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The Wanderer - The Bruery

Not Rated.
The WandererThe Wanderer

Educational use only; do not reuse.

108 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 108
Hads: 828
Avg: 4.29
pDev: 24.48%
Wants: 475
Gots: 227 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 108 | Hads: 828
Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.71/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle shared by Curran tonight.

This one pours a slightly chunky looking reddish dark brown, with a small fizzy head, and basically no lacing.

Smells like super sour cherry, caramel, chocolate, vinegar, and a little bit of overripe musty blackberry.

This didn't quite meet my expectations, unfortunately. There's a vinegary and unpleasantly musty aspect to this one that's hard to get past. This goes away slightly as the beer warms, but not all the way. There's very sour cherry, with overripe blackberry, a moderate amount of oak, and some chocolate maltiness. This could have been way better, but the vinegary quality is tough.

This is fairly thick and rich, with a slightly syrupy mouthfeel.

Meh. A bit disappointing. Definitely not bad, but far from great.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.51/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle poured into a tulip. 2013
(A)- Pours a murky mahogany brown color with some reddish highlights to it. Some white froth that dissipated quickly
(S)- Silky jam-like fruits. Tart acidic oak meets subtle vanilla. Quite nice and flanders-like
(T)- A great contrast of fruits - tart cherry and rich yet equally tart blackberries. The oak takes a back seat to the barrage of fruits yet adds just a touch of vanilla in the far background
(M)- Great carbonation level. Overall, its a superb combo of big ripe fruits and oak. Good level of sour acidity without it being too sweet or medicinal
(O)- Easily one of, if not the best sour I have had from the Bruery. Its wonderfully balanced. Amazing fruit. And it isnt enamel ripping sour

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Photo of inkman15
4.31/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: murky brown/copper color with a thin head that dissipated almost immediately

Aroma: prominent oak and lactic sourness with (maybe) a touch of cherry/dark fruit

Taste: Puckeringly sour with oak and finishing with a brief but noticeable blackberry and cherry taste before it fades. Leaves a tart aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Super tart and acidic. Thin body and medium carbonation.

Overall: Another winner by The Bruery - wish I could have had it fresh so that the fruit would be more prominent

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Photo of wordemupg
4.22/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had this one a ways back at mattsanders tasting (from notes)

A Gusher but we caught it, murky rusty brown, short lived film, no lace but a short pour after catching foam

S Flanders red with brett, cherries, currents, raspberries, strawberries, brown sugar, a little oak, smells solid

T slightly more funky yeast and slightly less fruit, medicinal but it doesn’t hinder in any way

M medium bodied, heaps of bubbles even after catching the foam, a little sour, fruity finish

O reminds me of a funky Flanders Red and that works well for me

Something I'd like to revisit with a larger serving size, I felt like once I was starting to get to know it my glass was empty

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Photo of aquazr1
4.14/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle served in a tulip. Pours a reddish brown color. Nose is fruit and funk. Taste has an amazing amount of fruit for the age. The berries definitely shine. In this beer. There is a slight amount of bite in the finish. Truly a winner.

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Photo of jbwimer
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Beautiful wild ale, but can tell the fruit has faded. Would love to try this one fresh. Of the suggested fruits, cherries are more noticeable, but it's mostly citrusy and pretty clean, too. Hints of berry jam, too.

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Photo of champ103
3.77/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a dark reddish brown color. On a small pour, a one finger tan head forms instantly, with foamy lace.
S: Tart and jammy fruits in the nose. Dark cherries and blackberries for sure. Caramel malts, burnt sugars, and wood linger in the nose.
T: At first sip, this seems really complex. Tart and acidic, jammy fruits that follows the nose, and a large sweetness. Caramel malts, and wood. Though that all happens up front and is gone after a second. Enjoyable, but it shows itself all at once.
M/D: A full body, but not overwhelming like many Bruery beers can be. Moderate carbonation and smooth at the same time. Maybe a bit more crispness would be nice. A nice sour to drink, and enjoyed the several moderate pours I had. Not something I am going to sip on all night though.

A nice American Wild Ale, if not particularly exceptional. It shows all its colors at once, which is fine, but becomes tiresome after a while. Certainly good, enjoyable, and worth a try if you happen to get a chance.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.79/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

AUG 15, 2014
Bottle, 2013 release. Thanks, Abraham!Pouring a deep caramel with a dense,beige head with excellent retention and nice lacing, this looks great! The nose is bright, fruity, fragrant and sharp. Bright and sour raspberries and blackberries, the deep, fruity essence captured quite well, mildly jammy even. This is followed by a moderate dark honey and caramel aroma, mildly leathery in nature. Sourness is prominent with a blend of red wine vinegar and sharp lactic acid. Nice. The palate opens puckering and sour with a blend of jammy, raspberry and blackberry sourness, a noticeable vinegar note and a palate bruising lactic bite. The fruit character is fantastic. The mid palate has honey, brown sugar,vanilla, a little bit of rum and burnt sugar. The absence of seed derived tannins is impressive and allows the fruit to shine. Medium in body and highly carbonated, this beer has a long, sweet and sour finish. As it warms up, the vinegar character grows to levels approaching unpleasantness, but served cold, the fruit character really dominates and shines. Recommended.

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Photo of macrosmatic
4.48/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes. Poured from 750 mL bottle into a Cycle snifter.

A: Dark reddish brown, fairly hazy, with a big light tan fluffy head and low levels of visible carbonation. It's a pretty beer for sure.

S: Funky, tart fruit (cherries and sour raspberries), toasted sweet malts. A mixed lactic and acetic sourness, and oaky dry tannins. Smells really nice.

T: Very tart cherries, blackberries, and raspberries. Some acetic quality as well. Quite sour and lactic acidic. Dry oak tannins. Toasted malts make a brief appearance, but are quickly swallowed up by sourness and lemony citric. In the end, there are very tart blackberries lingering after everything else fades.

M: Medium body for an AWA. Lots of tingling carbonation sensation that eats at the gumline a bit. Low alcohol presence.

O: This was a really, really nice wild ale. Very sour. Very good. Very recommended.

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Photo of Zraly
4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into an over-sized wine glass. Dark brown with a raspberry tint. Evocative notes of blackberries comes forward immediately. Allowing the smell to linger a bit, you'll find a touch of the barrel underneath the berry bomb. Very pretty in appearance and smell.

Slightly acidic with a balsamic note. Sour and funky, but fruity and complex. Lots of berry notes (including the clearly advertised blackberry and cherry). As it warms and opens up in the glass a bit, I do catch more malt notes, including caramel and toffee. Mouthfeel is pretty light and head retention is good. Carbonation is spot on for the intensity of flavor and helps the palate process the sour and fruit notes.

Makes my mouth water. All in all, a very nice sour. And damn, I am craving a nice beef or lamb stew to demolish with this.

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Photo of chugalug06
4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fairly crazy foam crawls from the bottle out of the top... Brew pours dark deep mahogany red color with loose soapy foamy head. No lacing.

Loads of cherry/berry funk. Full of fruit and farm. solid. Much more funky and farmy than I remember at GABF when it won a medal. Still nice, just not quite as well blended as batch 1. Somewhat sulfuric at first aroma...

Awesome smooth fluid wetness full of earthy fruit. Lots of Blackberries on the finish. Very tart and mildly vinegar forward beginning of the brew with leathery/lime quick finish and dry backbone. Carbonation is very high, but also very nice.

One solid brew here. I would love to compare next to batch 1. Bath 2 is still awesome and super kick ass. Highly Recommended. Opens very well once closer to room temperature.

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Photo of Jonada
4.52/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle. 2013 edition. Served in a wine glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark amber color with less than 2 fingers of a light tan creamy head that settles to a thick ring. Body is dark but still somewhat clear when held to light.

Smell: Sour cherry, red grape, sweet berries, leather, funk, lactic acid, oak, slight caramel like sweetness in the background.

Taste: Medium, bordering on high sourness hits you right away and carries through to the finish. After that initial sour burst, it gives way to jammy blackberry, sour cherries, mild funk, slight oak, lacto and brown bread. Dark berry and oak linger into the finish and aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, but with a slightly creamy mouthfeel. Carbonation borders on high. I'm not tasting the alcohol at all.

Overall: Probably my favorite brewery beer to date. Unlike some of their beers where the sourness has been out of control, this one is spot on. There's a nice amount of sourness, but still allows the fruit and other aspects of the beer to shine through as well. This one is definitely worth seeking out.

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Photo of ThickNStout
3.53/5  rDev -17.7%
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.

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Photo of jbaker67
4.21/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a cloudy dark amber / burgundy with a medium tan head. Aroma brings out blackberries, cherries and prune - and some bourbon. Flavor brings out intense fruitiness, featuring notes of blackberries, cherries and prunes, with ample tartness, oak and wood. Extremely complex and well-balanced, with a very fruity and wood body.

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Photo of stakem
4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2013 vintage. 750ml poured into a matching Bruery snifter. The brew appears mahogany to brown in color with ruby clarity seen when held to the light. A tan cap rests atop fading back to a thin film.

The smell comes across really acidic with unripe blackberry/raspberries. There is a caramel/toffee/vanilla thing going on as well that really is contrasting but enjoyable. It sorts feels like barrel character that has been extracted via extended aging but at the same time has a bit of residual maltiness as well.

The taste is tart with a strange boozy fruity alcohol aspect before getting smooth/sweet barrel notes of vanilla/caramel/toffee and an overall feel of them barrel-like sugars extracted from aging. There is an unripe raspberry/seedy aspect to this keeping it fresh and inviting.

This is a medium bodied brew with a moderate amount of carbonation. It is kinda boozy with huge barrel character that contrasts the typical sour beer. I like it quite a bit actually and was happy that the acidic character was only present in the nose and didnt get too crazy in the flavor. Looking forward to drinking this again sometime.

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Photo of rlee1390
4.4/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

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Photo of cooch69
3.78/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This was the third beer in our Snobs United Tasting Last Night.

It poured a Murky Red/Brown with a filmy head made of medium bubbles.

The body on this was the thinnest of the night, even though it still matched up in alcohol to most of the others.

Aromas come out mostly of Cherries, but lots of other berries come to mind including Blackberries & Raspberries. Medium Tartness and Acidity detected.

Sharp acidic bite on the first sip dips slowly until the palate gets used to the tartness and it comes across more as a mild to medium sour tone. Lots of fruit as mentioned, some darker malts and a decent amount of sweetness.

The highest rated of the 5 according to this website, but all of us agree this was in last place.

Still in all a very good beer and I'm glad I still have a few more!

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.31/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours a hazy amber color with an evenly thick medium toffee cream color.

S - Tart apples and white sour grapes.

T - White grapes, tart apples, oak earthiness, and a lot of funk.

M - Medium body with a velvet finish.

O - Even though I'm not a fan of this style it's very nicely done.

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Photo of notchucknorris
4.49/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark amber with a tinge of concord grape juice and a one finger tan head.

S: As soon as the beer poured, I got a big hit of tart mixed berries. Getting closer, you get some sweet berries and cream notes, blackberry, juicy cherry, oak, leather and some vanilla. Smells fantastic.

T: Starts with a slightly lactic (almost Greek yogurt-like) and sharply tart underripe blackberry and red cherry skin note. Then, the flavors smooth out and you get a long push of red cherry, vanilla and caramel. Finish brings a burst of flavors. Light brown bread, date, underripe mixed berries, cherry skin tannins and just a hint of wood. A really well done beer. Love The Bruery.

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Photo of brentk56
4.65/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Pours with a frothy head capping the mahogany colored liquid; the head fades rather quickly though it does a lot of dotty lace behind

Smell: The first sensation is from the lacto and the fruit, as it smells like blackberry/cherry yogurt but there is tremendous depth, underneath, with a fig and caramel tone

Taste: The blackberry flavor emerges first, bringing the characteristic sweet and tart tones; black cherries round out the fruit elements and by mid-palate, the lactic tartness really starts to build; underneath, the caramel, fig and brown bread adds depth; after the swallow, the oak, vanilla and a hint of Bourbon creates additional complexity, with the finish being rather dry and tart

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Among the best of the Bruery's sours, this one is a keeper

Thanks, lincolnbeard, for the opportunity

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Photo of cxr1037
4.21/5  rDev -1.9%
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.


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Photo of bierdeflanders
4.16/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

S: Berries (blackberries), some oak, cherries

A: brown, amber color with slight pinkish head

T: oak, blackberries, some tartness from the cherries, nice dry finish

M: medium with good carbonation

O: very drinkable sour, was not overly tart, very well balanced.

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Photo of inlimbo77
4.21/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml, 10/27/2013

A: Very pretty brownish/amber/red. Slightly off white head. No lacing here. Pretty clean glass is left.

S: Getting some oak. Dryness. Some of that fruit is coming through, mostly the blackberries meshing with the tart cherry. Almost a slight caramel note.

T: It’s not overly tart by any stretch. You get a little prickle on the tip of the tongue, but nothing aggressive like other Bruery sours. I was actually expecting much more here. I do get some of those blackberries and dark cherries, which is pleasant. Some caramel. Soft toffee. Dry finish.

M: Medium bodied.

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Photo of brewskifan55
4.22/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a snifter.

A: Opaque, hazy orange with a tan half finger head that simmered down quickly. Light lacing.

S: Cherries and blackberries dominate with a malty backbeat. Tart. Could smell this for a while.

T: Like drinking a Sweet/tart. The sour hits you like a wave with cherries and blackberries followed by biscuity malts and apples. Bourbon barrel oakiness pervades. A very nice taste combo.

M: Light to medium with a light, dry finish. Light carbonation.

O: If you like sours, this is one to try. A great after dinner drink to be shared with friends. Prepare to pucker.

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Photo of rudzud
4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Split with JLindros.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a very murky garnet hue with a thin light brown head that fades to leave a thin blanket with light lacing.

S - Aromas of light leather, sour cherries, blackberries, sweet malts, tart sour notes. Nice barrel notes with faint wood too.

T - Taste is very tart, flemmy, cherries, leather, vanilla, sweet malts, faint berries. Nice smooth crisp tart with awesome barrel notes. Light green apples, nice tart berries.

M - Mouthfeel is nice and tart and crisp, nice carbonation.

O - Overall this was a very nice tart sour cherry blackberry beer, delicious.

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The Wanderer from The Bruery
94 out of 100 based on 108 ratings.