The Wanderer - The Bruery

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The WandererThe Wanderer

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805 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 805
Reviews: 106
rAvg: 4.38
pDev: 8.45%
Wants: 483
Gots: 224 | FT: 46
Brewed by:
The Bruery visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: t0rin0 on 05-04-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

The Wanderer is a special blend of oak aged ales that we made with Craig and Beth from San Francisco's City Beer Store. Blending a mix of sour ales and our anniversary ale the base of this beer has a delightfully sour tinge on top of a hearty malt backbone. To add to the flavor, Craig and Beth selected blackberries and bing cherries to be added to the ale adding to it's already fruity complexity. This ale went on to win the silver medal for wood & barrel aged sour fruited ales at the 2011 Great American Beer Festival.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 805 | Reviews: 106
Reviews by StayWhatYouAre2:
More User Reviews:
Photo of warnerry
4.65/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a tulip glass

A - Pours a beautiful clear brown-tinged ruby color with about one finger of light brown head.

S - Lots of fruit in the aroma, with cherry and blackberry leading the way. Also a big lactic acid presence with no detectable acetic acid that is often found in Bruery sours. The fruit aromas are mostly on the tart side, though some sweetness comes through. Funk presence is pretty mild, but definitely there.

T - Similar to the smell, the is a big fruit presence. Jammy blackberries and tart cherry juice. Lots of lactic acid and a decent amount of funk. I love how the taste manages to be tart, fruity and creamy all at the same time. Maybe a touch of acetic acid, but lactic acid dominates the sour flavor profile. A mild oak presence as well. Very nice.

M - As mentioned about, a nice and surprising creaminess to the mouthfeel. Nice amount of carbonation, making it just a touch prickly.

O - Easily my favorite of the Bruery sours I've had, and one of the best American Wilds I've had as well. Great flavor profile and mouthfeel.

Photo of ehammond1
4.52/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle (2011)

Thanks for opening this with me, JealousChalice!

(Aged for 1+ year)

Hazed auburn and bright ruby with a nice crown of off-white, persistent bubbles crowning the top, eventually leaving thin ribbons and dots of stick down the glass. Very pretty.

Bright, expressive, fruit-forward aroma (cherries, blackberry, and currants), along with quite a bit of acidic sour character, a little vinegar, and only a mild funk.

An incredibly flavorful beer: big fruit notes (cherry and blackberry), with a huge level of sourness, complementary vinegar, and a bit of funk.

Medium bodied with moderate-high carbonation. Very nice.

Perhaps The Bruery's best sour.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.08/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Auburn to brown appearance, mild head ring to it. Soft sour notes, seems more like a flanders than an american wild, pronounced woody notes to it. Had that funky thing that blackberries seem to produce that isn't the most agreeable to me, but the cherry allowed it to still be enjoyable.

Taste, sour, earthy grittiness to it. Seemed very similar to Marron Acidifie with the vinegar. A little bit of cherry with blackberry. Some caramel I'd guess. On the lower ebb of sour flavor for the Bruery. Did hide the alcohol quite well, a nice development. Pulled a little coconut out of this one later on.

Photo of jeonseh
4.18/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Dark brown with cherry brown accents. Dark slightly hazy beer with a small white head

S - Lactic acid, lots of cherry, lemon peel

T - Tart cherry up front, orange peel and tart lactic acid balanced against a malty back bone that reminds me of a brown ale

M - Lots of carbonation with a tart dry finish

O - One of the best Bruery sour I've had with lots of sour cherry tartness

Photo of augustgarage
4.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap @ Library Ale House in Santa Monica - served in a 6oz glass.

Burnished cloudy dark orange body topped by a soft thick dark beige head. Fine pasty lacing - decent retention.

Passion fruit, pineapple, Ranier cherries, crab apples, and faint red wine notes in the nose.

Flavor profile is packed with fruit - like a tropical CSA basket - but with a lasting tartness that skirts the line between citrus and vinegar. Mango, grape must, and blackberries in the finish. Complex and gentle - I ordered another one right away!

Creamy, zesty, and lightly astringent mouth-feel.

Very fruity yet well balanced sour ale that defies easy categorization.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.02/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Big thanks to Sam for this one. A long time want of mine... and now my 900th review! 750ml bottle into Torst stemware. Shared with schen9303.

Pours a foamy, light cream colored head with poor retention. Beer is a dark, cloudy rust. Stringy and spotty lace with no cling. Thin, filmy legs. Average.

Nose is tart cherry, jammy sweetness, a touch of oak, acidity, and some leather. Aromatic. Good fruit character.

Opens tart cherry, acetone, crushed red fruit, and a mellow, sour soy sauce. Some leather and woodiness in the middle. End is more acetone, vinegar, and sour red fruit. Aftertaste of some barnyard funk and more woodiness. So harsh!

Light bodied with ample carbonation. Prickly and fizzy in the mouth and goes down like acetone. Very harsh. Messy, bubbly finish with a lingering, filmy aftertaste. Not the best.

Just like almost all of the Bruery's other sour ales, this one has turned almost completely into vinegar and acetone. The fruit is present but is very muted against present harsh flavors. The intense carbonation doesn't help matters. I wouldn't revisit this one and given the asking price on this one, I REALLY wouldn't revisit it.

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.79/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at the Bruery Annaversary party. Poured into a 5oz glass. about a 2.5oz pour. Glass was rinced. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a cloudy mahogany color. Thin light tan head dissapated to a ring. No lacing.

Aroma is nice. Funky and tart with caramel and dark fruits.

Taste is nice and sour tart. Little bit of funk but has a nice caramel sweetness. Soo tasty.

Mouthfeel is so smooth with a high carb. Coats mouth with the flavors.

Overall this was a damn tasty beer. I wish I had a bottle. May need to give up a Veritas to get one.

Photo of nickd717
4.32/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at City Beer Store in SF.

Dark ruddy brown in color with small beige colored foam that fades to a ring.

Great acetic aroma, with huge dark fruits, blackberry and black cherry, as well as leather and oak.

Slightly sweet and slightly tart flavor, big vinegar notes, as well as fruit, blackberry and cherry. Great barrel notes, and a leathery funk like licking an old baseball glove - I LOVE IT!

Medium-plus body with medium-low carbonation level (high enough though). Restrained acidity.

Great stuff. Another great wild ale from The Bruery. They’re getting this thing down.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.55/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Hefty head. Dark ruby body. Surface bubbles is all that's left after a few minutes.

Smell - Cherry aroma. Very malty. A little bit of vinegar in the aroma. Not terribly complex.

Taste - Vinegar is much more intense in the flavor. Cherries and a strong caramel malt. Not really sweet, at least, but malty. Acetic sourness in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Good body, but maybe a bit heavy. Decent carbonation and nicely tart.

Overall - Sufficiently soured, but it's just a cherry sour. Cherry and vinegar. Hardly anything interesting about it. Too much acetic acid for me to really enjoy it. I would take a true Flanders Red over this.

Photo of IKR
4.11/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2013 Vintage

Appearance: Cloudy reddish-brown color. the beer has a light beige head that dissipated fairly quickly to a ring.

Smell: Mild musk and tart berries. i also pick up the fainest tobacco aroma. Not a bad smelling sour.

Taste: Tart berries, mild funk and a touch of a leather-like note. More of a tart beer rather than sour. The tart cherries and blackberries feature in the finish.

Mouth-feel: On the light side of medium-bodied with a good level of carbonation.

Overall: A good sour. I'm glad I picked up a few of these.

Photo of dsgolovin
4.45/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this beer on-tap at City Beer Store in a tulip glass.

A-dark brown

S-right away I got fruit, cherries and berries up front, then slight vinegar and leather.

T-I really liked the fruit in this, which did interesting things with the base beer. I would call this beer an Old Bruin with Cherries and Blackberries. More sour than sweet, but the natural fructose comes through in a non-cloying way.

M-Nice carbonation, which helped this go down.

This was a beer to savor, it is complex and well-rounded, and made me want more. I agree that I should have brought my girlfriend to buy more beer.

Photo of thagr81us
4.32/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one was shared by beeruser with funkydelic, StayWhatYouAre2, 67couple, others, and myself at a recent tasting graciously hosted by beeruser! This was how we started out our evening... BOOM! Served from bottle into a Duvel Parra tulip. Poured a deep red-orange with a half finger off-white head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, vinegar, sour, and tart cherry. The flavor was of sweet amlt, tart cherry, vinegar, and subtle sour. It had a light feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was a really nice brew. The aroma definitely gave you an idea on what to expect for sure. However, based on the aroma I was expecting it to be much more sour than it was. Can't win them all I suppose. I was really glad to see the vinegar aspect carry over into the flavor though. A really well done brew that I would love to have more of... Worth the trade value if you have it.

Photo of cxr1037
4.21/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Notes from a bottle share last weekend (Thanks Luke!)

APPEARANCE: Pours a clear, dark red-amber.

AROMA: Tart funk and lots of dark fruit like figs, grapes, and plums. Also a little bit of tropical fruit, maybe grapefruit. Noticeable alcohol, too.

TASTE: Fruity, but the main fruit I detect is blackberry and a little bit of apple. Small amounts of bitter citrus zest. Yeasty funk. Sweet malts. Nice mix of flavors.

MOUTHFEEL: Lingering bitterness, dry finish.

OVERALL: Great beer, though I wish we had it earlier in the night! I'd love to give this one another try sometime soon.


Photo of Rutager
4.59/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Bruery tulip.

Appearance. Pours a hazy rust-brown with two fingers of pale yellow/off-white head.

Smell. Whoa! Funky sour cherries, red apples and dark berries! It's a nice sweet hayloft funk with some dank old wood. Getting just a little cantaloupe as well.

Taste. Nice sour light fruits, cherries and some dark berries. Quite sour and tart without being anywhere near uncomfortable. Some good dry earthy funk and old wood as well. Very nice.

Mouthfeel. Medium body with strong, fine and smooth carbonation. Again, very nice.

Overall. Yes sir, this is how to do an American sour. Really enjoying this one.

Photo of nataku00
4.32/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at City Beer Store's anniversary party, poured into a snifter glass. Poured a hazy brown color with some dark reds at the edge of the glass. Thin soapy off white colored head left little lacing that quickly slid back into the beer, and agitation didn't bring up much foam. A few bubbles here and there, but not a heavily carbonated beer.

Lots of fresh dark fruits, sweet cherries, sour cherries, sweet red berries, and plums, fairly tart from the acidity of the fruits, cherry pit earthiness, caramel, and some light wood aromas. Really opens up the aroma as the beer warms up to room temperature.

Taking a sip, very fruity, sweet dark cherries, sour cherries, ripe red berries (probably blackberry, but I'm not familiar with its taste), and plums. A small amount of sour apple cider vinegar and acidity, some of the earthiness of cherry pits, and from the barrels. Good caramel malt sweetness helps everything stay cohesive.

A little light on carbonation, just enough to tickle your tongue, but not quite enough to prevent a sticky medium bodied beer from being more of a slow sipper. For a higher abv wild ale, alcohol is completely hidden, with the fruit being the star in this one.

Photo of DearthVader
4.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Provided by the fine folks at ColLAboration.

Pours a rusted orange that glows brightly around the edges on this bright summer day. Just a slight 1/4" off white head that stuck around for my 30 second walk back to my table. No lacing to be seen.

Smells of dark fruits and vinegar. Just how it should.

Taste is upfront with the Brett. Very transitions quickly to a coating berry flavor. Black berries, cherries, grapes, cranberries, all mashed into one. Really nice.

This was an incredibly smooth sour. Crazy drinkable with a nice carbonation and extremely well hidden alcohol.

Well done yet again by The Bruery!

Photo of unitmonster
4.7/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at Bruery/DFH collaboration charity event, and at Bruery 3rd Anniversary party (bottle).

A - Dark, rusty looking brown color. Not very appetizing.

S - Delicious acidic, sweet berries, and oak.

T - More delicious sweet berries (blackberry, blueberry, cherry), some oak flavor, and funk!

M - Dry, like a champagne. Does not leave a heavy feel on the throat.

O - I love this beer. I am always seeking out bottles of it.

Photo of jmarsh123
4.25/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to buzbuzzer for the bottle

Poured deep garnet with a ton of carbonation right away although it dies down to a thin ring after a few minutes.

Aroma contains tart and sour berries, cherries and some lacto. Maybe a touch of brett and oak.

Starts out with some sweeter caramel malt along with sour cherries. Sourness is fairly strong throughout. Finishes very dry with blackberry and oak sourness coating the back of the tongue.

Light to medium bodied and perhaps a bit too much carbonation.

Not the best ever, but an enjoyable beer. I especially enjoy the tart blackberry on the finish. A little less carbonation would do this one well.

Photo of largadeer
4.29/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this several times on tap and from the bottle, guess I'm due for a review. I slightly preferred it from the keg.

Muddy reddish-brown with a small head that doesn't last. Not the best looking beer, but who cares about appearance.

Really nice aroma. Little bit of brown malt sweetness and bourbon paired with vibrant blackberries and cherries and a mellow acetic sourness. Struck me as more fruity and sweet on tap.

Palate has a nice mix of sour and sweet leaning toward sour. Little coconut and caramel - I'm guessing a bourbon barrel was used here. Nice fruitiness, too; blackberry is dominant over cherry though I do get a nice cherry flavor. Little brown malt character. Mild acetic and lactic acidity. Pretty damn good, a fruited Flanders red of sorts.

Photo of rlee1390
4.4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-Deep amber ruby, nice carbonation, one finger head.

S-Good deal of funk, oak, charred notes, lots of berries as well.

T-Great balance, oak, good deal of funk, the berry notes are great.

M-Medium bodied, nice carbonation.

O-A solid sour, the different berries provide a great flavor with solid funk.

Photo of ThickNStout
3.53/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

750mL bottle acquired through the Reserve Society. Bottled 10/24/13. Served in a Bruery snifter.

Pours an opaque burgandy chestnut with a fluffy two finger off-white head. A small halo remains but not much else in the way of retention, including a lack of lace.

Smells sour with vinegar, tart cherry, funk and a subtle barrel sweetness.

Puckering array of flavors. Tart cherry, semi sour berries, funky, mildly yeasty and strong lacto sourness. A vague sweetness creeps in on the back end including oaky vanilla and a little brown sugar. Any alcohol is covered by the sourness. Almost seems too tart to allow the cherry and blackberries to shine.

Medium body with some pretty hefty carbonation. Cherry lemonade and funky tart aftertaste.

Not as sweet and significantly less berry flavor than I'd hoped but pretty good nonetheless. Nothing wrong here at all but despite the being enjoyable in it's own right there are plenty of other barreled Bruery sours that I prefer over this one.

Photo of dmsohyea
4.66/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Bruery 3rd Anny fest. Taster glass.

A: Deep red with a tinge of orange. Small head dissapates quickly and doesn't leave any lacing.

S: Smells of cherry, raspberry, cranberry, citrus fruits like orange and lemon. Some tartness on the nose as well. Just outstanding.

T: Is extremely well balanced. Follows the nose almost exactly. Tons of different berry flavors melded nicely with citrus. Sourness is there but not overpowering. Tastes just perfect.

M: Mouthfeel has low carbonation and slight astringency from the high acid level. This may have benefited from just a touch of extra carb.

O: In the two catagories that I really care about, taste and smell, this one is an absolute winner. I hope to find a bottle of this someday and enjoy it again.

Photo of oline73
4.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this during the bottle share at Jackie O's during the release event this past weekend. Poured into a sample glass.

Appearance: Pours a murky reddish brown with a large layer of off white head that fades to a ring quickly. The bottle gushed a bit when opened.

Smell: Sweet malt up front, quite tart and fruity. There is a sour vinegar note that is very nice.

Taste: This is very sour but still manages to be extremely smooth. Not biting at all. Sour fruit/wine comes out with a tart finish. Very good.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with prickly carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This is just an awesome beer. Sweet and sour compliment each other. The fact that this beer is so smooth was amazing. Wonderful.

Photo of KevSal
5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Update: ok so i had this guy at a tasting yesterday from the bottle and it was stellar. ive had this one a hand full of times now and everytime i love it more and more. ive seen how far ill go for a glass (went up once on break time from work to have a glass at city beer when i heard it was on) i have to be honest with myself this one is perfect in my eyes.

Original Review 4.53

On tap at city beer, had this guy side by side with Marron Acidifie.

4 A- a dark bubbly copper with a 1 inch beige head. looks fantastic.

5 s- its greatest feature. this guy smells amazing. very complex, lots of things to smell here. the fruits come through first, cherry and blueberries very present. acidic notes, subtle bourbon and vanilla come forth as it warms, very unique, i love it.

4.5 t. follows the nose. i let this guy warm up in my hands and it made a huge difference. Bourbon becomes more pronounced. very enjoyable. should have ordered 2 of these guys rather than a side by side!

4 m- thick for a sour, medium bodies. good for the tyle. carbonation is present. just enough

4.5 o- granted this is one of my favorite styles, but this one actually surprised me. it was much more enjoyable than i expected. the massive amounts of fruits used on this guy really make it, the bourbon notes are a pleasant surprise.

this one is the clear winner against Marron
wish i had more of this guy to cellar than the allotment i got, should have brought the gf dangit. am going to thoroughly enjoy my bottles for sure.

EDIT: after having it again several times this guy really is a great beer. consistently surprising me with the nose and taste.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.05/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to nerd for sharing this one at DLD 2012.

Pours a nice moderate brown color with a good off-white head and a bit of lacing. The nose brings a good bit of fruit along with a bit of acidity; perhaps a touch of acetic, though not nearly as much as with other Bruery sours I’ve had lately. Flavor is similar with a nice acidity. Body is medium with good carbonation and a dry, puckering finish. Pretty good for an American sour.

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The Wanderer from The Bruery
97 out of 100 based on 805 ratings.