This is one is what is known as a Wild Ale. Beers of this type have an advantage other brews do not, although it is typically Belgian yeast, it’s got a bit of a wild side. The yeast is what is known as Wild Yeast, that is it is not added in intentionally. It comes from barrels that have previously been used for other purposes. Yeasts such as Brettanomyces are sometimes seen. You never know what you are going to get when this gets added in, so look out!
Produced by New Belgium Brewing Co, as part of their Lips of Faith line. Starting off in 1989, they have made great strides since then. I’ll let them tell their story: ” As our aspiring young home brewer rides his mountain bike with “fat tires” through European villages famous for beer, New Belgium Brewing Company was but a glimmer in his eye. Or basement. For Jeff Lebesch would return to Fort Collins with a handful of ingredients and an imagination full of recipes. And then there was beer. Jeff’s first two basement-brewed creations? A brown dubbel with earthy undertones named Abbey and a remarkably well-balanced amber he named Fat Tire. To say the rest was history would be to overlook his wife’s involvement. Kim Jordan was New Belgium’s first bottler, sales rep, distributor, marketer and financial planner.” Unique for them is their addition of employee ownership to all employees upon completing one year of employment.
Poured a very cloudy straw colored yellow into a tulip glass, producing a small head but with decent lacing. Carbonation was minimal, but left a nice thin lacing that stuck well to the glass.
Aromas were interesting. Compared to Avery’s Brabant, another ‘wild ale’, this one I could place. Definite aroma of the Brett yeast, giving it a sour finish to the aroma. Spice and citrus are also present, with the standard malt finish. Not as pugnant as I would have thought.
I expected more of a sour taste, but it was smooth. The malt came out more than anything, although I did taste some of the spice and citrus. What I didn’t get was a brett beer. The sour finish was so subtle I almost went through the entire bomber before I could taste it. I expected much more of the ‘wild’ come out in the yeast.
Mouthfeel was that of a medium bodied beer and somewhat crisp.
Overall, I wasn’t impressed. A good beer to be sure, but it lacked the very thing it was supposed to have: a brett character. For what this beer is supposed to do, it did not live up to it. I’m not sure I would classify this as a wild ale. Seems to be more of a pretty decent run of the mill ale with some spice. It went well with the goulash I made, as the spice and malt in the beer brought out the spice in the tomato sauce I used. It weighs in at 6% ABV, so it won’t bowl you over.