The Wild Beer Co range are a new line of beers to Beer Ritz, and very welcome ones they are too, we genuinely can't keep them on the shelves at the moment! I had the Wildebeest not too long ago (see thoughts here) and was very impressed so I thought I'd give the rest of the range a go, first up was their Pale...
Fresh - 5.5% Pale
Apparently this beer isn't going to be the same twice as it's brewed with the freshest hops from northern and southern hemispheres every six months and the unpredictability of each harvest can influence the character of the beer. It looks worryingly flat on the pour, and I won't lie, the bottle was flawed. The bottle states; "Whilst consistency is (rightly) the benchmark of most beers, we've gone Wild with Fresh and thrown away the rule book" - they're not wrong there unfortunately. Luckily enough I had another bottle on hand which looked much more promising. Aromas of lychee and pine sap are very evident, mangos, lemon rind and some sweet caramel are abuzz too. It's a juicy beer indeed, fruity too; peaches, white grapes, a general fruit salad with sweet earthy caramel notes and citrusy grassy overtones. Very nice beer, I don't think the bad bottle has anything to do with this beers unpredictability, I just think it was a one off - it happens to everyone..
Scarlet Fever - 4.8% Red Ale
(...I said it was a little unbalanced, but as I got further down the glass it started making a bit more sense to me and I started drinking it much quicker! I think all it took was some time to warm and fully open up - it's a really good beer.)
Epic Saison - 5% Saison
Saison has always been a style to beer geeks that has had a bit of a stigma attached to it. Many, many times I've heard, "sure, it's a really nice Saison, but it's no Saison Dupont..." In truth I think it's something that's quite hard to overcome, not only because Dupont is so good, but (without taking away from it) it's also a very over hyped beer at the same time. Epic Saison fits in on a different level though. Epic is brewed with Sorachi Ace. Sorachi Ace - a hop which always makes me think "...naaaah, pass". This is probably the first beer I've seen it work in! Aromas come forth of lemon sherbet, cut grass, zesty orange and a slight peppery spice. The Sorachi Ace is very prominent in the taste, but here it's well balanced by a long lasting spicy finish. Herbal, grassy, hints of pear drops and lemon & lime. Drying but juicy, easy drinking, very pleasant - the first beer I've ever enjoyed with Sorachi Ace in...
Madness - 6.8% IPA
Moving onto the last of my stash comes their IPA. I'm starting to get a real sense of Wild's beer style now and it's something I'm actually rather fond of. This IPA is quite herbal/floral on the nose and possibly a little soapy. Hints of pine nuts and orange with lemon rind are there too. On the initial gulp I noticed a really big sweet caramel finish, which then moved into a bitter taste which clung to the sides of the tongue. Flavours run pretty rampant here. Fresh cut grass, pine resin, caramel biscuits, and once again loads of fruit like some sort of blended fruit cocktail of flavours. Drink wildly different? Well yes actually, these beers have been a lot different, and it's been a good thing.
I can peer six months/a year down the line and I picture some crazy beers from Wild Beer Co coming in the Beer Ritz direction. I can say that I'm really looking forward to whatever they have to offer, after all, they look pretty damn good without even trying them!