The Wanderer | The Bruery

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The WandererThe Wanderer

Brewed by:
The Bruery
California, United States | website

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by t0rin0 on 05-04-2011

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Reviews: 112 | Ratings: 856
Photo of Huhzubendah
4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by drabmuh. Thanks Matt!

A bit of a gusher...The beer is hazy, appearing a dark brown / orange hue with a sizable off white head.

Cherries, berries, funk. This beer is very tart. Wow. Pucker. Alrighty then.

The beer is medium to full bodied. Alcohol shows itself more as the beer is allowed to warm. Highly acetic.

While I am extremely grateful to taste this rare delicacy from The Bruery, this one is not among their top offerings, in my opinion.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.95/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks again Jeff.

A: Pours a murky rust color with a decent light tan head. Wispy lace.
S: Tart dark fruits, red fruits, and a bit of funk. I get some barrel notes as well.
T: Very tart flavors, super sour with a bit of acetone and funk. Tannins and dry red fruit skins, wood, and some straw, earth, cocoa powder and herbal spices fill my palate. This is definitely tart.
M: Dry and tart mouth, medium body, smooth carbonation.
O: If I had this blind I could tell this is from the Bruery, it just has that sharp taste. This was a good sour though with a definite acidic red berry flavor. Thanks again Jeff.

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Photo of Rollzroyce21
4.97/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

- 2011 vintage
- Tapped at Bruery Tasting Room (opening day) on 4-Jul-12
- Poured into tasting snifter glass.
Oak and cherries dominate w/ hints of vanilla. You could just smell the depth and complexity. Tasting good oak presence and real sexy fruity complexity! Strong malt backbone w/toffee and caramel provide jammy texture. Getting some plums as well, which now I believe is the blackberries + cherries combo giving that sense. Very balanced vinegar and tartness.
Best sour I've had to date!

- 2011 vintage
- 750 mL bottle cellared on 16-May-12 and tasted on 4-Sep-12 (aged about 10 months).
- Poured into stemless wine glass.
Begins wth a fantastic gush of fruity complexity and tartness. Cherries, apple, plums, blackberries. Somewhat jammy. Then the 2nd phase hits with an oak, earthy flavors with creamy texture. Then the tartness finishes dry and left with hints of barrel and fruits in aftertaste.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
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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Photo of trxxpaxxs
4.45/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to merc7186 for this bottle...

A: Pours out a hazy redish yellow with very little head. It's a murky brown, but in a beautiful sense. There is absolutely no lacing as it drinks.

S: This beer smells of sour cherries and other fruits. It's extremely acidic, a little sweet, but damn this is sour.

T: Damn. This is a sours beer. Huge sour fruit, big time acid too. It's awesome. I'm floored by how sour this is, it's amazing.

M: Medium bodied beer. It's sour, super puckering, delicious.

O: This might be one of the most sour beers I've ever had. It's incredible. The sour fruits are stellar. This is an amazing sour.

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Photo of jlindros
4.3/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to DrEntropy for sharing.

Creamy light head, murky reddish copper brown color.

Nose sweet brown malts, light tart sour malts, caramel, brown sugar, some tart fruit, hints of cherry and berry like fruit, hint of vanilla oak, touch of feusel alcohol.

Taste semi sweet, sour brown malts, tart fruit with light cherry and berry flavor, creamy smooth malts, light vanilla and oak, complex, nice tart light bready malts, light funk and acid with a slight vinegary flavor. Finish lingers forever, lots tart fruit, sour cherry, sour malts, dry and light flemmy, hint of vanilla oak, and bit of booze as it warms.

mouth is med bodied, flemmy, decent carb, light booze warmth.

Overall delicious, almost exactly what I want on a sour, not too sour, nice tart fruit, soured malt flavors, hint of booze, nice vanilla oak rounding, long finish. Delicious.

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Photo of kscaldef
4.17/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Epic Bruery sour/wild tasting, 3/4/2012

Pours a murky red with a nice head. Cherry and blackberry on the nose. On the tongue, it's very tart, and I pick up cherry and strawberry flavors. Medium carbonation. One of my top beers of the tasting.


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Photo of illidurit
3.75/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle shared at the January 2012 Santa Cruz tasting at Sante Adairius. Pours a muddy amber color. Sugary acidic aroma, vinegar and alcohol, fruits about to turn. Taste is similar, rather acetic, approaching Flanders territory. Cherry is the most evident fruit, with lesser notes of other berries. Sugary, oaky and a You little boozy. Basically what you’d expect from a Bruery sour.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.22/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 01/07/12 notes. Had at the DC RB tasting thanks to MrChopin (RB); thanks Kevin. 750ml bottle into a tulip.

a - Pours a hazy dark orange-brown amber color with two inches of off white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of sour raspberries and sour blackberries, tart dark fruits, oak, fruity malts, and vinegar. Nice and sour here, really loving the nose.

t - Taste follows the nose. Sour raspberries, cherries, and dark fruits, light oak, vinegar, and fruity malts. Not quite as sour as the nose was, but still good.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Easy to drink, not super dry.

o - Overall a very good wild ale; hoping they brew this one again this year since I'm in the reserve society now. Nose is very sour and it is very easy to drink. Would like to have it again.

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Photo of GrumpyJunglist
4.23/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a sniffer

A: pours a very dark murky brown with a light tan head that foams up semi quickly and slowly but surely fades away. From the first pour i did see some sentiments floating around in the glass.

S: The aromas are hiding on this one, there is no real big standouts. You really have to take in a big sniff to catch faint aromas of the cherries and some vinegar.

T: Big burst of flavor off the bat. Huge hits of the blackberries and cherries, and notes of vinegar, and the oak from the barrel.

M: Nicely carbonated, very smooth but has a bite from the big sour kick.

O: What a beauty, definitely glad I have 2 more of these bottles still. Going to be hard to ration them out in the future.

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Photo of Phelps
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed at the December 2011 Clusterfork, in a champagne flute.

Dusky copper, almost clear. A half-finger of bubbly khaki head becomes a big ring, leaving behind some spots of lace.

In the nose: balsamic, toffee, dark cherries, caramel and light hints of pine.

The flavor is marked by big toffee and dark cherry notes offset by heavy balsamic tartness. Burnt sugar, possibly even some toast and just a hint of buttery oak are in there as well. Subtle cocoa and pine. Soft tartness crescendos after the swallow.

Gently, poky carbonation in a fairly viscous medium body. Tartness never gets out of control.

Very nice. I like the soft touch on the sourness and the balance provided by a heaping portion of sweet, sugary malt. Very smooth and easy to drink.

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Photo of FosterJM
4.33/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1024th Review on BA
Bottle to Bruery Tulip
750 Ml


Purchased from The Bruery

App- A murky muddled brown with a bit of red mixed into it. A good two finger semi creme looking head that was fast receding. A nice bit of sticky cling.

Smell- A very tart sour with some berry notes and some oak notes. Wasn't earth shattering on the nose but did leave some nice aromatics from the barrel and the damp pressed fruits.

Taste- A very good sour. One of the best the Bruery has done. Opens with a bit of oak on the flavor and then melds to a little bit of pressed cranberries and then moves to a lactic malty sour flavor. A little bit of a red wine vinegar and sour warhead cherries.

Mouth- A light medium body with a bit of a light medium carbonation with tons of residual cherry/cranberry and malt flavors. A little bit of the oak remains and cascades into a vinegar note.

Drink- I see what all the fuse was about with this beer. It was sour and flavor and balanced. I really like the fruit notes and the oak treatment. I really want another bottle.

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Photo of actone2001
4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - murky brown reddish quickly dissipating whitish head.

S - tart malty, sour berryish. Lots of lactic sourness, very slight acetic note. Aroma is more defined as it warms, more berry on the nose. Little bit of funk also.

T - nice lactic acid taste floods the tongue, but fades quickly. The lingering soured cherry and berry flavor stands out as it goes down ever so smoothly. Little bit of oak too, but only as it warmed. ABV not apparent at all.

M - Thin and dry, nice carbonation that fits the style.

O - Very quality brew. The best 'wild' that the Bruery has put out. Great balance, not too acetic as I've found with other bruery brews. I would never turn this brew down, as it fulfills most everything I want in the style.

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Photo of oline73
4.42/5  rDev +3%
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.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.3/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Bangers & Lace. One of the most fun beer events I've gone to in a while. Served in a snifter.

A - Half-finger of white foam settles to a thin ring of bubbles, a few stray wisps on top, and minimal lace. Opaque purple-red body.

S - Initially this was somewhat understated, as it was served a bit too cold. Initially it's quite fruity with some lactic, yogurt notes, but as it warms up the acetic sourness asserts itself. The blackberries are far more present than the cherries, and the malt is surprisingly neutral for a "dark sour".

T - Taste is a little stronger, with a nice blend of red wine and cherry vinegar sourness, tart blackberries, a bit of dark fruit malt character, and an oaky finish with light lactic character to it.

M - Medium body reveals the 'dark' character with some smooth sticky malt presence, pleasant moderate carbonation, and a mildly tannic and dry finish. Alcohol is well-hidden.

D - A highly enjoyable dark sour in the Consecration vein, but with less sourness (probably due to the absence of currants). Definitely among The Bruery's strongest sours, but perhaps overvalued due to its rarity. Still, I happily consumed my sample and two glasses and would have this again if it showed up elsewhere.

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Photo of Gobzilla
3.97/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured brown in color with reddish highlights and a very thin head that left very little frothy lacing sticking to the glass.

S: the cherries with blackberries were noticeable on the aroma with oaky, slight vinegar, funky, and oaky notes.

T: the oaky funkiness was more potent on the taste alongisde the cherry blackberry flavor, hints of acidic vinegar and hints of citrus on the backend.

M: the brew was medium in body with a fari amount of carbonation which had a fruity, funky, oaky, mild acidic, and slight sour bite finish.

O: it was really solid all around even drank good and was really glad to this offering available on sour sunday.

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Photo of phichifiji00
4.45/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: Brown with a pronounced ruby hue, pours thick off-white head that fades slowly. Lots of lacing.

Smell: Cherry, blackberry, tart, funky, earthy, red fruit, oak, vanilla.

Taste: Tart, sour cherry, blackberries, a hint of maltiness, sweet tarts, acidic, red wine vinegar, oak, vanilla.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, lots of carbonation, acidic, makes your mouth feel like you've just eaten a package of sweet tarts.

Overall: A very good beer. The sour level was fantastic, very complex flavors. Truly a well done beer. I only wish I had more.

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Photo of DovaliHops
4.47/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thank you Chad for having self control and not drinking this beer without me. Pours a reddish, brown-amber color with a large, off-white head. Scent is a nice, tart aroma with a lot of oak and sweet vanilla. Taste is initially very acidic, with sweet cherries. A ton of barrel character and oak, with lovely, smooth vanilla flavors. Nicely sour, and finishes with sweet cherry and fresh blackberry flavor. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and a bit puckering. Very acidic. Drinkability is high. Overall, this beer was beyond awesome and I wish they would brew this again so I can hopefully snatch a bottle for myself.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.74/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Served a cloudy, rich brownish-red color with a thin finger of frothy white head atop. The head faded down very slowly leaving behind some nice lacing in the process.

S - The aroma is full of lots of sweet and sour cherries, with some other berries and citrus in the background, and some clear oak character coming through.

T - Starts off with lots of big sour and tart cherry flavor with some acidity and some other fruit flavors. There is some oak and a bit of funkiness as well. Through the middle, more oak character comes through alongside more sourness and berry flavor. The finish is full of fruit flavors, with cherry, berries, and citrus elements coming through and some oak adding complexity to the mix.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Fairly smooth with lots of sourness and acidity that is almost puckering at times.

D - Very drinkable. The sourness and the tartness were very strong and rich here. I really enjoyed the mix of the various fruits and the oak, it really worked very well.

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.93/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a tulip glass from a 750ml bottle.

A - Pours a gorgeous nice dark amber color with some great ruby hints. The head is a nice 2 inch slightly off-white/ecru. It is dense but not too much and quite active. Very nice looking beer.

S - Delicious aroma. Wow. Sweet cherry notes, cinnamon and slight cider notes complimented with some nice tartness. As it warms the cherry notes get more intense and you perceive some woody notes and funk. The tartness comes in on the back end and balances out the sweet aspect.

T & M - Very fluffy mouthfeel. Wow. This beer is great. Carbonation is fluffy and allows some slight tartness to start creeping in the flavor that later intensifies a bit with some nice vinegar and some tart cherry notes. There is some nice sweetness slight cider notes, some nice sweet/tart cherry and very woody hints. There is some funk in the middle as well. Boy this beer is complex. There are some nice slight caramel sweet notes and some apple cider notes in there. This is all tamed and plays backup to the vinegary sour notes that aren't too overwhelming but clean and refreshing. This beer is delicious. As it warms there is some nice spicy wood that creeps up as well as the cherry and blackberry notes. Mouthfeel is fluffy and nicely carbonated with a nice dry finish.

O - Great sour. Has to be one of my favorites out there. Very well crafted with great sour notes and aromas that work well with the other flavors. The sour notes don't overwhelm but you can feel their presence.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.32/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

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Photo of afksports
3.91/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Blind Tiger in the West Village. Who knew this would come to NY?

It's a ruddy reddish brown, and it has a lovely tannish head on top at the start of the pour. That quickly goes away and leaves no clue that it's carbonated except when I shake it up.. Just looks like a red and brown still liquid.

Fortunately, the smell is way more inviting. It's complex, sweet, and features strawberry, cherry, wood, and there's jo trace of the 8% alcohol. That fun sensory stimulus stays through the taste of the Wanderer, as it's a sweet and tart and sour combination. It's rounded well, acidic, with sweet hints of vanilla and even water. The more it warms, the better it gets.

The beer feels fine going down, nothing to complain about because the carbonation come through on the way down. Plus this brew is pairing great with my grilled cheese right now. Overall it's a solid beer. Probably not worth the hype, but certainly good for a lunch break.

Now... Humulus Lager before returning to work?

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Photo of unitmonster
4.7/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

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Photo of Verecund
4.37/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

July 2011. Received in a trade with Popery while in San Francisco. Thanks!

Pours a dark, rusty red-brown with a half finger of head that recedes to a thick collar about the glass.

Vibrant berry medley - blackberry, raspberry, cherry - that provides a pleasant blend of sour and sweet. Some light vinegar (which is often overdone in dark sours, in my opinion) and lactic acidity. I really liked the nose here.

The same tart berry medley, acetic acidity, red wine vinegar, and oak on the finish. Pleasantly vinous. Lots of overt sweet berries; the vinegar and acidity are controlled and provide a nice balance. (More of a 4.25.)

Medium-bodied with an effervescent mouthfeel.

I enjoyed this. It can be tough to cut through the hype sometimes, but this is a solid strong dark sour. Great fruit character.

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Photo of RodneyX
4.49/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I actually found this beer kind of ugly as it was a cloudy orange and brown color that didn't leave any lacing. The smell was very nice with lots of berries and barrel aging notes. There was some great funk and sour. Taste was a real winner as well with a great wine quality and tannic notes. Good sweetness and funk.

Its a pretty unique beer, and definitely glad I was able to acquire this one.

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The Wanderer from The Bruery
94 out of 100 based on 112 ratings.