14 Nov 2012

Drink Wildly Different with Wild Beer

Another alcohol tasting event. This time it was back to beer at the good old White Horse in Parsons Green (our local). Not widely publicised, but with a pretty good turn-out, this time it was the turn of the Wild Beer Co to test their wares on the beer-appreciating public.
The Wild Beer Co was started by Andrew Cooper and Brett Ellis, who clearly have a combined passion for making beer that is a bit different (and that obviously tastes good too).
They haven't been around long, and they're still going through the creative stage, but what they've done so far is pretty impressive. "Our beers are brewed with a combination of ancient and new techniques, with the aim of producing a beer for people who want to discover and understand new tastes and flavours," they state on their website. Their USP is that not only the beer has new tastes and flavours, but that it is made with wild yeast (among other wild things).
So far they have four beers available, with a couple more in the pipeline; the others are all evolving too.
The first of their beers I tried was "Fresh" - a "frisky, fragrant pale ale" - made with hops from the different hemispheres, depending on the season. Predictability of a product may be important, but this will definitely vary from season to season and year to year depending on the quality of the hops - will be interesting to see how it goes.
The next one I tried was "Epic Saison" - a Belgian style described as "Crisp + Zesty + Spicy." At only 5% I could drink that one all night! We then moved on to the slightly harder stuff, trying "Modus Operandi" next. This is a more powerful 7% and is the first beer the guys brewed. It has been aged for 90 days in oak Bourbon barrels, so has a great whisky flavour sneaking in. The distinctive flavour and strength make this one a slow, sipping beer; would be a great accompaniment for some heavy, gamey meat dishes.
Last but not least was "Scarlet Fever" - a "hoppy, ruby red ale." A variation on the traditional British ales, it has a lot more flavour, and at 4.8% it's pretty drinkable.
After a few tastings I settled on a couple of halves of the Modus and the Epic, which seemed to be the favourites of both the creators and other drinkers. I'm looking forward to the next two beers to come out: "Bliss" - a spicy Belgian-style and "Wildebeest" - an imperial stout made with stacks of chocolate and vanilla - should be good! As usual we ending up staying a little longer than planned, chatting to strangers, soaking up the atmosphere, soaking up the beer...
To enjoy the beer tastings at the White Horse it's a great idea to follow the pub on twitter (), as the events are not advertised very widely; it's nice to be part of these exclusive events!