you consider a Saison with Honey a braggot.  Fusels definitely start to hit you as it warms up and so does the alcohol as you get half way through the bottle.
My Rating – A
I am so frickin pumped to see what else this brewery brings to the market.  Can’t wait to visit the Farmhouse brewery on my way to La-X!

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