Posts Tagged ‘ Wild Ale ’

Oh Brett, how tasty you are

By Brett, I mean brettanomyces of course, the strain of yeast that causes infections in normal beer and wine. However, it can be used to great effect. This beer is one such example.

Description: Who’s afraid of the “Big Bad BRETT”? We’ll tell you who: winemakers! Because of our close proximity to several hundred wineries, we often get winemakers visiting our brewery. (After all, it takes a lot of great beer to make great wine!) Because we use 100% Brettanomyces (rather than the traditional Saccharomyces) yeast to ferment Sanctification, most winemakers will only smell the glass, and only a very few will venture to taste the beer. They think the Brettanomyces will attach to their clothing and end up in their winery. A simple solution was offered: keep a smudge pot burning at the door of our brewery so they can burn their clothes when exiting, but even that was not enough. After giving it more thought, we concluded that winemakers think Brettanomyces might scar their taste buds and possibly even permeate their skin.

Beer: Sanctification

Brewery: Russian River

Style: Wild Ale

ABV: 6.75%

Location: Santa Rosa, CA

Appearance: Hazy, golden/straw color with a little bit of frothy white head. Very fine carbonation here

Aroma: Cold – Barnyard funk, with tart apples, grapes, and some orange.

Taste: Hmm, this one is interesting. Not initially as tart as I would expect. I get lemon, brett, and apple, but finish with the taste of grapes and general tartness at the end. I guess this is what a 100% brett beer taste like.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied with high carbonation, it fits the personality of the beer. Pretty smooth and refreshing as well. I kind of wish I waited to open this on a hot day instead of a cool night. Meh, I’m over it.

Drinkability: Really, really drinkable. Glad I have another one waiting in the wings somewhere.

Beer Advocate Grade: A (95)

My Grade: A-/A


Saturdays will be Saturdays…

Which basically means that I went over to Cascade and Upright….somethings simply can’t be avoided. However, I did get to try beers from these places that I’ve never had before! Oh the excitement!

Outside seating on one of the first warm days this year!

Description: This vintage 3 year old NW style sour ale is a special offering just because we can. Dark malts, spices, aged wine and black currants, with hints of bourbon and a noticeable note of vanilla greet you in the nose. Big rich dark fruits, aged port, black currants and oak and vanillins dance on the palate. Tart dark fruits and a dark bourbon flavor finish this off as only Bourbonic can.

As much as I enjoyed this beer (I’d give it an A), with sunny spring weather comes seasonal allergies, so I was only able to pick out the major notes in this beer in my pitiful, congested state. I will say this, if you’ve had the normal bourbonic plague and enjoyed it, you’ll love this one as well. It’s got a nice vanilla smoothness and taste that plays in the background. It doesn’t punch you in the face like Bourbon County Brand Vanilla Stout, but it is always there, like a supporting instrument.

Ah Upright, please make my allergies go away!

This was their one off of Bloget (a saison) that was aged on apricots. Super refreshing with a little bit of peach notes and more than a little bit of apricots. In my mind, I think of this beer as a blend of Six and Seven that was stuck into a barrel with apricots, but then again, with my allergies this must be taken with a gratuitous pinch of salt. I still liked it though!

I had no idea that they made sours

Avery….a brewery I find interesting but don’t particularly like, makes sours. I had no idea, but I’m glad I got one as an extra in a trade! I can never turn down a sour, gotta try it first!

I like the bottle, it’s got a barrel on it, and everyone knows how much I like barrels.

Description: Brewed with rocky mountain water, malted barley, imported specialty belgian malted barley, malted wheat, hops, brett, baccaromyces, lactobacillus, and pediococcus (haha coccus).

Beer: Immitus

Brewery: Avery Brewing

Style: Wild Ale

ABV: 9.54%

Location: Boulder, CO

Appearance: Deep, brownish black. No head or foam.

Aroma: smells like a brown ale with some vinegar, caramel, and funk.

Taste: Whoa, Avery brought out all the bugs for this one! Lots of funkiness going on here. A lot of acetic flavors up front as well (aka vinegar), also reminds me strongly of grapes.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with high carbonation.

Drinkability: Not bad

Beer Advocate Grade: B+

My Grade: B

Barrel Haus!

Took my friend to the Barrel House the other day, right before he moves back to Australia. It’s a little sad that I didn’t get to take him there earlier, because he’s a lover of anything sour. Makes for a good fit for a place with a big sign that says, “house of sour”.

Another glass of Blueberry! I can’t wait for bottles to come out.

Vintage Sour Pie

I’ve never had this variety of sour pie before, so I’ll just tell you that while I like it a lot, it’s just not as good as blueberry.

Here’s the description for the beer:

This NW style sour ale is a singular vintage project that started as a strong blond that was barrel aged for nearly three years on over 120 pounds of fresh sour pie cherries. Rich, bright cherries, sweet cinnamon, and hints of cranberries greet you in the nose. Sweet and tart cherries combine on the palate with an assertive flavor of cherry tones and peppery cinnamon notes. Tart, dank notes of aged cherries and oak linger and finish with a sweet cherry burn.

The sweet sound of music…or in this case, beer.

Fantasia: A musical composition with a free form and an improvisatory style which may be based on earlier works.

This is the description on the label, and after trying this beer on tap, I understand why it’s here.

But there’s more.

A barrel fermented sour ale brewed with fresh preaches and rooted in a theme from the Pajottenland.

I have no idea what Pajottenland means, but it reminds me of the safety word from Eurotrip. However, the description of this beer makes it seem very plain. The truth is quite the opposite. In order to create this wonderful beer, Upright had to breed the sour yeast it planned to use ahead of time due to the slow reproduction of sour yeast strains. It then had to process hundreds of pounds of fresh peaches by hand, removing the pits and whatnot. The wort, fruit, and yeast were put into barrels, never having touched a normal fermentation tank. A few more steps occur after this, but the main idea is that this beer took more than a year to come into being, with much work and coddling performed by the brewers at Upright. This results in the slightly eye-watering price of $20 a beer, but in the world of sour beers, this is actually quite reasonable.

Beer: Fantasia

Brewery: Upright Brewing

Style: Wild Ale

ABV: 5.75%

Location: Portland, OR

Appearance: Cloudy peach with a tiny bit of pink. Not much head to speak of but forms a small ring at the edges after a while. No lacing

Aroma: Smells like a bucketload of  peaches with some tartness and funk thrown in. Since I’ve already tried this beer on tap, I’m very excited to see what the bottled-version has to offer.

Taste: Wow. This beer is quite sour for having so much peaches in it. However, as soon as the sourness fades, sweet peaches come to the front, with some funky earthiness towards the end. I got very little peach when I tried this beer on tap, but it’s definitely here in bottled form. I liked the beer on tap immensely, but this beer definitely better out of the bottle. No question.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. It feels extremely smooth, creamy even. Perfect mouthfeel to go with the taste.

Drinkability: I bought a case but am splitting it with a Beer Advocate buddy. I’m kind of regretting it now though. I want it all to myself!

Beer Advocate Grade: N/A

My Grade: A+

Notes: best beer I’ve had from Upright for sure. I love their beers, but this beer is a completely different animal. I can’t wait for it to be released again next year!

Gotta Love that Blend Love!

I can’t believe they let me fill a growler of this beer.


Blend Love

When Upright announced that they had Blend Love on tap, I was chomping at the bit to try this beer. Even better news: they were doing growler fills! Huzzah!


From left to right, front to back: Johnny’s sampler of 4, 6, 7, and blend love, my glass and growler of blend love, and Brian’s glass of Dunkel

Beer: Blend Love

Brewery: Upright Brewing

Style: Wild Ale

ABV: ?%

Location: Portland, OR

Appearance: cloudy pink/red amber with a rose colored head. Fears of girly beer arise.

Aroma: Tart raspberries, maintaining fear of girly beer.

Taste: Sweet, with berries and a nice tart kick. Not completely girly then. Absolutely delicious is more like it. The raspberries are a little on the subtle side, but you definitely get the picture. I would love to put a scoop of vanilla ice cream in my glass and have a nice sour raspberry beer float.

Mouthfeel: light with medium/high carbonation. kind of prickly, but matches the beers perkiness well.

Drinkability: One of the most drinkable sour beers I have come across. This growler won’t last the night.

Beer Advocate Grade: N/A

My Grade: A