Wild Specialty Beer

Hey there adventurous beer friend! Let’s explore the avant-garde world of Wild Specialty Beers.

As the name suggests, these are highly experimental brews fermented with wild yeast, bacteria, and unconventional ingredients. The result is maximum funky, sour flavors!

The base beer gets transformed by the wild fermentation – expect super dry, tart, and earthy flavors well beyond typical beer. Notes of hay, leather, lemon, and tropical fruit are common. Acidity can range from pleasantly tart to face-puckering.

Ingredients get creative too. Many include foraged plants, flowers, spices, and fruit. Popular examples are Jester King Atrial Rubicite, To Øl Sur Mosaic, and Cascade Blueberry.

These beers are for serious beer geeks looking for new experiences! Their intense wild flavors pair well with stinky cheeses and hearty meats. Just expect the unexpected.

Certainly! Here are 10 popular commercial examples of wild specialty beers, each with its own unique character and appeal:

  1. Russian River Supplication: A renowned American wild ale, aged in Pinot Noir barrels with cherries. It’s known for its complex sourness and rich, fruity notes.
  2. Cantillon Gueuze: A classic Belgian gueuze, a blend of lambics aged in oak barrels. It’s celebrated for its sharp, tart, and dry finish with a hint of citrus.
  3. Allagash Coolship Resurgam: Brewed in Maine, USA, this spontaneous fermentation beer is aged in oak barrels. It offers a balanced blend of earthy, tart, and fruity flavors.
  4. Jester King Atrial Rubicite: A Texas-born wild ale fermented with raspberries. It’s highly sought after for its bright, jammy raspberry character and tart finish.
  5. The Lost Abbey Red Poppy Ale: A Flanders Red Ale from California, aged in oak barrels with poppies. It’s known for its sour cherry and oak flavors.
  6. Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project Vieille: This Colorado-based brewery specializes in wild ales, and Vieille is a standout with its tart, citrusy, and earthy notes.
  7. 3 Fonteinen Oude Geuze: Another superb Belgian gueuze, it’s a blend of one, two, and three-year-old lambics. It’s known for its complex sour and wild yeast profile.
  8. Saison Dupont Vieille Provision: A classic Belgian farmhouse ale, it’s a must-try for its dry, fruity, and slightly spicy character, embodying the essence of a traditional saison.
  9. Funky Buddha Morning Wood: From Florida, this unique wild ale is aged in bourbon barrels with coffee and maple syrup. It’s celebrated for its rich, sweet, and complex profile.
  10. Sierra Nevada Wild Little Thing: A more accessible and widely available option, this slightly sour ale is brewed with guava, hibiscus, and strawberry, offering a refreshing and fruity taste.

Unveiling the World of Wild Specialty Beer

Hey there, beer enthusiasts and curious sippers alike! Have you ever ventured into the wild, untamed territory of wild specialty beers? These aren’t your average brews; they’re the rebels of the beer world.

Let’s take a dive into what makes these beers so unique. We’ll explore their roots, how they’ve evolved, and why they’re making waves in the beer market today. Ready to embark on this hoppy adventure?

Understanding Wild Specialty Beers

Imagine a beer that’s as wild and free as nature itself. That’s what wild specialty beers are all about. These brews are like the jazz musicians of the beer world – spontaneous, unpredictable, and oh-so-exhilarating.

They’re crafted with wild yeasts and bacteria, which might sound a bit science-y, but trust me, it’s what gives them their unique character.

And the flavors? They’re as varied as the colors in a sunset. Some are tangy, some are fruity, and some might just surprise you with a funky twist!

The Art of Brewing Wild Specialty Beer

Brewing wild specialty beer is like conducting an orchestra – it’s an art. There’s a symphony of steps involved, each adding its own note to the final masterpiece.

Think of barrel aging as the crescendo, where the beer develops its deep, complex flavors.

And then there’s the role of terroir – like how the soil and climate affect grapes in wine, they leave their mark on these beers too. It’s a journey of flavors, from the brewery to your glass.

Iconic Wild Specialty Beers

Alright, let’s play a little game of “name that beer”! Just kidding, but seriously, let’s talk about some of the rock stars of the wild specialty beer world.These beers are like the celebrities of the craft beer scene, each with its own unique personality.

From the funky Brettanomyces bruxellensis (try saying that three times fast!) to the sour and tangy Lactobacillus, these beers are not just drinks; they’re conversation starters.

We’ll take a virtual tour around the globe, visiting breweries that have mastered the art of wild brewing. Spoiler alert: your taste buds are in for a wild ride!

Pairing and Enjoying Wild Specialty Beer

Okay, picture this: you’re sitting at a table with a wild specialty beer in hand. But wait, what’s on the plate in front of you? Pairing food with these beers is like matching a great song with the perfect mood – it elevates the experience.

We’ll dish out some top pairing recommendations that will make your next dinner party a hit. And let’s not forget about the proper way to serve and store these liquid gems.

Plus, we’ll give you some pro tips on how to truly savor each sip, turning every drink into a sensory adventure.

The Pros and Cons of Wild Specialty Beers

Now, let’s get real for a moment. As much as we love these wild brews, we’ve got to talk about the whole picture.

On one hand, you’ve got this incredible array of flavors and an ever-evolving craft scene. It’s like being a kid in a candy store, but for adults! On the other hand, these beers can be as unpredictable as a stormy sea.

The brewing process is complex and not for the faint of heart. Plus, convincing your buddy who’s a die-hard lager fan to try something wild? That can be a challenge. We’ll break down the highs and lows, giving you the full scoop.

Ratings and Reviews

In the digital age, what’s a product without its online reviews and ratings, right? Wild specialty beers are no different. We’ll dive into the web’s treasure trove to uncover what beer aficionados and casual drinkers alike are saying about these unique brews.

From star ratings on craft beer platforms to the buzz on social media, we’ll sift through it all. Think of it as your beer compass, guiding you to the wild specialties that are hitting all the right notes with the crowd.

Wild Specialty Beer in the Craft Beer Community

It’s not just about the beer; it’s about the people behind it and those who enjoy it. Wild specialty beers have brewed up a storm in the craft beer community, fostering a culture of experimentation and camaraderie.

We’ll explore how these beers have influenced local and global beer scenes, the vibrant events celebrating them, and the passionate communities that have formed around them. It’s a tale of innovation, tradition, and a whole lot of hops.

FAQs About Wild Specialty Beer

Got questions? We’ve got answers! This section is all about demystifying the world of wild specialty beers.

From “What exactly makes a beer ‘wild’?” to “Can I brew this at home?”, we’ll tackle the top 10 questions swirling around in the minds of beer lovers and the beer-curious.

This Q&A will not only quench your thirst for knowledge but might also inspire you to explore these bold flavors yourself.

What Exactly Makes a Beer “Wild”?

A: Wild beers are brewed using wild yeasts and bacteria, as opposed to traditional, cultivated yeast strains. These wild microbes often come from the natural environment, like the air or fruits, giving the beer unique, complex flavors.

Are Wild Specialty Beers Always Sour?

A: Not necessarily. While many wild beers have a tart or sour profile due to the bacteria used, others can be fruity, funky, or even earthy. The flavor spectrum is vast and diverse.

How Long Does It Take to Brew a Wild Specialty Beer?

A: The brewing time can vary greatly, from a few months to several years. This is due to the slow, unpredictable fermentation process of wild yeasts and the additional aging time in barrels.

Can I Brew Wild Specialty Beer at Home?

A: Absolutely! With some basic brewing knowledge and equipment, you can experiment with wild brewing at home. Just be prepared for a bit of unpredictability and a lot of patience.

Is Wild Specialty Beer More Expensive?

A: Generally, yes. The extended aging, unique ingredients, and intricate brewing processes often make these beers pricier than standard offerings.

Are Wild Beers Higher in Alcohol Content?

A: Not necessarily. The alcohol content varies widely, much like in traditional beers. Some are light and sessionable, while others are strong and robust.

What’s the Best Way to Store Wild Specialty Beer?

A: Store them upright in a cool, dark place. Unlike wine, you want to minimize yeast sediment disturbance. Some wild beers also age well, developing new flavors over time.

How Do I Serve Wild Specialty Beer?

A: Serve them slightly chilled, not ice cold, to fully appreciate their flavors. The right glassware, like a tulip glass, can also enhance the experience.

Can Wild Beers Be Paired with Food?

A: Absolutely! Their diverse flavors pair wonderfully with a variety of foods. Think cheese, charcuterie, or even dessert. Experiment and have fun with pairings!

Are Wild Specialty Beers Gluten-Free?

A: Not typically. Most are brewed with traditional barley and wheat. However, some brewers might offer gluten-reduced or gluten-free versions.


As we come to the end of our flavorful journey through the world of wild specialty beers, it’s clear that these brews are more than just a drink; they’re a testament to creativity, tradition, and the spirit of adventure in the brewing world.

Each sip of a wild specialty beer tells a story – a story of unique ingredients, of patient aging, and of the daring brewers who aren’t afraid to push the boundaries of what beer can be.

Wild specialty beers represent a niche that is both challenging and rewarding. They embody the essence of craft brewing – innovation, diversity, and a touch of the unexpected. Whether you’re a seasoned beer connoisseur or a curious newbie, these beers offer something to excite your palate and broaden your beer horizons.

As we’ve seen, the world of wild specialty beers is as diverse as it is intriguing. From the complexities of the brewing process to the joy of discovering the perfect food pairing, there’s always something new to learn and experience.

So next time you’re at your local brewery or bottle shop, why not take a walk on the wild side and try one of these unique brews? Who knows – you might just find your new favorite!

Cheers to the wild adventure that is specialty beer!