Beer #29 - Wild Beer Co / Sourdough

Beer #29 - W/C 14 September 2015


"Beer that's been intentionally spoiled by good bacteria"

Wild Beer Co. started brewing beer in 2012 on a 120 year old family dairy farm in Somerset. The Wild in the name refers to their passion for using naturally occurring yeast strains to brew beer. Louis Pasteur discovered that yeast was responsible for turning wort into beer in 1866. Before that, vats of wort were simply left in the open and yeast would fall in and work its magic. Beers from different regions would taste different depending on which strains of yeast were present, giving beer a real sense of place. The Wild Beer brewers spend a lot of time collecting yeast and bacteria from the surrounding orchards and pastures and testing the effects they have on beers. They must have some tiny butterfly nets.


As we all know, beer and bread are made from the same stuff with the (somewhat) unsung hero of both being yeast. Yeast is a living organism and the strain used by Wild Beer Co.'s neighbours at Hobbs House Bakery for their sourdough bread is 58 years old. They added the culture along with a little of their signature brettanomyces wild yeast to create a Berliner Weisse style sour beer. The bottle conditioned beer was then matured in oak barrels for 4 months. This style was the most popular alcoholic drink in Berlin during the 19th century with over 700 breweries brewing Weisse. By 2000 only 2 Berlin breweries were producing the style while lagers and pilsners became more popular. On pouring you'll see that Sourdough is initially more reminiscent of a cloudy lemonade or cider than beer in both look and aroma, in fact Napoleon dubbed Berliner Weisse the "Champagne of the North".  Bread is also very apparent in the smell, as you might expect. Above all, this is a sour beer- the taste is tart citrus and somewhat acidic. There is lots of complexity in this refreshing low abv. beer and we predict drinkers will fall into the 'love it' or 'hate it' categories. We can't wait to hear what you think!

Do you taste lemon meringue or cider vinegar? Does it benefit from oak barrel aging ? Be sure to let us know through InstagramFacebook & Twitter #beerjerknz . Cheers! 

BREWERY // Wild Beer Co.
BEER // Sourdough
STYLE // Berliner Weisse
ORIGIN // Somerset, England
ABV // 3.6%
FOOD MATCH // Salmon & Scrambled Eggs. Salty Chips. Grilled Fish
GLASS // Wide rimmed chalice

Beer Style Blog - Read more about Berliner Weisse and other beer styles over on the BLOG.