The Wanderer | The Bruery

122 Reviews
no score
Send samples
The WandererThe Wanderer

Brewed by:
The Bruery
California, United States

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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 122 | Ratings: 897
Photo of Ozzylizard
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Received from @2beerdogs – Ninja box
Can’t find any date on the bottle other than “2013 Edition”. Stored at 42 degrees and served at 50 degrees in a hand washed and dried Jester King snifter.
Aroma – weak. Some fruit with cherry predominating.
Head large (Maximum 4.4 cm, aggressive pour), light tan, low density froth, fizzy, poor retention diminishing to no ring and no layer.
Lacing – none.
Body – mahogany, cloudy (bottle conditioned).
Flavor – moderately tart when swallowed quickly. As it warms on the tongue, the tartness climbs exponentially past my tolerance level. Some cherry flavor is noticeable as is some tannin and vanillin from the oak. I don’t know what blackberry is supposed to taste like so, no comment. No malt, no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl.
Palate – medium, watery, fizzy.

I’ve only had a handful of brews from The Bruery, but each has been good and some excellent. This one approaches excellence.

Appearance 4, Aroma 4, Flavor 4.5, Palate 4, Overall 4.25.

 1,013 characters

Photo of cvm4
4.09/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2016 vintage

L - Pours a red mahogany body with a quickly fading light tan head. No lacing on the glass.

S - Blackberries and cherries are coming through with some bourbon and oak on the back. Comes off acidic and tart.

T - The taste is following the nose to me. Loads of tart blackberries/cherries with vanilla, oak and bourbon backing it up.

F - Medium bodied and low carbonation. Dry finish.

O - Super tasty, comes off tart but yet juicy.

 450 characters

Photo of M-Fox24
4.39/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Murky red/amber, slightly brown pour with a finger high, off-white, head. Good retention, subtle lacing

S: Earthy aroma to which is floral, tart, fruity: cherries, grapes and berries (straw/black/raspberries). Hints at caramel, vanilla, chocolate, bourbon, oak and hay

T: Rigid acidity and bold fruit character conceal the palate: raisins, grapes, plums, figs, and berries sprawled out across a jazzy terrain. Lightly vinous/touch of red wine and vinegar, and some faint malt character in the background

M: Medium body/feel, where carbonation surfaces slightly above. A tannic, grainy, sweet earthiness yet smooth and creamy with no hints at ABV approximation

O: An intricate funky, tannic, and fruited sour that could have aged out even more (X>2013); perhaps drawing out even more intricacies. Nonetheless, acidic yet balanced, and refreshingly potable

 862 characters

Photo of superspak
4.32/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 3/2/2016. Pours lightly hazy dark reddish orange/copper color with a 1-2 finger dense light khaki head with reduces to a thin lace cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of huge sour cherry, blackberry, raspberry, strawberry, currant, red grape, raisin, plum, fig, leather, pepper, hay, straw, funk, oak, caramel, brown sugar, brown bread, light bourbon/vanilla, light red wine vinegar, and yeast/oak earthiness. Fantastic aromas with awesome complexity and balance of fruity/funky/acidic yeast, fruit, wine barrel, and moderate dark/bready malt notes; with great strength. Taste of huge sour cherry, blackberry, raspberry, strawberry, currant, red grape, raisin, plum, fig, leather, pepper, hay, straw, funk, oak, caramel, brown sugar, brown bread, light bourbon/vanilla, light red wine vinegar, and yeast/oak earthiness. Good amount of fruity/lactic sourness and yeast/tannic oak spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of sour cherry. berries, red wine, dark fruit, leather, pepper, hay, straw, funk, and yeast/oak earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/funky/acidic yeast, fruit, wine barrel, and moderate dark/bready malt flavors; with a nice malt/sourness balance. Lightly puckering but not astringent on acidity/tannins. Moderate dryness from acidity/tannins, increasing through the glass. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, acidic/tannic, and fairly creamy/grainy mouthfeel that is nice. Minimal warming alcohol for 8.5%. Overall this is an incredible fruited sour ale. All around fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/funky/acidic yeast, fruit, wine barrel, and moderate dark/bready malt flavors; very smooth and easy to drink, despite this high acidity/tannins. A highly enjoyable offering.

 1,864 characters

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

2013 vintage.

Off white head. Raspberry Ruby color.

Lots of sourness and acidity. Very tart. Sour patch kids. Big berry flavor. Lemon citrus.

Medium bodied.

Solid, but not crazy.

 183 characters

Photo of PBRmeasap1980
4.34/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - opaque maroon no head retention
S- Tart acid, but also a ton of dark, ripe berries
T- Tart up front, but then tons of those dark berries in the middle and a tart finish that fades nicely and leaves you with the sweet berry after taste
F- Nice body for a sour. Not too thin, not too thick
O- Awesome sour. Hits on a lot of what I want in a sour... good pucker, noticeable fruit, drinkable.

 394 characters

Photo of SHODriver
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2013 Edition

A: Poured into a Duvel tulip to a deep reddish brown topped by a dense two finger light tan head that retains well and leaves decent lacing
S: Smells of oak, sourness, berries, funk, leather and caramel
T: Taste is a huge sourness up front with a whole lot of jammy blackberry goodness. Decent oak and funk as well as a little bit of leather. Swallow is more sourness with blackberries, funk, and slight lingering oak.
M: This beer has a medium mouthfeel with the perfect amount of carbonation and finishes on the dry side from the acidity
O: Overall, this beer is hard to put into words. It's absolutely exceptional. From the level of sourness, to the fruit addition, to the amount of complexity this beer is damn near perfect. I'm curious to try one of my younger bottles to see how it is fresh. WIth careful aging this beer is simply fantastic.

 872 characters

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

2013 edition bottle, poured into a teku. Transparent, dark coppery red with a ring of tan foam. Smells of dark fruits and tartness, with a warning waft that this is going to be sour, indeed. First sip is mouth-puckeringly tart, with later sips yielding a lot more depth and complexity. Blackberry provides much of the up-front punch, with more subtle cherry flavors on the mid and in the finish. Still a fair amount of malt from the base beer, giving the impression of scones. Delicious.

 487 characters

Photo of BeerSamurai34
4.35/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I loved this beer. Normally I don't prefer dark sours, but this one was just fantastic. So tart and with tons and tons of fruits and a good amount of barrel presence from the oak.

 179 characters

Photo of Tele
4.53/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type: Bottle (dated:3.2.16)
Consumed: 4.17.16

A: 4.25 Fairly murky, reddish-brown. The small, light tan head looks nice, but only lasts a minute or so and doesn’t leave any lace.

S: 4.25 Mild aromas of oak, lactic tartness, and berries. A bit of brine and lemon are in the background as well as some funk.

T: 4.75 Flavors are excellent and extremely well layered. It starts off rather tart with some mild cherry flavor before getting a bit dose of oak and vanilla. The sweeter elements and old ale start to kick in, bringing along lots of blackberry and more tart cherry. The finish lingers with light tannins and fresh blackberries.

M: 4.5 Nice body, but slightly low carbonation. The dry finish is really nice though, making up for the low carb.

O: 4.5 I think this is one of The Bruery’s more impressive beers. Flavors are so well balanced and interesting; never too sour or too sweet. This really demonstrates excellent blending on their part. If the nose matched the flavor, this would be almost perfect.

 1,027 characters

Photo of Furlinator
4.18/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a cloudy rust brown with a half-inch khaki head that settles as a ring on top and leaves spots of lace. The smell is slightly funky with caramel, vanilla and dark fruit accents. The taste begins with subtle fruit tartness and is followed by caramel malt, oak and vanilla on the finish.

 291 characters

Photo of Steffano
4.23/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

At city beer store's sour event, batch 2, loved this beer when the second batch was first released, surprising amount of fruit still despite the age (I recall batch 1 being pretty faded by the time batch 2 was released. Still a winner, would drink sooner rather than later at this point.

 287 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Brown color, minimal head. Mild sour notes of blackberry and oak, dark cherry, straddles the line between flanders and American wild. A good degree of funkiness.

Was grittier than expected, more earthy, less sour. Dark fruits. Strong beer.

 246 characters

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.

 767 characters

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

 737 characters

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

 504 characters

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

 676 characters

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.

 236 characters

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.

 214 characters

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.

 1,014 characters

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.

 1,086 characters

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.

 880 characters

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.

 808 characters

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.

 781 characters

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.

 1,078 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
The Wanderer from The Bruery
4.29 out of 5 based on 897 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.