The Wanderer | The Bruery

119 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: 119 | Ratings: 895
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.12/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to hopodyssey for sharing this one at jmgrub's tasting.

2013 vintage.

Pours a hazy reddish-brown with a foamy beige head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is sour with malt, fruit, acidic, and slight caramel aromas. Taste is much the same with sour malt, fruit, and acidic flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of acidity on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer that is tasty but the fruit presence is fairly subdued.

 608 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.16/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

this beer inspired a conversation on the relative merits between perfectly simple and perfectly complex. this beer falls somewhere in the middle of simple and complex, but its perfection is hard to debate. another special one from the bruery and their collaborators. it pours a hazy red pink, minimally heady, and lighter in looks than most burgundy type sours, which is where i kind of have to classify this one based on its smell and taste. the nose is fruit forward, love the blend, kriek and framboise are one fruit beers, this is more dynamic than that, and its immediately evident. tart and sweet, a little lactic lemon in there, but smooth too. the fruit is mixed through the whole taste, and the souring bits come late and soft. i like the feel a ton, not being as heavy in body or acid as beers like flanders reds and burgundy sours such as origins from crooked stave or the dissident from deschutes, although i put its fruit profile in line with those beers, and its bacterial presence in the same neighborhood as well. this is more gentle, more drinkable, dialed. its alcohol cannot be tasted, and its acid does not scar the tongue. carbonated beautifully, and only sweet as it needs to be. this is top quality beer, short of sour, but fully tart, a real gem. an exercise in delicacy and nuance, i am impressed. thanks to drlovemd87, who has made way too many world class beers available to me!

 1,405 characters

Photo of t0rin0
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on tap at City Beer. This is one of their 5th anniversary beers. Also available in the bottle. This is pretty much a Flemish beer but I'm calling it American Wild Ale as it's not really Flemish. From what I was told by the City Beer employees this beer is a blend of barrel aged beers from the collection housed at the Bruery. It's been aged on cherries and blackberries.

Pours dark red/purple, hazy, low off-white (sort of a redish stain to it) head that doesnt lace the glass nor does it last. Kind of ugly actually.

Aroma is involved to say the least. Cherries for sure (more as it warms), some vinegar, caramel malts, a hint of oak, some (very) light funk, and even a bit of roast. Mostly just cherries and blackberries though.

Flavor contains all the same components as the aroma but it's a bit too sweet and underattenuated. I suspect in a year or two the berries will ferment out. I also catch a little bit of what seems to be bourbon behind the berries, vinegar, chocolate, and lemon. Good but could use some time, assuming the vinegar doesnt take off.

Body is medium and oily, medium/high CO2 levels. Quite good.


 1,146 characters

Photo of Knapp85
4.51/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This poured out as a hazy amber color with an off white head. The retention is nice with a pretty good lacing. The smell of the beer is of tart and fruity. The taste of the beer is very good, the fruit comes out really well the oak and there is a beautiful vanilla flavor with nice grape-like flavor. The mouthfeel is nicely carbonated with a dry finish. Overall very good sour, leaves a film in my mouth. Still very good stuff.

 428 characters

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

 880 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 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.

 715 characters

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.

 439 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 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 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.

 853 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 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.

 799 characters

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.

 466 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.55/5  rDev -17.2%
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.

 703 characters

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.

 1,132 characters

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.

 1,241 characters

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

Served in a Bruery tulip because I am not an animal. Beer is a little bit of a gusher, beer is brownish red and really hazy with a big off white / tan head of small and medium bubbles, decent retention, high carbonation, some lacing.

Aroma is berries and tart, mild lactic, mild acetic, overall nice.

Beer is light in body and tart with a nice berry flavor throughout still mildly sweet on the body and a nice finish. I'd have this again for sure, I really enjoyed it.

 471 characters

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.

 649 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 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 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 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.

 613 characters

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.

 328 characters

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.

 290 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
The Wanderer from The Bruery
4.29 out of 5 based on 895 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

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.