Archive for the ‘American Wild Ale’ Category

This was the second beer that I had at the bar to pair with my spicy chicken sandwich. It’s also part of Brooklyn’s special draft only selections.

wildhorse

ABV: 6.5%

Style: American Wild Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Centuries ago when brewers were first learning to wrangle wild yeasts, many came to prize the staid and predictable Saccharomyces yeast that worked such wonders in bread, beer and wine. But Saccharomyces had a cousin that could not be saddled named Brettanomyces, or ‘the British yeast.’ Brett instead made beers that smelled like tropical fruits and horse blankets, imbued with a leathery, earthy funk. This yeast had no interest in being ‘normal.’
Brett gained praise for the extra complexity it brought to the dark porters that built the great breweries of Britain and powered the American Revolution. It lingered in the sour beers of Belgium. But after the 1800s, tastes became mild, and people shied away from Brett’s funky kick. Brewers and winemakers alike banished it back out into the pastures whence it came. Now, Brett comes thundering back home. Our Wild Horse Porter starts off with a full Brett fermentation, which is then finished with a late addition of our house ale yeast. The result is an intriguing, full-bodied beer with a hay-forward funk on the nose preceding flavors of chocolate, coffee, fruit and caramel. We’re riding on the wild side. Are you ready?”

Random: I’m binging on “Jeopardy” as I update the blog. The cats keep getting woken up by me yelling at the tv.

The brew poured with a quarter finger of tan head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a dark brown, almost black color, with no visible carbonation. On the nose, I picked up a lot of funk from the Brett and nothing else. This was serious funk and muted any porter notes. The taste was just as much funk as the nose. This was more like a funky foot smell rather than a horse blanket note. It had a red wine characteristic as well, which made this a bit more interesting. At the end of the sip, some smoke and chocolate came through. The body was medium thickness with moderate carbonation. It had a lengthy and funky finish. I wasn’t a fan of this beer. I appreciated that they wanted to highlight the funk, but it needed more flavors for me and not just yeast.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Val took me to the Victory – Kennett Square location when we went to Longwood Gardens for lunch. We grabbed a bottle of this from the gift shop and a few other things. The location is slightly smaller (at least from what I remember) from the Downingtown location, but the food was good and their beer selection was excellent. If you’re in the area, make sure you stop for a beer.

sourmonkey

ABV: 9.5%

Style: American Wild Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Sour Monkey puts a tastefully tart twist on our Golden Monkey’s sweet, fruity essence. A sharp, citrus-laden tang makes this brew a Monkey all its own!”

Random: I also had the white wine version of Golden Monkey a few years back at Memphis Taproom.

The beer poured with less than a quarter of a finger of cream-colored head. It dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, bright orange color with little carbonation visible. On the nose, I picked up sourness and cherries. There was also some yeast with a little bit of golden raisins. Oak came through after it warmed for a minute. The taste had some nice tartness, but it wasn’t overwhelming. It had a lemon peel note that quickly went into cherries and yeast. I also got some golden raisin and apricot. The booze didn’t make an appearance despite the high ABV. The beer was very balanced. It had a medium thick body with light carbonation. The finish was lengthy with tartness and golden fruit. A bomber of this was $9.99, which broke down to $.45 per ounce. This was an interesting take on the original beer Golden Monkey and one that I would definitely try again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

I think that brewers taking chances and reimagining old classics is pretty cool, which is why I bought the New Belgium Fat Tire and Friends mixed pack. I’ve already reviewed a few on the blog, so let’s see how this one is.

fatfunkale

ABV: 5.6%

Style: American Wild Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “For our new Fat Tire & Friends Collabeeration Pack, we teamed up with Allagash Brewing from Portland, Maine. Who wants the funk? Fat Tire wants the funk. Our New England friends at Allagash brought it, taking Fat Tire back to its Belgian roots with a De Dolle house Belgian yeast strain that adds classic pear, banana and spice to Fat Tire’s malty goodness. They then bottle-conditioned the beer with Brettanomyces Allagagensis for a spicy finish. Get your funk on.”

Random: Every time I see a horse in the winter with a blanket on, it makes me think of a funky beer.

The beer poured with a huge, four finger, off white head. It dissipated slowly and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was clear and mahogany colored with light carbonation. The nose was lightly funky with green apples, white grapes and caramel malt. The taste had white grapes up front and less funk than was apparent on the nose. It also had green apple skins and light toasted malt. It had a medium body with moderate carbonation. The finish was lengthy with white grapes and green apples. A bottle of this was $1.42, which broke down to $.12 an ounce. I thought that this was an interesting take on a classic, but I wouldn’t have more than one.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Tonight’s selection is another one from the New Belgium Fat Tire mixed pack. I always think it’s risky making an apple flavored beer since apple can be a mark of an off flavor. Let’s see how it was.

fatsourappleale

ABV: 5.9%

Style: American Wild Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “For our new Fat Tire & Friends Collabeeration Pack, we teamed up with Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB) from Portland, Ore. Our heroes at HUB pedaled Fat Tire straight to the apple orchard. This slightly sour homage starts out with a snap of tartness, courtesy of Lactobacillus and apple juice, then gets balanced with Fat Tire-inspired malty sweetness and a slight herbal bitterness. Nice ride, HUB!”

Random: Green apples are my favorite apples.

The brew poured with a two finger, white head. It dissipated at a moderate pace and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was hazy and mahogany colored with moderate carbonation visible. The nose started with caramel malt and then went into green apple juice and mineral water. It had a sour note as well. The taste started with tartness and quickly went into green apple peel and green apple juice. It had a hint of green watermelon rind and grapes. The caramel malt came through at the end. The body was light with high carbonation. It had a lengthy and tart green apple finish. I don’t remember how much I paid for the beer, but I thought this beer was a miss. The tartness didn’t blend well with the sweet malt at the end. I won’t be having this one again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

I have a soft spot in my heart for mixed twelve packs. I saw this one on sale and had to bring it home and see how they reinterpreted Fat Tire, which I first reviewed in 2013. This is the first one that I cracked open.

fatwildale

ABV: 6.2%

Style: American Wild Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “For our new Fat Tire & Friends CollaBEERation Pack, we teamed up with Avery Brewing from Boulder, Colo. Go wild for Fat. Thanks to Boulder’s finest for this unabashedly tropic take on Fat Tire. Avery took a healthy dose of Brettanomyces Bruxellensis Drie to create a Fat Tire spin with a sturdy malt backbone, fruity hop aroma and a tropical pineapple layer. Heed the call of the wild Fat Tire.”

Random: Val is brushing one of the cats and he looks so happy. Who knew cats like brushing so much?

This beer poured with a two finger, cream-colored head that was thick and took awhile to dissipate. It left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was mahogany and clear with a lot of visible carbonation. The nose had some funk to it with white vinegar. It quickly went into caramel malt. The taste also had a vinegar funk to it with green apple. There was some sweetness that followed up with caramel. After a few sips, there was a dark fruit note that I couldn’t quite place. The body was thin with high carbonation. It had a quick finish with caramel malt. I didn’t know exactly what to do with this beer. Once I got to enjoying the tart and funk that it brought, it went into the sweet aspect. Although I appreciated the fact they were trying to do something different with a classic, but this missed the mark.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Val and I ended up at another place in Pennsylvania that was having a sour day. The menu said that they had a few bottles of Cantillon, but they were sold out by the time we got there. So, I settled on a sour from Almanac.

hoppysoureldorado

ABV: 7%

Style: American Wild Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “We blended our sour blonde ale aged in wine barrels with our brettanomyces farmhouse ale fermented in foeders to craft a complex wild ale base. Laced with flavors of stone fruit, oak, and earthy funk it’s the perfect complement the fruity punch of El Dorado Hops. El Dorado contributes aroma of pear, watermelon, and plum. Enjoy this hoppy release fresh for maximum aroma. Pair with fish tacos, seared scallops and grilled stone fruit.”

Random: Val and I have started binging on “Scream Queens.” It’s not great this season. Maybe it gets better after a few episodes.

This beer poured with a half a finger of white head. It dissipated quickly with no lacing left on the glass. The body was hazy and yellow with no visible carbonation because of the cloudiness. The nose was very fragrant and tart. It quickly went into notes of green apple and pears. There was some apricot as well. The taste started with lemon juice and citrus peel. It quickly went into pear, plum and apricots. After it warmed a bit, I picked up the oak as well. The booze didn’t make an appearance, but the beer was pretty dry. It had a light body with high carbonation. The finish was lengthy and tart with pears and lemons. As usual, I enjoyed another sour from Almanac, big shock there.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

We ended up at Edmund’s Oast for dinner in Charleston. This was pretty much the only place that Val wanted to go to for dinner the whole vacation because it received a favorable write up from Bon Appetit. This was the first beer I had there.

blackberrybathos

ABV: 8.5%

Style: American Wild Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “A key focal point of Edmund’s Oast is the onsite brewery, where a number of the restaurant’s unique and unusual draft beers are made in house, including brews aged in a small, dedicated barrel aging room. Not only is Edmund’s Oast one of the few brewery based restaurants in the area, the team has also carefully curated a high-quality beer program featuring guest taps from the best local, national, and international brewers complemented by an expansive specialty/reserve bottle list.”

Random: Their outdoor area was nice too, except it was insanely humid while we were there.

The beer poured with a half a finger of pink head. It topped a hazy, pink body with no visible carbonation. The nose was tart, but not overwhelmingly so. It had lightly toasted oak and red grapes as well. There was also a floral characteristic that came along for the ride. The taste had some vinegar-tartness with red wine and flowers. It had a hint of vanilla along with toasted oak to balance it out. The berry note came through as well and was jammy without being overly sweet. The body was shockingly thick for the style with moderate carbonation. It had a lengthy finish with red wine barrels and vinegar. I was impressed by this beer. Whenever I see a brewery in a restaurant, I expect an amber, IPA, brown ale, etc. I do not expect an oak aged wild ale like this. If you find yourself in Charleston, you need to search this beer out.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0