Fortuna Roja
Freetail Brewing Company

Fortuna RojaFortuna Roja
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American Wild Ale
4.29 | pDev: 9.09%
Freetail Brewing Company
Texas, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Fortuna RojaFortuna Roja
Notes: Batch 1 (2011) - 200 Bottles
Batch 2 (2012) - 120 Bottles
Reviews: 25 | Ratings: 73
Photo of stakem
4.09/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This review is based off the original 2011 bottling that ive cellared for 7 years prior to sharing with friends.

It appears a polished clear golden yellow with a white head.

It smells fruity almist vinous with cheese and something like cucumber.

The taste is vinous, cider-like and lemony tart with oak and an overall sweet tart feel in the aftertaste.

This is medium in body with light carbonation. A tangy, enjoyable brew that is not showing its age at all. This went over really well with the people I shared it with.

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Photo of BarrytheBear
3.68/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75


Fairly still orange pour with a faint funk on the nose coupled with watermelon juice. Not sure if time tempered this or it's just this light and faint.

LOTS of prickly pear, fruity at the start that moves into tart pucker and a sour fade that lingers. Funk is light here as well and the profile is prickly pear dominant.

Interesting flavor here but it becomes a bit overbearing at times as not much helps to ease the prickly assault. Fun try and a beer that was a huge top want a few years back.

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Photo of jlindros
4.45/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks t to rudzud for this one, one I figured I'd never try. 2011 vintage.

No real head, honey orange hazy color, very slight blush colored hue.

Nose great, nice tart funk, little fruity sourness, generic fruity but not really specific, mild lambic aroma into Brett in the background, watermelon candy, little melon like,

Taste brings lots of tart but juicy fruit, fair sourness with a prickly pear like, into big watermelon and generic melon balls. Nice tart generic fruit lambic, with little acidic bite, almost like a citric acid, into a mild sour Brett like funk. Touch of musty acetic acid, and funk, vinous note. Finish is a little dry and sticky flemmy, bit acidic, more lambic and tart fruit.

Mouth is lighter bod, decent bit lighter carb, nice acidic bite.

Overall delicious, not the most phenomenal beer or sour but very good.

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Photo of rudzud
4.52/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Received in one of my first trades ever, shared with JLindros and Threelions. 2011 vintage, review number 1700.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a clear blush hue with no head but loads of effervescent.

S - Aromas of light funk, tart fruit, sour candies, prickly pear fruit, brett, tart almost powder smarties. Really really pleasant.

T - Taste is very tart, almost juicy prickly pear, light funk, floral, flower petals, watermelon jolly ranchers, sweet candy. Refreshing. Loads of prickly pear.

M - Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, crisp.

O - Overall this beer was tasty, everything I hoped it would be. Loads of prickly pear, nice funk, really tasty.

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Photo of AlexFields
4.18/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a grapefruit off-red color, large head, really stunning.

Smells tart but not terribly sour, sweet fruity watermelon...smells like a Jolly Rancher.

Tastes like a Jolly Rancher too but there's more going on. The focus is watermelon/guava like fruit, obviously the prickly pear, but it's odd and hard to describe--guess my palate isn't used to prickly pear. Tart, but not really acidic or funky, just kindof like a tart candy. Pretty light and sweet. Really delicious and definitely unlike anything I've had.

Great and unique beer. I knew I wanted it just because it sounded weird, but it was definitely worth the trouble to find it.


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Photo of jaasen64
4.22/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into HF "fest" glass. First beer in our mini Freetail tasting (other beers included Raspberry Ananke, Yo Soy Berliner, and Porto Gallito). This is a sour made with prickly pear (a type of cactus fruit).

A- Pours a fairly still orange yellow reddish grapefruit color that has pretty much no head and fairly low carbonation but looks nice for a sour and has a nice fruity glow to it.

S- Fruity sour aroma that has a light fruity funk to it and smells of melons, pears, and a hint of dill pickles that fits in well with the sourness. Definitely interesting, unique, fairly sour with a nice fruitiness that blends in well.

T- Follow nose with fruity sour flavors of melons, cucumbers, pears, hint of dill pickles on the finish, with a sour melon aftertaste. I'd imagine the fruitiness in the beer (excluding the sour taste from the brett) is what prickly pear tastes like although I can't say for certain seeing as I've never tried one. I can say that fits nicely in a sour and everything was well balanced.

M- Medium bodied, not much carbonation, slight acidic feel typical of a nice sour, overall a nice feel for a sour.

O- This was my first Freetail beer and the first one we tried during our mini Freetail sour tasting. I wasn't sure what to expect from the brewery especially because I had no idea what Prickly Pear tastes like. I thought this beer was creative, very well done, and one of the better sours that I've had. It's great seeing breweries create unique brews using indigenous ingredients that aren't commonly used. I hope to drink this again and I definitely recommend checking it out if you can.

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Photo of brystmar
4.27/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 1, thanks to Jon!

Did I just pour ruby red grapefruit juice? Wow, this looks like a liquified Watermelon Jolly Rancher. Funky, citrusy, fruity aroma. Wishing it were stronger though.

Taste is refined and unique amongst sours. Never had a prickly pear sour before, but whoa this is great! Crisp and refreshing; tart but not overly sour. Not enough of this was made -- seek it out!

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Photo of ehammond1
3.91/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Thanks for sharing this, Cavery!

Bright, vibrant melted watermelon Jolly Rancher in color with a somewhat small off-white head that eventually leaves connect-the-dot lines and spots of lacing down the glass. Interesting, unique, and gorgeous!

One of the strangest aromas I've ever experienced, beer or otherwise. I kid you not, this is the most dill-forward beer I've smelled. Dill, dill pickle juice, and crunchy dill pickles are the main aromas, as well as deli mustard, and leafy, peppery greens like arugula. Strange, and not at all unpleasant, even if my description sounds so.

The flavor is more fruit-forward than the aroma and tastes like watermelon flesh and watermelon rind, along with black pepper, a mild funky yeast character, a mild to strong sourness, and an earthy fruit flavor I'm assuming is prickly pear. Interesting, and actually delicious!

Thin to medium bodied with high moderate to high carbonation.

A unique, interesting, and deliciously strange wild ale. I loved this stuff!

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this bottle from jefferz5000 (thanks Jeff), and shared it in Chicago at a Thai BYOB restaurant. A cactus juice infused take on a Belgian style, served with Thai food in the midwest's finest city.

The beer pours a pink color, almost red, clear with little/no foam. The aroma is brett and lemon, also what I take to be cactus (who really drinks cactus juice anyway?). The flavor is tart and sour, not seriously acidic so maybe that's the contribution of the cactus pear. Very tasty and maybe just a little fruity, nice.

Very drinkable, I could have easily slammed the whole bottle in short order. I'm going after future Freetail wilds whenever possible.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.62/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22 oz bottle split and poured into a Duvel tulip.
6.9% ABV, 200 Bottles (wow), 2011.

Every so often an unknown brewery comes along and completely surprises you with a stellar brew. In this case, Freetail has blown me away. I can't wait to try their other stuff. A huge thanks goes out to Beerwolf77 for sharing this ultra-limited bottle with me.

A - Bright cherry red in color! It's vibrant-yet-hazed and covered by a light pink head. Good retention for the fuzzy foam dispite the acidity, and bits of lace are left clinging to the glass.

S - Sour watermelon Jolly Ranchers! Somewhat artificial in aroma but not in that syrupy, sugary way. Mellow acidity, big fruity undertones, and a swirl changes the game completely. It completely hides the fruit notes and brings out a big armpit funk with biting astringency; almost too much of a yeasty influence.

T - Yep, sour watermelon JRs, ahoy! The fruity flavor is there but neither overpowering or syrupy in the least bit. Almost un-beer-like, Fortuna Roja is loaded with wild yeast notes and good balance despite hops and malt being completely indecipherable. Delicious as hell.

M - Incredibly sour and tart but not to that tongue-bruising level, this well-carbonated, medium-light-bodied beer has a fantasticly biting finish.

O - Freetail has won me over with Fortuna Roja. Exceptional in every regard, this sour watermelon beer is very well balanced and delicious. It's a shame is so limited.

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Photo of beerwolf77
4.52/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I simply can't thank my regular trade partner exiled enough for this one. Jason sent me a box loaded with an assortment of Freetail wilds. I love sours like nothing else so to say I'm grateful is an understatement. Bottle split into tulips with my sour sidekick.

A: Slightly cloudy pink melon hue. Small light pink head fades quick and leaves a soapy lace ring. Really digging the color on this one.

S: Wow! Great sour watermelon aroma. Hints of brett, pool toys, lactic sour, sweet melon. Like a sour watermelon jolly rancher.

T: The flavor follows the nose perfectly. Great sour and sweet melon. This is the most unique yet tasty wild I've yet to try.

M: Medium body. Good amount of carbonation.

O: Wonderful fruit forward wild. I could drink this all day. I sincerely hope Freetail makes this again.

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Photo of baconsausage
4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to whoever sent me this bottle. (hopschnapps?) Love the artwork on the label. Beer pours a crystal clear, ruby red. No head, but very effervescent, with small prickly carbonation that fades to a nearly still pour. Smells faintly sour, with a strawberry like aroma on the finish. Taste is a delicate sour, with a light vinegary bite to it. Soft candied fruit flavor balanced by the sourness of it. Faintly Jolly Rancher like. Having had candied prickly pear before, this is what it might taste like as a hard sour candy. Flavor is almost like flower nectar it is so delicate. Really enjoying this brew, as I have most of Freetail's offerings.

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Photo of drummermattie02
4.62/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very interesting pink/red, even the head has a pink tinge to it and disappears to a ring quickly.

The smell is the best part of this beer, fresh prickly pear with a lot of funk, slightly lemony too -- I kept smelling this for a long time before drinking.

Taste is fruity first, funky second. Prickly pear comes through very well, citrus in the background. Not too much sourness.

Very effervescent, refreshing on the tongue; combined with the taste, this is one very good and refreshing beer.

Would love to see more great sours like this from Freetail.

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Photo of jrallen34
4.62/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Eric... A great color of magenta, reminds me of CCB Pilot Series Dragon Passionfruit. A great super pink head, forms a great ring, awesome... The aroma is light funk with floral and herbal cactus notes. Really interesting.... The taste is a sweeter than I imagined, sugared flower water with some cactus juice, light tart raspberry finish... This is pretty outstanding, would love to have again.

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Photo of kunstdrache
4.58/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had a bottle of this with a friend recently.

Pours a vivid red pinkish color with little head. The smell though is wonderful, you can smell the fruit mixed with a bit of barnyard funk. The taste though, is wonderful, the base beer does not seem to be a super sour but the pricky pear makes it just right with an excellent amount of tartness and sourness. What really makes this beer is the dryness it has. This just reminds me of the big guns of Belgium; Cantillion and 3F.

I just wish this wasn't my last bottle...

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Photo of StoneBrewFanatic
3.83/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours the color of ruby red grapefruit into my snifter with a little less than a finger of bubbly head that has minimal retention that settles into a ring around the glass leaving little to no lace.

S - Smells more funky than sour, barnyard funk, citrus, prickly pear, and some malts.

T - Tart, fruity and funky. Nice amount of brett, citrus prickly pear, grapefruit, and watermelon. Sour enough to excite the palate, but not overwhelmingly so.

M - This one was a little disappointing for me. I felt it was way over carbonated, so much so that it actually took away from the taste of this beer.

O - As the beer warmed and sat in the glass the carbonation calmed down a little and the true flavors and qualities become more prevalent, but initially the high carbonation attacked my palate and didn't give me a chance to really enjoy what this beer had to offer.

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Photo of jamescain
3.85/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my SA perfect pint

Appearance: Reddish Pink, probably closer to pink then to red. Any head that was produced during pouring quickly fades to nothing. A crazy amount of bubbles are streaming from the bottom up the sides telling me to get ready for carbonation.

Aroma: Funk, barn yard funk, and a little citrus are the predominate aromas.

Taste: To quote Overlord “ass puckeringly sour” is the best way I can describe this one. I wouldn’t say it was overly sour and I couldn’t drink it, because I did enjoy it. It was hard to discern any differences in the flavor due to the sourness, which made it pretty one dimensional. I would say it was a citrusy sour, with maybe a little bit or watermelon type sourness hidden beneath the layers or sour. I know that doesn’t make any since, but I’m trying.

Mouthfeel: Highly carbonated but I would still say this one is a sipper due to the sourness of it. My mouth is actually watering right now as I type while I recall the taste and feeling of this beer. Not because I crave it but because it is, again, sour.

Overall: I thought it was pretty good, it could have used a little more dimension to it, perhaps, with more time it would develop more.

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Photo of glid02
4.33/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Grant – thanks!

Pours a hazy bright reddish-pink color with a half-finger slightly off-white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of medium malts with bright and slightly tart tropical fruit aromas. Also present are slight amounts of funk and slighter amounts of floral hops.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though more robust. Medium malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by moderately tart tropical fruit flavors – papaya with hints of grapefruit and watermelon. Midway through the sip the fruit flavors fade out somewhat, allowing funk to come into play. The funk fades out near the end of the sip, allowing the fruits to carry through to a mildly tart ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It’s got a nice thickness with active carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall this was one of the more interesting AWAs I’ve had in a while. Additionally, this happened to be the second beer I’d had with prickly pears in the week and I found both to be well integrated. Well worth a shot.

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

Kickass looking bottle delivered by Eric FKA Norm McDonald.

A - Wow, I have never seen a beer that looks like this. Looks like a neon-magenta, glow-in-the-dark beverage. I'm sure this would light up like Christmas if you placed a black light next to it. Really, it reminds me of the time I went to a Mexican strip club and they invite the girls to sit on your lap. Then they scam you by having you "buy the girl a drink" and the girls start downing these candy shots with zero alcohol in them for $20 bucks a pop. Of course, you're so drunk on Corona at that point you don't realize what's going on until you're $200 in the hole. Yeah, that sucks.

S - Very fruity, cactus pear juice. A nice sour and tartness in there. It smells sweet nd good.

T - Really like this one, and I think the color is helping. The cactus pear taste is really great, kind of like a fruity, candy drink. Not the type of thing I usually go for, but there is enough sour and tart in there to make it very nice.

M - A little syrupy, medium bodied, moderate carbonation.

O - Good beer, different and unique, would love to drink it again. The color alone makes this one worth trying, and the taste is quite good too.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.39/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review #1300. Thanks to TurdFurgison for sharing this one. Served in a wine glass.

A - Quick-dissolving white foam that settles to a thin, partial ring and no lace. The body is a hot lipstick color that reminds me of prickly pear cactus flesh (or my old fuchsia Chevy Cavalier).

S - Bretty funk, tropical fruit juice, ripe prickly pear cacti. Very fruity and juice, with light lactic notes.

T - Fruity and funk brett, light sourness, and plenty of cactus pear. It's like fruit punch with a lightly sour finish. Really surprised to learn this was 7% too. Not the most complex wild, but delicious in my opinion.

M - Medium-light body, mildly zesty carbonation, lightly finish with some tannic, starchy fruit texture as well.

D - This stuff was great and I'd have gladly consumed the bottle on my own. I'd love to see if it sours up a bit over time, but it's quite enjoyable in its current state. I've been really enjoying Freetail's wild beers, and am looking forward to seeing what they come up with next.

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Photo of jefferz5000
4.46/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to me for picking this bottle up for myself, I really appreciate it, Jeff. No problem, buddy, enjoy it! Ok, I will!

Pours literally HOT PINK in the proper lighting. This beer seriously looks awesome. Once poured, it's a deep, yet bright, reddish magenta color, perfectly matching a prickly pear fruit. Really bubbly and fizzy at the beginning which gets me a bit worried that this may be overcarbed. That all fades away rather quickly, though.

Aroma is pretty much what you'd expect from a wild ale, but with a bit of the prickly pear sweetness making itself known. Lemony, funky, zesty. Off to a good start.

Taste is yummy and puckering. It's sour. Very closely follows the nose with lemon juice and some funk in there, as well. A small amount of sweetness really helps balance this out. It's pretty tart though! Nom.

Feels pretty good in the mouth. Bubbly, but not overcarbed. Leaves the tongue feeling dry and begging for another sip or fifty.

Extremely drinkable. While being pretty sour, it's not overly acidic. It's juicy. It's pretty hard to stop taking sips, and it's hard to keep those sips just sips. I want to take a big gulp.

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Photo of wagenvolks
4.18/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle shared by JonathanL7890 at a recent tasting; thanks!

Fortuna Roja pours with a unique, rosy red body. Very well-carbonated, too, with lots of bubbles rising up to supply a healthy Valentine's Day pink-colored head. Aromas of prickly pear cacti, tart citrus, light cherry, wood, and a hint of vinegary acetic acid.

The flavor is lighter than expected, with a kiss of tart sourness. Not as bold as Freetail's Ananke (also aged in wine barrels), but the prickly pear cactus makes Fortuna Roja both incredibly juicy and drinkable. A little fruity sweetness in the middle, followed by a drying, slight puckering finish. Medium-thin body with a healthy carbonation level...almost soda-like in its consistency and some aspects of its flavor. All in all, an exciting new release from one of Texas' brightest brewpubs.

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Photo of dnarx
3.56/5  rDev -17%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

it tastes like a red dill pickle...

on a more serious note:

A- Poured a strikingly bright red, similar to kool-aid. Amazingly translucent. Exciting to look at.

S- Sour, vinegar smell, exactly like my great-grandmother's homemade pickling solution

T- Exactly how it smelled.

M- It had a very light mouthfeel.

D- Definitely lower on the drinkability scale simply because of the vinegarish-ness. It wouldn't be a session beer.w

Overall, interesting beer although personally I felt like it wasn't very beer-ish. Fun to try!

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Photo of womencantsail
3.6/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to Bobby for this quite rare tick.

A: Pours a shockingly bright red/pink color with a finger of pink head.

S: Wow, this is quite funky. A big bacterial character and a lot of prickly pear (the fruit added to this beer). Smells slightly tart/lactic with quite a lot of fruit. The nose is quite interesting, if nothing else.

T: The flavor is surprisingly, and somewhat disappointingly, sweet. A big sweet, Jolly Rancher/candy flavor. There is a slight tartness to it, and a good prickly pear character. Lots of cactus, too, which I wasn't really expecting.

M: The body is medium with a moderate level of carbonation.

D: This one wasn't as good as Ananke, but still not bad. The addition of prickly pear was an interesting choice and made for a very different sour beer.

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Photo of champ103
4.38/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a beautiful, and bright crimson/rose color. A two finger pink head rises and quickly faces. The foam sticks around as a small cap throughout. Light lace. I really love the color.
S: Funky yeast, lightly acidic, and lots of tart fruits. Prickly pear indeed.
T: Follows the nose. Plenty of funk, and a more substantial acidic zest. That prickly pear is really apparent. All the flavors are really clean. I like it a lot, but it does take some getting use to.
M/D: A medium body that is really crisp, clean and dry. Excellent carbonation. Almost tannin like with the fleshy fruits as well. Very easy to drink. I will finish the bottle in no time, and enjoyed several on tap at the brewpub.

This is a really well made, and unique wild ale. The cactus/prickly pear flavor really shocks the senses at first, but it is still really enjoyable. One of the most unique beers I have had anywhere. Highly recommended.

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Fortuna Roja from Freetail Brewing Company
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 73 ratings