5 Best American Wild Ales of 2021
Repeat after us: Brett-an-o-my-ces (pronounced something like Brett-ton-o-my-seas). A specific yeast strain often found on the skins of fruit, Brett (as it's affectionately called in the industry), gives American Wild Ales and Brett Beers that far-out funk in flavor.
Literally translated to "British fungus," Brett was actually first discovered and classified in 1904 by N. Hjelte Claussen at the Carlsberg Brewery in Denmark. Because the microbe actually spoiled some of Carlsberg's English Ales, Brett gained a bad rep for a long time.
Why? If you think about it, for almost any other style of beer besides a wild ale, introducing foreign, spontaneous bacteria leads to unwanted flavors and an inconsistent product.
Eventually, brewers realized that when leveraged correctly, Brett creates some of the most interesting notes in beer.
A bit of a maverick, Brett in the hands of the right brewer can be like...well, Maverick at the helm of his F-14 Tomcat. "Because, I was inverted." Yes, Tom Cruise, that's right, Brett does invert its beers. Adding the natural bacteria to sours and American wilds creates the perfect blend of tart, fruity, and funky.
Today, many breweries across the world have embraced the ace of unconventional. In other words, Brett has become the wingman to brewers when crafting exceptional, complex wild ales.
From a radical Russian River favorite aged in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels to an out-of-sight Wicked Weed blonde sour aged with one pound per gallon of blackberries and raspberries, here are Untappd's Top-Rated American Wild Ales of 2021 to take you to funky town.
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If you think these wild ales are wild n' crazy, you should see some of the craziest beers Hop Culture and friends are trying each week. On each episode of The Craziest Beer I Had This Week, we drop a new crazy beer we've cracked. Watch last week's episode and don't forget to subscribe to Hop Culture's YouTube channel so you never miss a beat on the wild beer we're drinking next!