Wild at Heart

A much anticipated brewery came flying onto the scene in 2012 and now have over 20 different beers under their belts as diverse as bretted stock ales to luxuriant imperial stouts and aggressively hopped IPAs. I wrote about their hybrid apple beer Ninkasi earlier in the year. Here are my thoughts on a few more of their range.

Instantly recognisable stags head logo

Up first is one of my favourite styles- a saison but with a twist. This is blended in a similar way to gueuze with a young (jonge) and old (oude) saison blended out of a solera system*. Each batch will still have some of that original first barrel in it; so its one to try over time.
Dark hazy amber with light off white head. At first musty then spicy yeast esters on the nose. Very Belgian, wit like at first with building biscuit sweetness and yeast complexity, bready notes, dry herbal hops, medium carbonation, quaffable yet layered and v easy drinking.  

Less wild perhaps but still fantastically put together is Madness IPA. Brett missed the West Coast IPAs he could pick up on almost any corner in his native California and decided to recreate one for us lucky Britishers. Slightly hazy pale amber with fluffy white head. Rich aroma of citrus pith and resinous pine alongside grassy hop freshness and mango rind. Spiky carbonation, pithy hops, chalky bitterness, rich hop flavours up there with the best UK IPAs. Full pithiness, lemon freshness and mango rind right through to a long finish. 

A beer that went down a storm at the recent B-cubed festival was schnoodlepip, a crazy collaboration concoction with Kelly Ryan of Good George, Mark Tranter (normally of Dark Star, soon to be Burning Sky) and of course Brett at Wild. On paper it sounds as if it may not work, passion fruit? hibiscus? pink peppercorns?!? I've had the good fortune to try all of these ingredients in beers before*, but never at the same time. Add to that the obligatory spell of barrel ageing and wild yeast magic and you have a really special beer on your hands.
Scarlet tinged amber with white lacing. Rich tropical fruit nose, Belgian yeast esters and a slight pepper tingle. Moderate carbonation, tart at first, lots of hibiscus like Goose Island's Fleur, pepper tingle on tip of tongue, sharp passion fruit and dry malt finish.

They've just recovered from a fairly serious fire; so why don't you support them to recover by buying some of their bottled beers, or better yet head to Bristol for Bristol Beer Week to try them in situ at the various bars taking part.

*Goose Island Fleur, Cigar City Papsoe's Passion Fruit Porter and Elixir's Jump the Shark


  1. I liked them but I wasn't blown away by them.

    1. I didn't think the solera or shnoodlepip had been available in northern Ireland. Ninkasi and modus are my favourite thus far