Category Archives: Wild Ale

Goose Island Beer Co ‘Madame Rose’ BA Belgian Style Wild Ale – 2016 Release


41376746_948953301955482_8411068969561096192_n“Madame Rose is a crimson colored Belgian style brown ale fermented with wild yeast and aged on cherries in wine barrels. Layers of malty complexity, sour cherry, spice and wood notes make Madame Rose an ideal beer to suggest to Bordeaux enthusiasts and beer drinkers fond of Belgian Kriek and Flanders Brown Ales.”

Glassware: Stemmed Tulip.

Appearance: Deep amber almost light mahogany coloured body with a finger of finely beaded foam capping it off. It snaps back to the rim and leaves a spotty lace down the walls of the glass.

Aroma: Nicely built up with dank cherry overtones, musty red wine barrels, oak tannins, farmyard, tart berries and a subtle hint of cocoa powder. Certainly getting a tangy red wine vinegar coming through along with a rather juicy blood plum character. As it warms it starts to reveal more of its malt profile which sits somewhere between toasty and wheat/grainy.

Flavour: It opens with a short and sharp burst of lip puckering sourness emphasised by vinegar and acetic lacto funk. It follows on with sour cherries, musty oak and a line of vinous fruit cutting down the middle. Again it hits a strong vinegary note late in the piece as it finishes slightly dry and tannic with a hint of green apple on the back end.

Mouthfeel: Fairly tart, dry and well weighted. Nicely carbonated with just enough booze (6.8%) to keep it interesting.

Overall: It’s like a lovechild between a kriek and an oud bruin. Displaying traits of both with its macerated cherry and hints of cocoa and toasty malt. A lovely sipper but a difficult one to session on.

Goose Island Beer Co ‘Lolita’ BA Belgian Style Wild Ale – 2016 Release


41174950_948185455365600_2409089268480737280_n“Lolita is a pink rose colored Belgian style pale ale fermented with wild yeast and aged on raspberries in wine barrels. Aromas of fresh raspberries, bright jammy fruit flavors and crisp, refreshing body make Lolita ideal for beer drinkers fond of Belgian Framboise.”

Glassware: Stemmed Tulip.

Appearance: Amber body with a super fizzy head which disappears almost instantly. Not a skerrick of lace in its wake.

Aroma: Quite a complex little number. Lots of berries hit the olfactory’s…a mix of tart and sweet with a dense and jammy viscosity. The musty oak barrels present firmly along with an earthy stonefruit character – mostly apricot and peach. It has that funky farmyard/bretty sourness spiked with a tart framboise-like fruit profile. Lots of depth and complexity here, really impressive.

Flavour: Really well balanced. A slight rush of tart berries is casually softened by the complex oak tannins and earthy apricot. A bit of funky sourness and cheesy tang hinges on the musty cellared oak notes and vinous grape juice in the middle. Again we get berries alongside a touch of vinegar, medicinal cherry and acetic funk converging in a dry finish which endures.

Mouthfeel: Moderate intensity. Rather light on, spritzy at first becoming a little flatter as it warms. Mild-medium acidity, 7.9% AbV – well concealed.

Overall: It certainly doesn’t pull any punches. It offers a framboise-like sweetness, rich musty oak, tart berries, sour farmyard funk and hints of stonefruit. It kind of has it all!

De Garde & Jackie O’s ‘With Friends Like These’ BA Wild Ale w Muscat Grapes


40969237_947100962140716_406199864913821696_n“A Wild Ale fermented & aged in oak with late harvest Muscat grapes. Brewed & blended by de Garde Brewing in Tillamook, Oregon with special help from our friends at Jackie O’s. Enjoy with friends of your own. Do not drink bourbon with Brad.”

Glassware: Stemmed Tulip.

Appearance: Golden orange with a heavy haze. It forms a thumb of fizzy white head which gradually recedes to a film leaving a wet and streaky lace down the walls.

Aroma: Displays a fresh citrus profile i.e freshly cut lemon, orange peel, grapefruit and white grape juice (yes we know it’s not citrus but it ties in with it so well!). It has a distinct saison-esque spiciness, a bit like white pepper and woody spice…the latter maybe more of an adjunct scent from the time spent in oak barrels. Mild tartness, low acidity. Quite approachable!

Flavour: Super refreshing. Oodles of candied citrus, fruit tingles, sweet grape juice and orange peel upfront. The middle is where it’s at! It develops a delicious candy-like flavour – kind of like grape flavoured sherbet with a soft oak tannin and tart citrus notes in support. The finish is nice and smooth, fruity and revealing a barnyard mustiness on the back end.

Mouthfeel: Light on with a spritzy texture. Mild-medium body. Sourness/acidity is quite low. Very smashy for 6.4% AbV.

Overall: Outstanding drop. Although we love our muscat grapes the more subtle use of them here as opposed to ‘The Lucy’ is why we would favour it. That along with its approachable character and fine aroma and flavour. Very very impressive.

De Garde ‘The Lucy’ BA Wild Ale w Muscat Grapes

40243255_943403099177169_1820955100009463808_n“A spontaneous wild ale aged in oak barrels with late harvest muscat grapes.”

Glassware: Stemmed Tulip.

Appearance: Light straw gold with a soft haze. It doesn’t produce much head with the remaining foam retreating to the rim. Frosty lace clings to the glass as it ebbs.

Aroma: Displaying that hallmark tart lemon along with punchy notes of wet pine, lime juice, floral perfumes and sour green apple. The muscat grapes are a very interesting (and clever) addition to this ale as it imparts a certain touch of exotic fruit like passion fruit and lychee. Minimal barrel character coming through but hey when there’s this much happening already it doesn’t matter!

Flavour: It opens with a short and sharp burst of acetic lemon, lacto funk and vinous fruits. More zesty notes of lime juice and pomelo carry it across the mid palate. Faint floral undertones and the distinct muscat grapes deliver a fruity finish with subtle dryness and musty barrel characters in the tail.

Mouthfeel: Light and crisp with a champagne sparkle. Acidity is mild-medium. Some tartness to it.

Overall: A very impressive wild ale, certainly leaning more towards a lacto tartness than a bretty/pedio funk. The addition of muscat grapes was well polished and the drink-ability must also cop a mention. Our first crack at this brewery and we like!

Moon Dog ‘Fruits Of The Forest’ Wild Ale


image“The fruits grew wild on the dark forest floor. Delicious, we’ve got berries galore. Into the wild, ale these berries do fly. Creating a brew that’s like sour berry pie.”

Served in a beer tulip. This funky looking drop pours a somewhat rosè-like colour with a touch of candy red mixed through. It arouses a big and foamy three finger head that rapidly reduced to a ring with scarce lace work on the glass.
It actually smells quite pleasant with a firm pronunciation on tart berries – everything from raspberry, strawberry and boysenberry to lilli pilli’s and cranberry. We’re detecting a very subtle hint of cinnamon and white pepper along with more discernible notes of lemon juice and sage. Jeez, it’s that sweet it could be reduced to a jam! We’d have it on our toast tomorrow morning.
It’s predictably light and gassy in the mouth. Kind of has that champagne fizz to it. Slight acidity but ultimately it’s quite mild. High Co2, moderate body.
The flavour develops nicely. There a short and sharp burst of tart berries and zesty lemon juice that lays down for this somewhat buttery lacto yeast midway. From there it seems to fall away a bit with a faint hint of acidity on the rear.
We tend to steer clear of sour/wild fermented beers but we’d have to say that even though this is primarily a “chicks beer” it’s actually not half bad. Our rookie error was to crack this in the middle of winter! We could only imagine how refreshing this would be on a 30 degree summers day in Sydney. Kudos Moon Dog.

Hopdog beerworks ‘Holy snappin turtles’ Sour


imageWe thought it had been way too long since we quaffed a Hopdog brew so when we saw this Sour it was an instant purchase.

Served in a beer tulip the cloudy yellow/gold pour whipped up a bubbly 1 finger white head that simmers down to a thin dusting on top. Average lacing. What we’re dealing with here is a very complex aroma. The use of Shiraz barrels being subbed as fermentation tanks means subtle aromas of oak, damp wood and earth are backing up the sour overtones of lemon, raspberry and phenols. Plenty of yeasty funk and acidity from the addition of Brettanomyces offer the characteristic spice and farm yard aromas while a muted background of butter adds even more depth and complexity. Very interesting. In the mouth the slightly oily texture and mild carbonation tricks the taste buds before the clingy sourness takes hold of the tongue. Similar to the aroma, the palate is complex with an obvious tangy sourness kicking things off. Lemon rind, unripened berries and a slight mustiness meet a tart finish with a hint of sour cherry and oak on the rear palate. The length is a little short but when we factor in a well hidden 9.6% ABV we are pleasantly surprised. It has been subdued nicely, no harsh alcohol burn at all. We’d have to say this is a well executed beer, wild ales really aren’t our most favoured styles but this was quite approachable. Good offering.

Moon dog ‘perverse sexual amalgam’ black wild ale (sour)


image“Some things don’t seem right but you want them anyway. That quasi-erotic feeling you get when Charlton Heston makes out with Zira the chimp. Sure, she reluctantly says “All right, but you’re so damned ugly….” But you know she’s into it. And as with all things a bit perverted, so are you. This beer is released every now and then… And increased birth rates can be correlated to the releases. Coincidence? Probably”.

There’s always a sure bet with some events. Like the sun rising every morning, or putting money on black caviar…or moon dog brewing a whacky, out there beer that looks really really audacious! We served this in a beer tulip. The mat black pour produced little head which dissipated instantly leaving no head at all. Even a vigorous twirl of the glass couldn’t conjure up any foam. The aroma is obviously dominated by tart cherries and citric hints of sour lemon, but there are very subtle hints of damp wood, oak, vanilla, phenols and plum that add an extra funky complexity to this beautifully dank aroma. The mouth feel is extremely oily with mild carbonation. Medium body. Upfront the flavour is very similar to the aroma with sour lemon and tart cherries dominating. Behind it all, slightly miffed is a subtle hint of sweetness from the Vienna malts. The sourness carries on through the mid-palate and finishes with soft oak and subtle chipotle style spice. 6.1% ABV is very well buried among the tart, funky flavours. Once again, Moon dog has successfully lived up to it’s name but the feature flavours are…well…so so. Nothing wrong with the beer, just didn’t really hit the mark for us.

Wild beer co. ‘Modus Operandi’ old ale (sour)


image“Barrel ageing, blending and using different yeasts, this embraces our love of the unpredictability of wild yeast with the subtlety and complexity of maturation in oak barrels. A study in patience, it takes at least 90 days for the wild yeast to work its magic. Modus Operandi is the perfect accompaniment to red meat and game dishes, such as duck or venison, a beer that could easily replace a red wine on the dinner table. A transformation of an old English ale into a beer that is Wildly different. A unique, dark, flavourful beer with a smooth, rich, full body and complex fruit flavours of berries, sweet cherries and tannins”.

From the second you pop this you will know you’re in for a rich and complex beer. Poured into a tulip glass the colour of the body displayed a deep mahogany with a fizzy 1 and a half finger head that reduces quickly without a lot of lacing to be seen. Now on to this complex aroma. Woah. Initially we picked up sour wafts of whiskey, oak and raisin but just underneath sits an arsenal of phenolic fragrances like balsamic vinegar, sour cherry, prunes and creamy vanilla. Mildly carbonated with a soft, almost oily mouth feel. Very moreish palate. An array of smoky flavours being detected, initially we picked up plum, raisin and oak. Sour acidic notes of vinegar and berries that develop in the mid-palate are drawn out all the way to the back end. A warming touch of alcohol finishes off a very, very complex and acquired palate. Not for the every day beer drinker this one. If you’re like us and this is your first crack at a sour this would be the entry level choice. Very different.