Wild beers refer to a family of beers that are created with something other than traditional brewer’s yeast. Instead they are fermented with wild yeast, ambient to the local environment and most commonly Brettanomyces. These beers can also be brewed with the assistance of lactic acid-producing bacterias such as Lactobacillus. Wild ales originated in Belgium and Germany, and this use of wild organisms leads to the beers imparting a distinct and unique flavour local to their region.
Brewers can ferment their beers by adding these ingredients manually, although some prefer to let this happen more spontaneously through the air, which gives them less control over the final flavour of the beer, but can often lead to a complex and rewarding final product.
Wild ales are often tart, but don’t necessarily have to be, with varying degrees of intensity from beer to beer. These brews are often described as having a funky, farmhouse or barnyard character and often come with underlying fruit flavours, as well as different woods if they’ve spent time being aged in barrels.
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