Style Details

Mixed-Fer­men­ta­ti­on Sour Beer
Ame­ri­can Wild Ale
BJCP Style Code
28 B
Varia­ble by base style. Cla­ri­ty can be varia­ble; some haze is not a fault. Head reten­ti­on can be poor due to high levels of acid or anti-foam pro­per­ties of some lac­to­ba­cil­lus strains.
Varia­ble by base style. The con­tri­bu­ti­on of non-Sac­ch­aro­my­ces micro­bes should be noti­ceable to strong, and often con­tri­bu­te a sour and/or fun­ky, wild note. The best examp­les will dis­play a ran­ge of aro­ma­tics, rather than a sin­gle domi­nant cha­rac­ter. The aro­ma should be invi­ting, not harsh or unpleasant. 
Varia­ble by base style. Look for an agreeable balan­ce bet­ween the base beer and the fer­men­ta­ti­on cha­rac­ter. A ran­ge of results is pos­si­ble from fair­ly high acidity/funk to a subt­le, plea­sant, har­mo­nious beer. The best examp­les are plea­sura­ble to drink with the esters and phe­nols com­ple­men­ting the malt and/or hops. The wild cha­rac­ter can be pro­mi­nent, but does not need to be domi­na­ting in a style with an other­wi­se strong malt/hop pro­fi­le. Aci­di­ty should be firm yet enjoya­ble, but should not be biting or vin­ega­ry; pro­mi­nent or objectionable/offensive ace­tic acid is a fault. Bit­ter­ness tends to be low, espe­ci­al­ly as sourness increases.
Varia­ble by base style. Gene­ral­ly a light body, almost always ligh­ter than what might be expec­ted from the base style. Gene­ral­ly mode­ra­te to high car­bo­na­ti­on, alt­hough often lower in hig­her alco­hol examples.
Over­all Impression
A sour and/or fun­ky ver­si­on of a base style of beer.
Typi­cal Ingredients
Vir­tual­ly any style of beer. Usual­ly fer­men­ted by Lac­to­ba­cil­lus and/or Pedio­coc­cus, often in con­junc­tion with Sac­ch­aro­my­ces and/or Brett­anomy­ces. Can also be a blend of styl­es. Wood or bar­rel aging is very com­mon, but not required.
Modern Ame­ri­can craft beer inter­pre­ta­ti­ons of Bel­gi­an sour ales, or expe­ri­men­ta­ti­ons inspi­red by Bel­gi­an sour ales.
The­se beers may be aged in wood, but any wood cha­rac­ter should not be a pri­ma­ry or domi­nant fla­vor. Sour beers are typi­cal­ly not bit­ter as the­se fla­vors clash. The base beer style beco­mes less rele­vant becau­se the various yeast and bac­te­ria tend to domi­na­te the pro­fi­le. Inap­pro­pria­te cha­rac­te­ristics include diace­tyl, sol­vent, ropy/viscous tex­tu­re, and hea­vy oxidation.
Com­mer­cial Examples
Bou­le­vard Love Child, Cas­ca­de Vlad the Imp Aler, Jes­ter King Le Petit Prin­ce, Jol­ly Pump­kin Cala­ba­za Blan­ca, Rus­si­an River Tempt­a­ti­on, The Bruery Rueu­ze, The Bruery Tart of Darkness
Ori­gi­nal Gravity
0.000 - 0.000 SG
Final Gra­vi­ty
0.000 - 0.000 SG
0 - 0 SRM
0.0 - 0.0 %vol
0 - 0 IBU