American Wild Ale is a singular style that may encompass such beers as American-Style Sour Ale, American-Style Brett Ale and Wood- and Barrel-Aged Sour Beer. “Wild” generally refers to the presence of some level of sour, tart, funky or barnyard-like aromas and flavors from the purposeful introduction of a wild Brettanomyces yeast strain, or friendly bacteria such as Lactobacillus. Brewers make them from existing beer styles, creating a special “wild” version, or they may formulate a stand-alone wild beer. Sour beers are an acquired taste for many, yet they are gaining in popularity in the United States. The base beer styles from which these wild ales emerge include everything from fruit beers and Belgian styles to brown ales, and they cover the beer color spectrum from light to dark. Many Wild Ale offerings are special-release beers, not available year-round.
Characteristics: Complex, acidic, fruity esters, medium-bodied
ABV range: Varies by base beer style IBU: Varies by base beer style
Popular American Wild Ale-style beer brands: Allagash Interlude, Allagash Confluence, Jolly Pumpkin La Roja, Victory Wild Devil, Russian River Supplication, Russian River Consecration
Serving Temperature: Cool, 46-54°, to cellar, 55-57°
Cheese Pairing Ideas: The base beer is often a determinant for cheese pairings. Choose from mild cheeses, such as Chèvre, that allow the beer to remain center-stage, or bold cheeses, such as blue, that stand up to the beer. Experiment and find what works for your palate.
Food Pairing Ideas: Seafood, sausages, smoked and cured meats