Beard Beer | Rogue Ales

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Beard BeerBeard Beer

Brewed by:
Rogue Ales
Oregon, United States | website

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by TheSixthRing on 07-05-2013

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Reviews: 70 | Ratings: 451
Photo of SHODriver
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

A: poured into an oversized wine glass to a nice orange with a dense two finger white head that retains well and has excellent lacing
S: smells of bananas, pears and spicy yeast
T: taste is pears, banana, spice from the yeast and some bready malt. swallow is maybe just the slightest hint of funk with more fruit and spice
M: medium bodied in the mouth with soft and slighty prickly carbonation and a refreshing finish
O: this is barely able to be considered a wild ale and it's missing that funky, oaky, sourness that all of us know and love. as a beer made with 'wild' yeast it's pretty drinkable.

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Photo of Jadjunk
3.56/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

"Beard Beer is brewed with a yeast created from Brewmaster John Maier's beard. No need to freak out, brewers have used wild yeasts in beer making for centuries. John has had the same old growth beard since 1978 and for over 15,000 brews, so it is no great surprise that a natural yeast ideal for brewing was discovered in his beard. What does Beard Beer taste like? Try it, we think you'll be surprised..." Brewed in the style of an American Wild Ale. Available as a one-off release in 22 oz. bottles and on limited draft.

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle to a pint glass. Served above 54 degrees Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a crisp foamy head of a pale white color over a medium hazy amber body with plentiful lively carbonation. Retention is average and lacing is light and spotty. 3.5

(Smell) The yeast strain is very potent in this beer, almost hefeweizen or saison-like, bright cider fruit notes, banana and clove-forward with some soft funk and white pepper, aromatic and effervescent. Paired with a clean cereal wheat and pale malt base, it makes for an aromatic beer. 3.75

(Taste) The flavor is very much like a saison with cracker and wheat malt base, a moderate sweetness and a pear juice, floral and peppery yeast profile. Finishes medium-dry and clean, not very funky, wild or sour at all- it's a rather domesticated yeast profile and one that I have experienced quite a many times before, to my dismay. 3.5

(Mouthfeel) The texture is slick, lightly chalky and medium dry. Carbonation is medium-high for a lively and crisp mouthfeel. Body is medium for the style, shy of medium overall. The balance is slightly peppery, phenolic and spicy over sweet. Alcohol presence is light, and there are no off characters to mention. 3.5

(Overall) I wasn't too nauseated diving into this beer as the small culture scraped from John's beard has multiplied to epic scales, and with or without the occasional loose hair here and there, there would have been no way to tell where the origins of the yeast was had I not been informed otherwise. There's a part of me that was wishing this beer came off a bit more exotic and wild than what seems to be largely a saison yeast-led beer. So the mystery of the genesis of the beard yeast is solved. The yeast cells were unfortunately not wild enough to stand out as unique nor seemingly undomesticated. It was an enjoyable beer at the very worst and certainly a great beer to unfold to a squeamish audience. 3.5

Rogue Ales'
Beard Beer

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Photo of buschbeer
2.19/5  rDev -38.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

650 ML bottle
Served in a pint glass

L - It is golden in color with a slight haze. It is topped with three inches of off-white head.

S - It smells skunked. I get a little funk, but the Corona/ass smell overpowers my nose.

T - It tastes like a Corona was left out in the Mexican desert for a week in the summer. Then it was exposed to wild yeast.

M - Moderate

O - That is six dollars that I wish I still had in my pocket.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 11/14/2014 at Doherty’s Ale House, in Warwick, RI served in a snifter glass.

A: The beer is a deep gold color, with a large foamy white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains wild Belgian yeast, bananas, some spice, caramelized malts and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of caramel, bananas, citrus and faint spices. Then some breadiness comes in from Belgian yeast and a hearty malt character. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, decent representation of style, this is a solid beer to drink for a while.

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Photo of soulgrowl
3.55/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Surprisingly, this looks and smells classically 'Belgian,' rather than American. Clear, kinda viscous golden body and a massive cloud of white, lacy foam with aromas of orange, canned pineapple juice, underripe banana, and sourdough bread. Vaguely floral as well.

Taste is balanced and pleasant but not particularly interesting, and also weirdly flat and lacking spark. Apple cider and clove flavors dominate, with a hint of earthiness, which combine with very soft carbonation, very low hop bitterness, and a surprisingly heavy mouthfeel to give the impression of still cider. I suppose it's all meant to showcase the peculiar characteristics of the yeast (or yeasts), but it comes off as something like Duvel or Saison DuPont without the zip. Possible food pairings: cornbread, sausage, roast pork or lamb, hard but mellow cheeses, rabbit with mustard sauce.

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Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, no bottle dating. Pours slightly hazy bright orange color with a 2 finger fairly dense white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of big lemon, apricot, pear, apple, light banana, clove, black pepper, honey, bread, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast, pale malt, and earthy hop notes; with great strength. Taste of lemon, apricot, pear, apple, light banana, clove, black pepper, honey, bread, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness. Good amount of earthy yeast spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of lemon, apricot, pear, apple, clove, black pepper, honey, bread, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice complexity and robustness of fruity/spicy yeast, pale malt, and earthy hop flavors; with a great crisp malt/yeast flavor balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium bodied; with a very smooth, crisp, and lightly prickly mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice Belgian pale ale style. All around great balance and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast, pale malt, and earthy hop flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of dogin26
4/5  rDev +11.7%

Love the whole concept. Pretty damn amazing.

The beer itself is very enjoyable. A Hef but with a sour side to it. Some nice banana and tropical flavours with the wild finish. yummy

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Photo of Slatetank
3.89/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I enjoyed this on tap at Arooga's in Harrisburg PA, served chilled in a pils type glass.

The color is a brilliant golden amber with light haze and 2 finger head of white with fine bead. The smell is slightly tropical with banana-like aroma and slight wheat notes with mild sweet aspect and hint of spice in the nose. The feel is good with medium body and slightly prickly carbonation with mild sweetness and yeast tanginess with a mostly dry finish.

The flavor would best be described as if you were to experience this blind as a hefeweizen in a generic way - the flavor of the malt is there with a sort of tangy lemony wheat beer type quality with some banana notes and spice from the 'yeast' the flavor has a slight follicle effect in the finish (haha) Overall I like this for what it is a beer that is sort of a novelty but interesting and way better than I expected considering where a good portion of the flavor is derived from

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%

cool concept and a strange beer overall. somewhere between a Belgian tripel and a Belgian pale, I am surprised how much Belgian character has come out of the yeast in this cats beard. a slightly tart, two row and wheat based brew with some haze and a lot of carbonation. funky Belgian fruit esters from the yeast meet basic saison strain dryness. the malt has some added sugar character, more in line with the tripel style, but the sweetness is mostly fermented out. not sure where that citrusy tartness comes from, its kind of weird but I like it a lot. some lingering funk on the finish long after the swallow that I like more when its warm than when its cold, but a fun project and a very drinkable result. id like to see more of this bizarre yeast harvesting, makes some cool beer this time around.

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Photo of McNealc31
3.57/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Visually, it looks like a standard pale ale. Hazy, tinge of orange, nice head. Aroma is fruity. Not a ton of presence from the hops or malt, which is expected. Back off on those to make the star of this beer, the yeast, shine through. And actually, it doesn't taste as funky as expected. Slightly sour finish. You could easily pass this off as a Belgian Pale Ale.

Maybe famous because of the novelty, but I think it's pretty good.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.97/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A high school classmate and contemporary drinking buddy, Mike, came over last night and we laid waste to a bunch of bombers. Bombers are a real sticking point in my backlog as I do not like to drink them by myself. I could, but I like when others help me to do so. This one came from Monde Market in Philly when I could not resist my own curiosity. For those that may not have seen me IRL, either in pictures or in person, I have a ten-plus year growth of beard as the result of my distaste for shaving. I retired from the U.S. Navy almost sixteen years ago and vowed not to shave unless told to do so for employment. I encourage everyone, men and women alike, to put down the razor! Who knows what kind of wild yeast we are losing out on because of shaving ...

From the bottle: "Dedicated to Beards"; "Beard Beer is brewed with a yeast created from Brewmaster John Maier's beard. No need to freak out, brewers have used wild yeasts in beer making for centuries. John has had the same old growth beard since 1978 and for over 15,000 brews, so it is no great surprise that a natural yeast ideal for brewing was discovered in his beard."; "What does Beard Beer taste like? Try it, we think you'll be surprised ..."; For more information on Beard beer, follow the beard @".

I popped of the "Oxygen Fixing Cap" and proceeded with a generous aggro pour for each of us, resulting in a finger of foamy, bone-white head with limited retention. Nose smelled like Snak Pack Vanilla Pudding, taking both of us back to our childhood. Oh, the memories! Color was golden-yellow (SRM = 4 - 5, but they measured Lovibond = 6) with NE-quality clarity. Mouthfeel was full and kind of viscous. If the whole idea makes you queasy, this may not help. The taste had a definite yeast-driven spiciness, akin to a Belgian Golden Ale, along with a lemony zestiness. Another very dry beer with a peppery, spicy finish that lingered well past the swallow. If I had not been told anything about it, I might have guessed it to be an unfiltered German Pilsner.

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Photo of laituegonflable
3.84/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Orange colour, bit of cloud. Head is white, foamy, decent lace. Quite nice.

Smells Belgian. Phenolic, bit earthy, touch of funk maybe. Bit of grass. Pleasant. A bit generic maybe.

Taste is more fruity with a touch of apricot midway. Pleasant Belgian spice notes with coriander and fennel blending into earthy phenolic finish. Nice and fresh for the most part. Quite a pleasant drop.

Bitty, foamy, gets nice and smooth by the end. Pleasant.

Drinks pleasantly; nice and palatable.

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Photo of lwillitz
3.33/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

22-oz bottle into New Belgium globe

A - 2 fingers off-white head over a somewhat cloudy body of gold, high amount of visible carbonation

S - funky Belgian smell, cloves, bananas, grass, apple-like fruitiness

T - cloves, bananas, light biscuit-like malt, apple, citrus, spice

M - dry medium body, high carbonation

O - I have no previous experience with wild ales. While I appreciate the novelty of beard-grown yeast, this brew is unimpressive. It's a run of the mill Belgian ale at best.

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Photo of mrfrancis
3.96/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy gold with a thin, lingering white head.

S: Aromas of green apple, spiced pear, banana, plantain, clove, bubblegum, vanilla, and biscuit fill the nose.

T: Gentle, yet complex notes of banana, plantain, clove, spiced pear, green apple, bubblegum, vanilla, minerals, biscuits, crackers, grass, and lemon zest wash across the palate. The finish is dry with lingering notes of green apple, plantain, spiced pear, lemon zest, and minerals. A hint of lactic, musty funk cuts through the mix just before the fade.

M: Light in body and dry. Carbonation is airy, active, and crisp.

O: This is not what I normally think of when I think of American wild ales, and despite the strange, unappealing origin story of this beer, I like it quite a bit. In some ways, it is more reminiscent of a quirky Bavarian-style weissbier or an American take on a Belgian saison than a typical American wild ale.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.8/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From the 650 ml. bottle. Sampled on June 26, 2014.

The pour is pale yellow to golden with a slight haze and a big, long lasting white foamy head.

Considering wild yeast is unpredictable I get a decent note of Belgian sugars, yeast, toasted malts, biscuit, orange, and herbs.

Medium to bolder body.

The toasted malt and biscuit character is evident in the taste but so is the orange, lemon, and other citrus notes. Sweet aftertaste but also a slightly lingering bitterness. I have to say that having read the description of how this beer came to be I was leery about trying it. But I took the leap of faith and was suitably impressed.

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Photo of larryarms847
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance is dull golden yellow, doesn't actually look to appealing.

Smells like beard! Naw, but it does have some wild yeasty funk.

Taste is much better than appearance and smell, for minute there I thought I wasn't going to be able to palate this. Nothing too outrageous, just tastes like a mediocre strong ale.

Mouthfeel is not worth anyone's time.

Overall I honestly purchased this for the novelty and knew I would not be purchasing again, but not horrible, just mediocre.

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Photo of DrunkenSwine88
4.14/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance is cloudy and golden. Light carbonation gives little to no head. There are strong smells of coriander and orange peel. Intense yeast aroma. Smells like a milder version of a Belgian white. The Belgian white theme continues with orange peel and yeast. A light biscuit flavor leaves a slight cinnamon aftertaste. The mouth-feel is both crisp and creamy. After carbonation fades, it gives way to a creamy coating on the tongue.Overall, wild beard yeast never tasted so good! A light refreshing beer with a fun background story.

Suggested Movie Pairing: Wet Hot American Summer. Light and amusing while awkwardly complex. Slapstick concepts with Adult themes.

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Photo of dalahodson
3.24/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a pint glass. Nice light yellow color with a big white head. Lots of carbonation and nice lacing on the glass. The mouth feel is tart/sharp. The favors are what I would expect from a wild yeast. A back taste of sour with hints of citrus and some spicing. I would call it a wild taste. Many people who haven't tasted a wild ale find the favors offish. This ale isn't a sour, it's wild. A great class of beer. Goes well with many foods.

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Photo of dgilks
3.89/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Cloudy golden colour with a big, fluffy white head. Decent, rocky lacing.

Spicy and spritzy. Nice citrus and coriander note like in a great Witbier. Light wheaty character. Stonefruit. Very good.

The palate works quite well. Good coriander phenols and touches of orange and citrus. A little earthiness. Good beer.

Medium body with moderately high carbonation.

A good experiment that works well. The result is very drinkable and, frankly, would make a very good core range beer given the flavour profile.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.48/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a shaker pint, the beer is a slightly hazy, golden-blonde coloring with a ton of carbonation and a big, thick, foamy, off-white head that starts around an inch and slowly settles into a low profile coat. Aromas of berries all over the place, with some tart notes, a toasted backbone, and an overall tangy sweetness. Flavors are toasty forward, with a blending of cherry and berry sweetness to follow, but a slight bit underwhelming for the anticipation from the aromas. There is a hint of tart and slightly sour in the back of the tongue, but only an inkling. Overall, the toasty notes carry through a smooth, easy going palate. Light and crisp from the carbonation, there is a toasted and slightly floral aftertaste, with hints of tart shining through once again. The finish is surprisingly smooth given the body, although there is a definitive crisp end to the fruity characteristics shortly before the body of the beer is finished washing over your palate. Interesting brew, and easily drinkable.

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Photo of Fatehunter
2.45/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours two fingers of head on a cloudy medium straw colored body.
The aroma is a little smoke, green olives in brine, aged creek water and old vegetables. Not awesome.
The taste is younger creek water, mild lemon bitterness and a watery finish.
The texture is softer with moderate carbonation.
I would never drink this again. An idea worth enjoying as a homebrew experiment.

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Photo of BVukelich
2.85/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I think my wife wanted to throw up when I had her read the label on the back about the origin of this beer. Yes, inspired by head brewer's beard and the "who-knows-what" that is found within. I feel like this isn't a serious attempt of making anything great that will be around season after season. Plus what would they do once the guy with the beard moves on or passes on?

Beer poured a medium, golden with little to no head. Aroma was musty, earthy with a bit of funk. Original sips were prickly on the lips due to medium+ carbonation. Taste reflected the aroma, on the funky side. It has a low IBU and wasn't bitter at all. Viscosity was average. As I let the beer warm, it left more of a fruity aftertaste. Been there, tried that. Won't be drinking this one again unless it was the only option.

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Photo of rdilauro
3.18/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

I really didn't know what to expect from this one. Thanks to one of my co-workers (Joe) he picked up this beer after reading the history behind it. (Wild yeast from the beard).

Without pouring it, it looked like a wheat style beer, a bit cloudy. The aroma was a combination of a wheat ale and a saison ... lots of aromatic spices.

The taste to me was a cross between those two types of beer with somewhat of a leading edge towards the saison/farmhouse ale style

Worth trying - once

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3.94/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours amber with a small head.
Nose shows doughy Belgian yeast notes and bready wheat along with pear-like esters and banana.
Equally refreshing flavours. More pear notes and doughy wheat along with some sweet malt and peppery notes. Amazingly refreshing.
Could use a bit more carbonation.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.6/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brewed with yeast cultivated from the brewer's beard, that's probably enough to put some people off. But I'm game for anything. 22oz bomber purchased from Platinum Liquor in Bellevue Hill.

Pours a slightly hazy orange colour, strange because it looked quite clear in the bottle, so had maybe been disturbed. Head is a pancake-pocked film of pure white that leaves some streaky lace. Powdery carbonation. It looks decent enough.

Nose is slightly Belgian in character, with some hint of funky Brett-like aromas. Slight vegetative overtones, some green olive and a bit of spice. In any case, most of the aroma comes from the yeast, and it's fairly neutral otherwise. I guess that's the point.

Taste is bright, light, and fairly clean. Slight bready yeastiness on the back, along with a hint of astringency and a touch of spice. Finish is smooth bur rather empty: perhaps just a touch of salt or acid. Feel is light, but relatively smooth.

It's pretty drinkable, and honestly, pretty dull. Apart from the gimmick of its genesis, there's not a whole heap here that makes this stand apart. Unless you care, and know, what it is, it's a perfectly decent, perfectly forgettable brew.

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Beard Beer from Rogue Ales
82 out of 100 based on 70 ratings.