Beer Maverick

Wild Beer

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Category: Hybrid

Style Description

This is the description of how the Wild Beer style of beer should taste, feel and look. However, there may be perfectly fine beers in this style that fall outside of these ranges and descriptions. This information is just to show the most commonly accepted ranges for the Wild Beer beer style.

Spontaneously fermented beers with fruit, spice or other ingredients should be categorized as Wild Beers. Within the framework of these guidelines, beers which hew to classic or traditional categories such as Belgian-Style Lambic, Gueuze, Fruit Lambic, etc. should be categorized as such, rather than as Wild Beers. When using these guidelines as the basis for evaluating entries at competitions, brewers may be asked to provide supplemental information about entries in this category to allow for accurate evaluation of diverse entries. Such information might include the underlying beer style(s) upon which the entry is based, or other information unique to the entry such as ingredients or processing which influence perceived sensory outcomes. Competition organizers may create subcategories which reflect groups of entries based on color, microflora, fruit, spices or other ingredients, wood aging, etc.

  • Color: Any color is acceptable. Versions made with fruits or other flavorings may take on corresponding hues.
  • Body: Very low to medium
  • Malt Flavors & Aromas: Generally, these beers are highly attenuated resulting in very low to low malt character. Maltier versions should display good overall balance with other flavor components.
  • Hop Flavors & Aromas: Very low to high
  • IBUs/Bitterness: Very low to low
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Aromas may vary significantly due to fermentation attributes contributed by various known and unknown microorganisms. The overall balance should be complex and balanced. Wild beers are spontaneously fermented with microorganisms that the brewer has introduced from the ambient air/environment near the brewery in which the beer is brewed. Wild Beers may not be fermented with any cultured strains of yeast or bacteria. Wild Beers may or may not be perceived as acidic. They may include a highly-variable spectrum of flavors and aromas derived from the wild microorganisms with which they are fermented. The overall balance of flavors, aromas, appearance and body are important factors in assessing these beers.

Brewing Properties of Wild Beer

These are the functional brewing properties of Wild Beer beers, as descided by the Brewers Association. These guidelines reflect, as accurately as possible, the historical significance, authenticity or a common profile in the current commercial beer market.

The alcohol by volume is shows the amount of alcohol this style of beer should have.
The International Bittering Units (IBU) scale is used to approximately quantify the actual (not perceived) bitterness of beer.
SRM is a scale for measuring the color intensity of a beer. Low SRM grains impart a pale straw color while higher values mean it will add a darker color to the wort. Learn more »

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