Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you select "auto-renew."

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join our email list →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.

The Wanderer - The Bruery

Not Rated.
The WandererThe Wanderer

Educational use only; do not reuse.

110 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 110
Hads: 840
Avg: 4.29
pDev: 24.24%
Wants: 468
Gots: 222 | FT: 46
Brewed by:
The Bruery
California, United States | website

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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 110 | Hads: 840
Photo of AgentZero
4.09/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to largadeer for bringing this one to Chicago and Sean's 30th Birthday Extravaganza! Been wanting to try it for a while.

A - Murkey brownish/red beer. Small head that didn't stick around.

S - Caramel, brown sugar, some tartness, berries. This one has a somewhat distinct vinegar note to it, although it's not unpleasant.

T - Tannic notes, and the vinegar gives it something of a vinous quality. Cherries and blackberries are a nice touch, more complimentary than dominating.

M - Medium bodied, lower carbonation.

O - Liked this one quite a bit, wouldn't say it is world class, but quite enjoyable and worth seeking out.

 632 characters

Photo of jrallen34
3.89/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Chris for sharing this one with us... pours a dark brown with a bit of read to it, murky, an ok tan head... the nose has lots of cherries, oak, lactic tartness a bit of bready malt... the taste is sour cherries mostly, this is a very acidic a touch too much for me, vinegar, not bad... pretty good

 311 characters

Photo of pastradul
4.57/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Stoen sour fest. Pours a dark brown with a very small light tan head that has good retention and leaves light lacing on the glass. Looks quite cruddy in the glass. The aroma is huge fruit. The blackberry and cherry both come through strongly. Some light bourbon, oak, and acetic notes come through as well. The taste is sweet with big fruit. A lot of berry come through (blackberry, raspberry) as well as the cherry with a good tartness. Light bourbon notes come through in the taste as well. The finish has a bit of an acetic burn to it. Medium body. Medium carbonation. Overall, quite an enjoyable beer. I look forward to trying it in the future to see how it is as the fruit fades a bit.

 700 characters

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.08/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

 598 characters

Photo of paytoplay
3.65/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Was good on draft. Much like marron on draft. I did have maron out of bottle and was much better. maybe it's the same with this. la folie comes to mind. maybe somewhat like a consecration. Just didn't Wow me, glad as tracking down a bottle for myself looks very difficult. some vanilla oak, nice sourness. wood flavors. some red fruits. maybe time in bottle would also benefit.

 377 characters

Photo of largadeer
4.29/5  rDev 0%
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.

 762 characters

Photo of Retsinis
4.42/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Have had this beer a few times now. The First time was at the Bruery Reserve Society tasting, Clusterfork # 4. Used quite a few of the 10 tasting tickets that day for this one. The second time was at the CoLAboration event next to Blue Palms (8 oz pour at that too, as opposed to 3 oz each ticket at the tasting)

Review is compiled from notes from both occasions.

A: The beer pours a decadent amber brown, hazy, with just a small ring of head.

S: I initially get a scent of Brett, quickly followed a mild tart berry aroma. I even got what I would describe as some lacto, but don't think it's actually in this. Second scents are more dark fruits, cherries, figs, and aged balsamic vinegar.

T: Flavors are tannic, oak, fruity, but with a dry finish. This is well balanced, and as usual with Bruery beers, very little hint of the 8% alcohol.

M: Medium, but with acidity. Carbonation is low, but enough.

O: Good beer, and a treat. It's a sour, to me, that can be appreciate by those that love the style, and those just starting to get a taste for them. All the notes, from the scents to the flavors are in just enough proportions to define it as a Sour/wild ale, but not so intense to be off putting.

 1,207 characters

Photo of Madirish76
3.64/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on Tap at Bruery 3rd Anniv. party.
A: It was a cloudy Ruby/Amber color with good lacing and a frothy diminishing off white head.

S: Not too much there from the fruits, mainly a mild funk. I expected a little more from this.

T: I have to admit i am beginning on my journey with sours, but this wasn't bad. It had a nice meld of fruit and funk. The most pronounced was the tart raspberries.

M: This had good carbonation and a medium body. I thought it was very lively and bubbly...almost effervescent.

O: Overall, I thought it was a decent sour. It has mild funk, not enough to scare away newbies, but enough to clearly let someone know this isn't another fruit forward beer for girls.

 691 characters

Photo of Doodler
4.35/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Avery Sourfest. I was pouring this beer all day, so got quite a good number of samples of it. Pours a reddish copper color with a modest head. Nice caramel aroma with notes of fruits and funky wood. Slightly tart, but with a nice mouthfeel. The taste is outstanding and similar to the aroma. A great balance of sweet fruits and sourness. Finishes with some maltiness. Quite enjoyable and easy to drink. One of the most popular beers at the fest and I can see why...

 475 characters

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

Had this from a bottle last week thanks to JoeySchlitz and several glasses on tap yesterday at Boulder Sourfest. Pours hazy reddish brown. Nose is dominated by the fruit in this brew - tart blackberries and cherries. Flavor is similar - not extremely sour. Pretty refreshing, fruity qualities, light vinegar quality. Body is medium with medium carbonation.

 356 characters

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.79/5  rDev +11.7%
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.

 537 characters

Photo of DearthVader
4.42/5  rDev +3%
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!

 615 characters

Photo of billshmeinke
4.12/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at collaboration.

Murky amber orangeish color. Off white head.

Smells of minerals grain and vinegar. Some dark berries.

Lots of vinegar up front. Again dark berries, cherry too. A nice mineral quality as well plus some light oak and some acidic notes.

Puckering medium bodied acidic.

Well done Bruery quite a tasty American sour.

 341 characters

Photo of lestat314
4.55/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had this 2 times on tap at bruery 3rd anniversary event, and at the provisions store rare beer flight.

A- lovely rich hazy amber color with substantial head that laces nicely. very inviting.

S- substantial tart berry odor, and slight funky aroma rises from the head of this wonderful beer.

T- Very well balanced sour flavor, mixed with complex berry flavors and some wine character as well. loved it.

M- one word.. clean... was just so beautiful to drink down and left my mouth refreshed and happy

O- amazing, well balanced sour. would love to have some at my disposal on a regular basis.

 593 characters

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

On-tap at Provisions,

A: Pours a deep orange red with a soft light white head, leaving spotty lace.

S: Gorgeous blackberry aroma, some red fruit, not super pungent, but enjoyable.

T: Blackberries, red currants, and a lone tangerine intermingle in acid to create a great flavour. Very well balanced between the fruit and the acid, quite tasty.

M: Medium-bodied, firm carbonation, bright acidity with some oak tannin on the finish.

O: This is rather good, something I've come to expect from The Bruery's sour program. Very rare, but if you can find it, put on some Dion and the Belmonts and enjoy.

 600 characters

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

Caramel orange, nice beige head with good lacing.

Very sweet - like a brown sugar mixed with cherry, plum, a mix of light and dark fruits.

Now I'm getting a bit of the blackberries. Wow. Lots of cherries and acidity. Medium high sour. I really hope the Bruery makes this one or one like it again - it's fantastic, would sell like porn.

Medium bodied, a sticky finish but not cloying.

The fruit flavors mixed in this wild are very well done - almost perfect. Yeah.

 467 characters

Photo of kbutler1
4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. Pours a cloudy, caramel copper color with a tan head that collars around the glass. Very rich aroma greats the nose with notes of fruit (raspberry and cherry) and some mild acetic notes. Light mouthfeel. The taste is really nice and is similar to the nose. You get a sweet fruit flavor backed with a low/medium level of sourness. Some caramel as well. This is on the sweeter side of a sour but is rather enjoyable and easy to drink. Glad I was able to try this one.

 473 characters

Photo of Overlord
4.42/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had no idea this was a Bruery beer until I looked it up in the database. I feel like a horse's ass for asking Patrick if he tried.

Pours a hazy ruddy brown color. A few bubbles here and there, no real head.

Smells excellent. Mostly a sort of berry aroma .. though once I knew it was blackberries, I could totally, like, detect that scent man. I love blackberries. A bit of cherry slurry, maybe a hint of red wine vinegar.

It's really not that sour. But, the sour balances it perfectly. Some oak-y, vinous vinegary in the back end, but this is mostly lush semi-ripe cherries, blackberries in abundance, and a dazzling light effervescent sweetness.

Just enough carbonation to lighten it up.l

I loved it. Went back for it twice.

 735 characters

Photo of HopHead84
4.17/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Double pour from a bottle into a snifter at The Bruery's third anniversary.

A: Murky reddish brown with a fleeting small head.

S: A pleasant blend of blackberry and cherry, sweetness and tartness simultaneously. The cherry is really vibrant. Moderate vinegar character. 

T: Sweet and tart blackberries and cherries. Moderate vinegar flavor but not too much acidity. Plum and fig, with a little caramel. Nice fruit profile. Evident oak with a bit of vinous character. Finishes with much fruit, both sweet and tart, and a lower level of acetic acidity.

M: Medium in body with moderate carbonation. Mouthfeel is smooth.

Overall: A nice sour from The Bruery. Great fruit profile.

 692 characters

Photo of dmsohyea
4.66/5  rDev +8.6%
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.

 766 characters

Photo of womencantsail
3.88/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at The Bruery

A: The pour is a rather familiar hazy dark amber color with a small khaki head.

S: Somewhat acetic with a big time berry and fruit aroma. The blackberries really stand out, but there is a nice cherry undertone to it as well. A mild malt character that makes the beer sort of reminiscent of an Oud Bruin.

T: A nice hit of blackberry and cherry up front, as well as some other dark fruits. Mildly acetic, but overall nicely tart. Plenty of oak and perhaps even some red wine flavor.

M: Medium in body with a medium carbonation, though maybe it could have used a bit more.

O: A nice beer. Not amazing, but another example of the Bruery sours getting better.

 680 characters

Photo of beagle75
4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft service into a stemmed tasting glass at The Bruery tasting room in Placentia.

A: Slightly hazy, dark amber color with a few off-white bubbles clinging to the periphery of the surface. No lacing remains on the glass.

S: Restrained but balanced, with oak and fermented dark fruit. There is a suggestion of acetic acidity, like wine that has just started to turn. No alcohol is detected.

T: Begins off-dry, with slightly aromatic wood and fermented dark fruit that is modified to the point of being unidentifiable. Sourness is of moderate intensity, leaning more toward a lactic quality on the palate. Oak makes a bigger contribution in the latter half as flavors dry out a bit and the early fruit dissipates. A dry, lactic and acetic tang lingers in the finish, leaving the palate ready for another taste. No alcohol is detected.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, comfortably acidic and lively on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: While not a specialist in sour ales, the Bruery does make some good ones, and the Wanderer is no exception. Oak and fruit amendments drive any malt character to the shadows, where it deftly influences sweetness but does not add any graininess. More approachable than Russian River's marquee wild ales, it probably lands nearest to Supplication in appearance and feel--but with advancing sweetness that places sour in retreat.

 1,370 characters

Photo of Sideswipe
4.42/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Clusterfork #4

The beer is a murky brown color which changes to a dark ruby red when held up to the light. A quarter inch of tan foam rests on top for a moment, then recedes leaving a thin ring around the outside of the glass. The nose is cherries and a light bretty funk. Taste is sour cherries and more. Blackberries? Boysenberries? Whatever they are they add another very tasty dimension to the beer. It's tart from the beginning with a sour, acetic finish that leaves me wanting more. The mouthfeel is medium with a moderate level of carbonation that works well here. Overall this is a very tasty wild ale that I wish I could get bottles of. Sad that this was a one-off and hopeful that I'll see it on tap again in the future.

 741 characters

Photo of jethrodium
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the City Beer Store 5th Anniversary Party. Pours a dark brown with a very small light tan head that has good retention and leaves light lacing on the glass. Looks quite cruddy in the glass. The aroma is huge fruit. The blackberry and cherry both come through strongly. Some light bourbon, oak, and acetic notes come through as well. The taste is sweet with big fruit. A lot of berry come through (blackberry, raspberry) as well as the cherry with a good tartness. Light bourbon notes come through in the taste as well. The finish has a bit of an acetic burn to it. Medium body. Medium carbonation. Overall, quite an enjoyable beer. I look forward to trying it in the future to see how it is as the fruit fades a bit.

 726 characters

Photo of nataku00
4.32/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

 1,197 characters

The Wanderer from The Bruery
94 out of 100 based on 110 ratings.