Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

The Wanderer | The Bruery

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
117 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
Reviews: 117 | Ratings: 886
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 brystmar
4.48/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Gorgeous pour; mountains of white head leave behind sticky lace. Strong, pungent aroma with wild American yeast, wine barrels, and sour fruits approaching my nose.

Love the taste! Tons of lacto & sour fruits, good acidity and tart fruits. Plenty of funky dark fruit, plums, yeast, lots of tasty sourness and fruity funk. A hair too much carbonation; easily remedied by waiting for it to warm in my glass.

The complexity of various ingredients in my glass would never come from a traditional Belgian blend master. Wanderer is exactly what I love about (and expect from) American sours. Fantastic!

 597 characters

Photo of jmarsh123
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to buzbuzzer for the bottle

Poured deep garnet with a ton of carbonation right away although it dies down to a thin ring after a few minutes.

Aroma contains tart and sour berries, cherries and some lacto. Maybe a touch of brett and oak.

Starts out with some sweeter caramel malt along with sour cherries. Sourness is fairly strong throughout. Finishes very dry with blackberry and oak sourness coating the back of the tongue.

Light to medium bodied and perhaps a bit too much carbonation.

Not the best ever, but an enjoyable beer. I especially enjoy the tart blackberry on the finish. A little less carbonation would do this one well.

 646 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 Sean9689
3.75/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle thanks to Mike (nerd) at DLD 2012. You hag!

A - Pours a darker reddish/brown color, off-white head, thin collar, spotty lace.

S - Fruit-forward, some tart acidity, oak, light vinegar (in a good way), hint of citrus. Reminds me of a Flanders Red or something similar to that style.

T - Dark sour cherries, fruits, oak, medium acidity, currants. Alcohol is well-hidden at 8%. Again, could possibly be called a Flanders Red. Finish is cherry and oak tartness.

M - Medium body, good carbonation, dry oak finish.

O - One of the better Bruery sours I've had in recent memory, but didn't exactly kill it for me. I would have again for sure, but wouldn't actively seek out this beer for what it commands in the "trading world". Good, not great.

 748 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 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.

 612 characters

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.

 916 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 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.

 626 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 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.


 258 characters

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.

 391 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 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.

 718 characters

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.

 761 characters

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.

 1,052 characters

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.

 735 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 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 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 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.

 577 characters

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.

 611 characters

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.

 1,019 characters

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.

 1,514 characters

The Wanderer from The Bruery
4.29 out of 5 based on 886 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.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!