Fall Wild Ale | New Belgium Brewing

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54 Ratings

Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing
Colorado, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by beertooth on 09-29-2009

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 54 |  Reviews: 45
Reviews by GarrettB:
Photo of GarrettB
4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I remember back when the Lips of Faith series was limited to La Folie and the occasional release, like Eric’s Ale. Now every time I go to the local beer store, or even better, when I visit New Belgium, there’s a new selection of LoF beers, each a significant departure from the last. The Fall Wild is no exception - an iconic entry into the Lips of Faith line, with its characteristic dark, creeping flavors and grimacingly-good palate. The nose is simultaneously dark, husky and sweet, and accented with sour, almost vinegar notes. The flavor adds several more layers of complexity to the nose, featuring a coke sweetness, generous raisin and fig sugars, and a nice alcohol bite that incentivizes drinkers to sit and really mull the flavor. Plum abounds in the latter half of the taste, and gives the drinker all the flavorful benefit of an imperial stout without the deep charred or bitter flavors that come with almost-burnt malts. A long howling flavor of raisin set on a wave of sharp alcohol produces a long, relaxing aftertaste that leaves the tongue anesthetized almost as much as the drinker. Without the sharp bitterness of the stout, the Fall Wild makes an excellent Fall warmer, a modified version of the beloved Winter warmer.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of weatherdog
3.29/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on draft at Brixies in Brookfield IL

Served in a goblet - poured a bark brown with a one finger head that dissipated father quickly.

Aroma was rather neutral with a small amount of brett character but left a lot to be desired for a 'wild ale'

I was all geared up for a nice funky offering from New Belgian Lips of Faith Series. it was called fall wild ale after all. After tasting it I was disappointed. It tasted like a regular Belgian dubel with a little brett funk on the backside. It was not bad by any means but just not as funky as I would have hoped for. If that beer was brewed with all Brett vs. primary Belgian yeast and secondary Brett finish I think I would have loved it. As it stands it is just a decent beer but not worthy to seek out.

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Photo of gregmoscetti
3.25/5  rDev -9.7%

Photo of glid02
3.85/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Leon's in Atlanta.

Pours a dark ruby color with a half-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving light lacing.

Smells of somewhat spicy dark malts with hints of dark fruits dusted with light cocoa powder and even lighter hints of funk.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though a bit more intense. Dark malt flavors up front are joined quickly by mild amounts of nondescript spices - nutmeg mostly if I had to guess with hints of allspice. Midway through the sip small amounts of dark fruit flavors enter into things along with some funk. The funk and fruit flavors carry through to a mildly bitter ending that leaves a bit of tang lingering on the palate.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a solid thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I finished my glass without a problem and could have another.

Overall I wasn't really sure what was going on in this beer as it seemed to be a combination of lots of small contributions. Certainly not a bad beer and even worth a try for the curious.

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Photo of ste5venla
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of augustgarage
4.14/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This was described as a "dubbel," and I'm reviewing it as such. Don't pick this up expecting a sour. On-tap at the Library Alehouse in Santa Monica. Served in a New Belgium tulip.

Hazy carnelian body with ruby highlights and a snow-white cap of thinning suds. Excellent honiton-like lacing. Legs are like the edge of a finely honed razor.

The menu description was spot-on, with juicy waves of fresh green fig, dried Monmorency cherry, and light caramel malt forming the nose. Very fresh and inviting.

The palate follows the aromas to a "T," adding a little more complexity to the malt bill. Where a lot of dubbels have a raisin note mid-palate, this tastes more like cranberries. The Schisandra berries are the perfect addition to this ale. The fruit continues into the finish with fresh apricot, and the faintest hint of a fresh mildly funky (Brett.) kriek. Very well crafted.

Medium bodied, quite warming, and a touchy syrupy towards the bottom of the glass.

Juicy, fresh, well rounded - this is a creative twist on a traditional style that succeeds in every way. The first beer I've tried from New Belgium that finally reminds me of a true Belgian ale, but with a unique and meaningful twist.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

on-tap at brasserie V, paired with a bloody V burger

cell notes

appearance: served in the classic new belgium chalice - rather dark amber body, foamy tan cap but still a hearty pour

smell: herbal earthy nose - definitely malt driven, similar to a dubbel with brett

taste: This beer boasts the usage of Schisandra berries, the "five flavor fruit". This one reminded me of a bland trappist dubbel, with only a slight wild nature coming from the yeast...malt, tobacco, herbal. After a tasting of saisons and sours, this wasnt very memorable

mouthfeel: not as lively as i would hope from a wild ale

drinkability: fine

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Photo of beertooth
4.3/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Hopleaf.
$5 for a tulip glass.

This beer is a hazy, burnt amber with a finger of tight off-white head that leaves thick lacing.

The smell is sweet with lot's of sugary malts. There is also a strong hit of belgian yeast, very spicy! I'm picking up on some banana, clove, and musty cherries. Lot's of fruity esters. It reminds me of a more malt foward saison. There is a tiny bit of brett funk too with some grassy hay. Some alcohol is present as well.

The first gulp is a huge blast of trappist yeast, fruity esters, and sweet caramel malt. Berries, bananas, cherries and wee bit 'o funk. The sourness hits and vanishes in the finish. I can also taste the alcohol more and more at it warms up along with a little more sour and funk. I'm not sure of the ABV% though.

Mouthfeel is full and medium carbonated.

This is an interesting beer from New Belgium. I find their Lips of Faith series to be hit or miss, but this is a hit. I'd like to lay some bottles down for a while to see what happens to the brett and booze. This is just what I needed on this crisp September evening.

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Photo of hooliganlife
3.38/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

on tap at ciceros

pour was deep brown and ruby with an inch+ of creamy head. great retention.

light cherry, sweet malt, some banana

not nearly as sour as i would have liked. light funk mixed with a deep cherry and fig. a nice bitterness through out but not a sour bitterness. could be the hops? light funk in the finish. needs more complexity and flavor.

nice body with a nice medium carbonation. goes down easy.

this was ok, nothing special in terms of wild ales but i would drink this again. ABV is a tad high too.

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Photo of kkrez
4/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of GRG1313
3.91/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A treat from Father's Office in Santa Monica. Poured a deep clear copper head with a thick and very firm tan head that did not dissipate for most of the glass. Great looking.

Nose was somewhat closed, probably because it was served a bit colder than I normally drink. (Never warmed up since I drank it so fast!) Light nose of "almost sour" red cherries, white bread yeast and light banana malt. I suspect that as it warmed the nose would have gotten more assertive.

Mouth feel is rich, creamy and bold with just the right carbonation.

Flavor that initially hits your palate is an "almost sweet" bright red cherries with a good acidic character and an "almost sour" character. Flavors go to some spice, rich banana malt and cooked fruit.

Finish follows flavor in that the finish is malty and full of rich bananas.

Good example of a tap beer being better than the bottle. Flavors and character are fresh and bright; a brightness and character that one doesn't find in the bottle.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.82/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

10 oz tap pour into a stemmed tulip glass. Poured at the New Belgium Hub in the Denver Airport.

A - The tap pour was poor. You'd think they knew better here. Filled right to the top it left no room for head so only a small tan right was the only thing there. The beer was a clear deep brown. A little bit of lace was left upon drinking.

S - This Wild Ale has a low nose right off the bat since it was poured right to the top. The nose was still tight even when half the beer was gone and I swirled it. What I do get coming out though is a touch of toasted bread and caramel malt with a blend of their sour brown ale astringency and some Brett yeast with a small funk finish.

T - It seems like this Wild Ale is more of a blend of lightly sour brown ale with a small, tart mouth-pucker mixed with a low level of Brett yeast. Toasted bread and caramel malts provide a solid base. No hops appear in this brew. A hint of Brett horse-blanket comes through in the finish.

M - This Wild Ale is medium-bodied and mostly malt-driven with a blend of tart and sour on the finish with lingering Brett aspects. Moderate carbonation livens it up a bit.

D - It dabbles in sour brown and wild ale enough to not be too heavy on either side. It's a good blend and nicely drinkable but I would have liked to see more Wild, especially since thats what it's called.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.83/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed at Bittercreek Friday night..

I entered this review in a coupla nights ago... but the site crash got rid of it...

$4 for probably a 8oz pour... no real head.. lace if I swirl the glass.. the brew is lightly hazed deep chestnut..

Aroma is much more like a traditional dubbel.. with a fair dusting of brett...

Flavor is nice.. but not too much of anything that demands a "wild ale".. no real sour... maybe some weird cranberry... some random phenols and a sorta dry caramel and raison malty element with some cobwebs and hay.

nice body and carbonation.. I would think a whole lot of peeps are going to be disappointed with the lack of the overall wildness.

Instead, this brew is a nice practice in brett... lite funk and plenty of yeasty elements.. but still only okay.

One glass was about perfect... I would not have appreciated it anymore.

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Photo of largadeer
2.36/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Draft at Stone. Tawny-colored, fairly clear. Arrives with no head, which may have been the fault of the bartender rather than the beer. The aroma is solventy, acetic and fruity. There's some pomegranate-like tartness, brown sugar, and a hint of funk. The taste is similarly uninspired, a mix of light sweetness and light tartness, vinegar, fruit and astringent graininess. A bit medicinal, phenolic. Very mediocre, I had no desire to finish this one.

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Photo of LibraryTom
3.9/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

An amber colored brew that shows a bit of caramel in the nose which flirts with the slightly tart, dark fruits. There is a bit of fig, and chocolate running in the undercurrent of a bold malty sweetness, which is brought to an abrupt and tart, yet quite pleasant finish.

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Photo of jdavin
4.15/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Stumbling Monk. $4.50, served in 0.4L New Belgium tulip glass.

A - dark ruby brown, lacy pillowy head.
S - brown sugar, cherries, bready yeast.
T - raisins, brown sugar, cherries, hint of sourness.
M - lighter in malt body than I expected. This is good because I didn't want a super sweet/heavy beer.
D - good drinkability. I wouldn't order this often, since it's not my type of beer - but it was very drinkable considering I usually don't like lambics or bret beers.

The flavor and funkiness becomes more pronounced as the beer warms. I recommend drinking only slightly chilled.

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Photo of ebin6
3.19/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ, aged 9 months by Gabe.

A - Pours reddish/brown with a lot more head than I expected

S - Funky, dirty nose; a lot of herbaceous notes upon deep inhalations

T - Incredibly complex taste; sweet-to-bitter-to-funky-to-sour taste, though not a very intense sour taste. Gabe had mentioned the brewers used some exotic berry which is supposed to contain all five types of taste (sweet, savory, salty, bitter, and sour). I had a hard time pulling out the saltiness though.

M - Resonates pleasantly upon swallowing, though each sip seems to be hit-or-miss. The first sip blew me away, but it was hard to duplicate that same mouthfeel or taste

D - Not a taste I'd care to drink for extended periods of time

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Photo of GbVDave
3.16/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served in a snifter at Hopleaf. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

A: Served a cloudy, dark brown with light brown highlights. One finger of creamy off-white colored head left a bit of lace.

S: Vaguely fruity (dark and tart berry) with some sweet malt.

T: See above. Add to this some bitter hops and/or dry roasty malt.

M: Sweet with a peppery/bitter/hoppy finish.

D: I felt a little mislead by the name of this. Where's the sour?

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Photo of AnitaBrewski
3.9/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of klikger
3.02/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

16 oz. pour into tulip glass at Brickhouse BBQ

A - Very dark brown with a decent amount of head. Lacing came and went quickly.

S - Bananas, cloves, dried cranberries.

T - From sip one, this was very sweet. Bananas dominated, with black pepper and prunes making an appearance as well. Despite the name, the taste isn't as wild as hoped for. I longed for funk and was given sugar.

M - Not much carbonation, but this doesn't detract. Average body.

D - No funk; too much sweetness. I drank half of the glass and happily traded it for half of a Gumballhead.

This is the first Lips of Faith which I wouldn't want to have again. I'm not saying it's not well-crafted; there's definitely a target market that will enjoy this. I'm not part of it.

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Photo of KeefD
2.66/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Had this on tap at The Happy Gnome in St Paul. Pours a clear brown color, small white head and good lacing. Aroma is very earthy, definitely smells like fall. Smells woody, light tobacco and leather, earth, and slight funk. Taste is mildly sour, in fact so little that I probably wouldn't have guessed Brett was used. Lightly sweet, bready malts, very light funk. Medium bodied. Not bad, but really wasn't overly impressed. Everything seemed a little muted in this beer and flavor was a little muddy.

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Photo of Reaper16
4.12/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

served on-tap into a tulip glass at Flying Saucer, Kansas City, MO

This beer sat in the glass a completely unexpected shade of dark purple. My reaction upon seeing it was to utter the word "Whoa!" because I did not expect a wild ale to be this dark. The head was off-white and didn't really lace all that well to be honest. But the perplexing, deep velvet color was intriguing enough to score highly.

Lots of complexity in the nose, which I love. The first thing to hit me is the dunkleweiss characteristics of bananas that are past their prime and clove/typical brewing spices. It isn't quite banana bread, more like the caramel banana amuse bouche you get at a Brazilian churascarria restaurant. Once those aromas get acclimated in your nose then the funkiness of the Brettonamyces strain comes into play. I wasn't impressed by New Belgium's house strain of Brett in their Biere de Mars but here it is more pronounced, giving off a sweet hay aroma mixed with the smells of damp topsoil. Cutting through all that earthiness is the unmistakable scent of wildberries. The smell is indiscernible as to specific type but appreciated in its wild, fruity quality.

Lots of berry flavors on the tongue. It is sweet and sort of savory-yet-still-fruity. As it warms there comes some spiciness out of the berry tastes. Matt, the beer master at KC's Flying Saucer, tells me that New Belgium used the Schisandra berry in this beer. Schisandra is notable in Chinese cuisine for being the "five flavor fruit;" it is supposed to make its mark on all aspects of the palate (sans umami), from sweet to sour, salty to spicy and of course bitter. Fall Wild Ale is not as sour as some popular wild ales but I think that it is funky enough to be enjoyable by aficionados of the style. The very varied berry tastes play well with the funky yeast flavors. This is really enjoyable.

I like the mouthfeel in that the carbonation level is just right to the point where I don't have to think about it. The body is medium sized and the beer never feels heavy or taxing in the mouth. The drinkability then has to be scored highly. It is very drinkable; I could enjoy multiple pints per evening despite the very deceptive 8.5% ABV. The beer goes down smoothly without forsaking complexity.

All in all I was impressed with this beer. It isn't the end-all/be-all of wild ales but it is a delicious option at the craft beer bar. If New Belgium were to bottle this Lips of Faith entry then I would surely buy a few.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The pour is amber in color with a slight cloudiness and an off-white head.

S: Certainly some tartness, leaning firmly in the acetic/vinegar direction. A mild sweetness with some vanilla and coconut? notes. Quite a bit of earth, which I suppose fits with the "fall" theme of the name.

T: A fair amount of complexity to the flavor, which is nice. Somewhat sweet, with contributions from the malt and maybe some dark fruits (cherries). The sourness is (again) primarily acetic in nature and works in an interesting fashion with the earthy and musty nature of the beer.

M: The body is medium with a fairly low level of carbonation. I tend to prefer my American wild ales with a bit more effervescence.

D: One of my least favorite New Belgium sours. A bit much on the vinegar and sort of muddled and quite earhty.

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Photo of Tone
4.35/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black color with amber coloring along the bottom of the glass. One inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of citrus, yeast, hops, slight tart malt, herbs, and slight spice. Fits the style of an American Wild Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and sharp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, spice, (cinnamon), slight hop, herb, and sligh grass. Overall, a complex body, good aroma, and great appearance.

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Photo of champ103
3.42/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Pours a dark ruby/brown color. A small cap forms and a head, with little retention. No lace.
S: Yeast, banana, clove, caramel, and some alcohol.
T: Sweet malt with some banana and other dark fruits. A light spicy clove flavor and alcohol.
M/D: A medium body that is creamy and smooth. The alcohol is noticeable, and makes this a one and done. It is still a good beer to sip on.

Not really a Wild Ale. The website says this is a Dubble with Brett added. I don't get any souness or funkyness. This did not do much for me. Worth a try if you see it, but a one and done purchase for me.

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Fall Wild Ale from New Belgium Brewing
Beer rating: 3.6 out of 5 with 54 ratings