Modus Operandi (Modus Vivendi)
The Wild Beer Co.

Modus Operandi (Modus Vivendi)Modus Operandi (Modus Vivendi)
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The Wild Beer Co.
England, United Kingdom
Old Ale
3.89 | pDev: 10.03%
Dec 10, 2021
Aug 17, 2013
Very Good
Modus Operandi (Modus Vivendi)Modus Operandi (Modus Vivendi)
Notes: First, an English Old Ale is brewed and aged in oak barrels (Burgundy red wine and US Bourbon). A hardy wild yeast strain called Brettanomyces slowly matures the beer with the help of the yeasts, bacteria and microbes harbored by the barrels. These add complexity and acidity to the beer, making every barrel an individual, unique character.

Sold as Modus Vivendi in the USA.
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Photo of MutuelsMark
Reviewed by MutuelsMark from Kentucky

4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Pours dark with a small head that has a tinge of darkness to it. Nose is very pungent and dank like basalmic vinegar. Taste is similar to nose, with a follow through that fades across the entire palate. Good 'beer'.
Dec 10, 2021
Photo of brentk56
Reviewed by brentk56 from North Carolina

4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Appearance: Pours a clear chestnut color with a fizzy ecru head that rises to two fingers but fades to a film; speckles of lace

Smell: There is a yin-yang element in the aroma, with fruit tones of tart cherry and plum intermingling with toffee and hard grape candy

Taste: The sweeter toffee and hard candy elements lead off with hints of red wine; an oaky acidity develops that wipes away the sweeter and brings barnyard elements of earthy leather; the finish brings a hint of the cherry and plum but the wild yeast adds ongoing musty complexity; the overall impression is very earthy with hints of sweet malt and slightly sour fruit

Mouthfeel: Medium body with low to moderate carbonation; slight pucker

Overall: Interesting to combine an old ale with wild yeast though the flavors could have been more pronounced
Feb 21, 2021
Photo of Rug
Reviewed by Rug from Massachusetts

4.09/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
This sounds like an interesting concept. An old ale, soured in a Flanders style and oak aged. I knew I had to grab this bottle when I saw it. I’m quite a big Flanders fan, and I haven’t had many old ales, but one I did have was one of the best beers I’ve ever tasted. Let’s get into this

Pours a murky dark brown with a ruby hue and just a small ring of light brown bubbles, leaving minimal lacing

The nose is nearly the same as any Flanders red, acidic and delicious. I pick up on aromas of funky leather, red wine vinegar, cherries, smooth oak, dark fruit, and musty brett. Not really getting any distinct old ale notes

This tastes relatively smooth, I think that’s the old alw base coming through. On the front end I’m tasting tart cherries, sharp oak, and a touch of lemon acidity. It cleans up a bit on the swallow, bringing notes of funky leather, toffee-like malt, sweet tart cherries, light vinegar, and dark dried fruits

A medium body pairs with gentle tingling carbonation for a sharply refreshing tart beer. Finishes a bit sticky but the relative tartness helps it out

This was good, but not as amazing as I expected from the description. Nonetheless, I’d gladly drink it again
Jan 21, 2021
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Reviewed by ryan1788a5 from Massachusetts

4.32/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
11.2 oz bottle poured into a tulip. Back of the fridge find, not sure of the date but I know it has some years on it. Going to guess 2015-16.

A: Deep mahogany color with reddish hues. Beautiful fluffy and cream colored head retains well. Webby and spotty lacing.

S: Oak forward with some dusty wood notes. Tart red fruits: currant, cherry, raspberry. Moderate funk layer. Fat malty aromas of toasted crust, caramel, brown cocoa and brown molasses.

T: Opens with plenty of wild yeast flavor. Some sharp tartness that backs off quickly, playful red fruit, and a stupendously thick blanket of funk. Cheesy, dusty old building, musty books. A little bit clovey/medicinal. Balsamic vinegar and vinous notes. Malt base really anchors things with flavors of toffee, dark caramel, toasted crust, pinch of dark cocoa, etc. Leather and tobacco. Gentle woody oak notes. It still retains a bit of sweetness, but does dry considerably into the finish. Trailing toast and funk on the finish.

M: Big body, hefty sense of weight. Mouth filling, chewy and creamy. Fat malt textures almost get sticky and coating. Carbonation is ample but gently soothing rather than prickling. Faint sense of tannin.

O: This is a wonderful brew. It's a great throwback to Old Ales of yore, when these beers often picked up plenty of bugs in the barrel and were exposed to the weather. Age is very kind to it as well, which can be expected. It really exceeded my expectations and left me with a lot of respect for this brewery. It's definitely one to add to your short list if you're a fan of funk.
Mar 29, 2020
Photo of VoxRationis
Reviewed by VoxRationis from New York

4.11/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Decanted from an 11.2 oz (330 ml) bottle into a custom taster pint; no production information.
A: Pours a hazy brown with a one to two finger, wheat colored head, surprisingly good retention, but very limited lacing.
S: Solidly on tart side of tangy. Aromas of caramel malt, apple, cocoa, cherry, and lactate.
T: Semisweet and tart, actually quite tart at first. Flavors follow the nose with a heavy emphasis on lactic acid. Imperceivable bitterness in the setting of the tartness. Very clean finish.
M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.
O: This is a tasty and robustly flavorful Flanders Red Ale. Would definitely seek anything from this brewery after trying this and the Saison.
Jan 10, 2020
Rated: 3.9 by Jcarriglio from Florida

Dec 26, 2019
Rated: 4.3 by desint from Belgium

Jul 20, 2019
Rated: 3.87 by shelby415 from Oregon

Mar 11, 2019
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Reviewed by Snowcrash000 from Germany

4.42/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
Pours a murky, deep, dark mahogany coloration with a small, fizzy head. Smells of bready, caramel malt and strong notes of tart black cherry, oaky tannins and a more subtle bourbon barrel presence. Taste is incredibly complex, yet well-balanced, with the burgundy barrel notes dominating, complemented very nicely by a subtle bourbon barrel presence and malty undertones with notes of tart black cherry, red/dark fruit: red/blackcurrant, plum, fig, toffee, leather, vanilla, balsamico vinegar and oaky tannins. Finishes with a light tartness and some dark/red fruits and oaky tannins lingering in the aftertaste. Smooth mouthfeel with a medium body and light carbonation.

I'm absolutely loving the balance of burgundy and bourbon barrels here, with the burgundy barrels clearly dominating with a very tannic, vinous presense that is enhanced tremenduously by subtle notes of bourbon and vanilla as well as the malty undertones. Outstanding balance of sweet, bitter, tart and fruity notes as well. Expertly blended, this is probably the best Flanders Red I've had. I've only had two beers by Wild Beer Co. so far, but they have both been outstanding. I kinda feel like this has solely been gettig such relatively low ratings because it used to be listed as an Old Ale here when it's really a Flanders Red...
Mar 08, 2019
Rated: 4.38 by KensWorld from Florida

Jan 12, 2019
Photo of csmrx7
Reviewed by csmrx7 from Canada (AB)

4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Excellent Flanders style sour which is really right in the middle and complex with out over powering with vinegar which can be off putting with this style. Best beer I have have from Wild Beer co.
Aug 19, 2018
Photo of Vexor
Reviewed by Vexor from Alabama

4.57/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5
Possiblly the best beer ive ever tasted, great enough to make me create an account just to share the experience. A dark, heavy looking drink that is completely surprising on the sip. A light, cool feel in the mouth is only surpassed in its unexpectedness by the taste. Modus Operendis flavor is almost like a finely mixed cocktail with its complexity and the sweetness of wild yeast.
Aug 01, 2018
Rated: 3.93 by Tivlavrie from Canada (AB)

Jun 17, 2018
Rated: 4.37 by DBosco from Massachusetts

Jun 01, 2018
Photo of biboergosum
Reviewed by biboergosum from Canada (AB)

3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
330ml bottle - these guys might rival Stone in terms of back label verbosity.

This beer pours a slightly hazy, medium bronzed amber colour, with two fingers of puffy, finely foamy, and somewhat bubbly beige head, which leaves some decent Swiss cheese pattern lace around the glass as it quickly dissipates.

It smells of tart cherries, gritty and grainy cereal malt, faint bittersweet cocoa powder, some oakey woodiness, subtle and earthy funky notes, and red balsamic vinegar. The taste is grainy and bready caramel malt, a mixed sour fruitiness, musty leather, wet barrel staves, funky red wine, and some gentle earthy yeastiness.

The carbonation is adequate in its palate-supporting frothiness, the body a so-so middleweight, and mostly smooth, with just a touch of generic acridity maybe marring the surface sheen here. It finishes trending dry, the malt ceding the floor to the lingering tart and funky essences.

Overall - this comes across as a pleasantly rendered version of the style, nice and balanced in its complexity. The 14-proof booze quotient is also pretty much undetectable, which is always a good thing to have. Worth checking out, as this is not a common sort of brew to find around my little corner of the world.
May 31, 2018
Rated: 4.04 by xtonytx from Connecticut

Mar 26, 2018
Rated: 4.23 by stephenlee from England

Feb 03, 2018
Rated: 3.7 by SiepJones from Pennsylvania

Dec 18, 2017
Rated: 4 by kylehay2004 from Illinois

Dec 07, 2017
Photo of Lone_Freighter
Reviewed by Lone_Freighter from Vermont

3.96/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
Poured into a tulip, the appearance was a dark ruddy amber close to brown color with a cap of a little white foamy head that slid off at a moderate pace. Slight lace stuck but then slid in a messy manner down the glass.
The aroma shaped some tart cherry skin around some sweet wood (somewhat like oak) with some sweet caramel malts and ended with a little bit of lemon on the back end.
The flavor leaned towards the sweet side through the wood and malts and then the tartness came in with the cherry and lemon and created a slight sour edge at the end. Slight aftertaste of blended woodiness to malts to lemon and cherry.
The mouthfeel was about medium bodied with a nice sipping quality about it. Carbonation felt fine. ABV felt on par. Woody to lemon to cherry sort of finish. Brisk tart lemon grip on my tongue.
Overall, as an old ale, I can see it. But it's "The Wild Beer Company," so I get what they're putting down, I'll give them their creative points for this. I'd have again.
Oct 20, 2017
Rated: 4.25 by jwat from Pennsylvania

Aug 31, 2017
Rated: 3.25 by aztraz from Sweden

Jun 26, 2017
Photo of JamFuel
Reviewed by JamFuel from Sweden

3.51/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25
Pours a murky reddish brown, with almost no head.

Smell is tart, with lots of red currants and cherries. Toffee and a hint of leather follows.

Taste begins very oaky, with some vanilla. After that comes some tart currants and a slightly odd bitterness. Finish is vinous, almost a bit coarse.

Body is quite thin, with almost no carbonation.

This was kind of a weird one. Smells like a Rodenbach, but the taste is nowhere near as sour, and comes across more like a red wine mixed with beer. Interesting, though.
May 21, 2017
Rated: 3.5 by Hayley_86 from Netherlands

May 18, 2017
Photo of woodychandler
Reviewed by woodychandler from Pennsylvania

3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
I am systematically eradicating the dreaded Bottle Backlog here at Chez Woody! It was a long time in its (unintended) creation, thanks to too much travel & drinking away from home, but thanks (?) to unemployment/underemployment, I have been given the impetus to really plow into this mélange. It is paying off as I can see floor space & carpet where it was previously buried & some previously inaccessible doors are now available as ingresses/egresses.

Out of the Law of Unintended Consequences comes many opportunities to conduct horizontal tastings, defined as the same style and many breweries OR in my case, the same brewery, many styles. The obverse is a vertical tasting of the same beer with many vintages, generally ranging from freshest to oldest to gauge maturity (I have none) as well as the cumulative effects of the aging process. These next are an example of a horizontal.

From the bottle: "Old Ale + Oak-Aged For 90-Days + Wild Yeast"; "Drink Wildly Different"; "We believe exceptional brewing stems from imagination and passion, it's not just a process. By introducing our love of wild yeast strains and not being confined by rules, tradition or ingredients, we can add a Wild 5th ingredient or process to our beers, We want to give you a truly memorable drinking experience, altering your perceptions and thrilling your taste buds"; "Drink Wildly Different."; "This our modus operandi, the beer that says who we are - a Wild beer, an untamed beast that thrives on the unpredictability of wild yeast and the subtlety and complexity of maturation in oak. Time is the final ingredient - we allow 90 days for the magic of the wild yeast and the oak to transform an old ale into a beer that is Wildly different,"; "The aroma is complex: we guarantee you'll find something to grab your attention. The complexity continues on the palate, with citrus tanginess, wild yeast funkiness and woody tannins all jousting for your attention. Over time, other aromas and flavours come out to play: we suggest you buy two, one to drink now, the other to keep."

I Pop!ped the cap & began a gentle pour, in keeping with my New Year's Resolution and my Lenten denial. Aggro pours from bottles are now (mostly) a thing of the past. I am really coming to embrace a vigorous in-glass swirl since it is much less likely to bungle things up. A quick stir & I was confronted with a finger of dense, foamy, light-tan head with decent retention. Color was Brown to Dark brown (SRM = > 22, < 27) with NE-quality clarity & ruby highlights. Nose had both the expected funk (the third of three of their beers), but with a leatheriness that evoked its base as an Old Ale. Mmm. Mouthfeel was medium with a good deal of carbonation in the mouth and on the tongue, but I wished that it had been a bit fuller. The taste was VERY vinous! There was a good bit of oakiness along with a light sourness, but offset by the leatheriness of the malt. Speaking of the malt, the yeast really did a number on its inherent sugars! This was as dry as any oak-aged red wine. Man, I really found myself digging the interplay of the sour tang and the Old Ale nature of the base beer. It leant it a kind of grapeiness, putting me in mind of the time that my uncle & his buddy, with my assistance, made Zinfandel wine (no boostin', yo!). Not exactly sour, but not really what I consider tart, either. Dang! Boy, was this good & it could have aged even longer in the bottle, even with a few years on it. I am still not going to be reaching for Wild Ales first thing out of the gate, but I am becoming less acrimonious towards them. Next ... May I PLEASE have something hop-driven?!?
Apr 13, 2017
Photo of Alieniloquium
Reviewed by Alieniloquium from Florida

3.38/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5
330 mL bottle. Pours a deep red with a medium khaki head. Smells of cherries, caramel malt, oak, and a touch of acetic acid. Tastes of sweet caramel malt, oak, tart cherries. Oaky and dry in the back end with a slight vinegar sour finish. Medium low carbonation. Pretty heavy and kinda sweet. A heavy and sweet, mildly sour brown ale.
Mar 23, 2017
Photo of patre_tim
Reviewed by patre_tim from Thailand

4.18/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Dark brown with a muddy, mirky tinge when held to the light. Chunks of yeast on the bottom of the glass. Topped with 5 fingers of beige head, and it leaves a nice lacing.

Smells sour, like a Flanders Bruin. Sour notes, cherries, balsamic vinegar, fruity and floral as well. Quite a bouquet. Oak for sure, very woody and cellar like.

Tastes sour and dirty. At first, I thought it was going to pucker my mouth like the driest of lambics, but it softens fast, and gets a little muddy and alkaline, with hints its been sweetened, but by no means sweet and sour. It would be slightly imbalanced if it were a fruit lambic, but its not, its an 'old ale,' really? Maybe a sour old ale? Definite oak, dry and tannic quality.

Medium body, moderate carbonation, slightly drying and dusty.

Don't get me wrong, I love this beer! Its like no other. Its an experimentation and its beautiful as it is. I bought this in Albany, New York, 6 months ago. Carried it overseas to Thailand, where I am drinking it at A-Ha Chiang Mai Hotel. Really unique. I so wanted to try this brewers' beer when I saw it on a podcast years ago. Its so worth it. Love the deer on the label. March 13th, 2017.
Mar 13, 2017
Rated: 4.21 by junaman from New York

Feb 18, 2017
Rated: 3 by pin from Australia

Nov 02, 2016
Photo of StonedTrippin
Reviewed by StonedTrippin from Colorado

3.81/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
interesting take on an old ale, done with wild yeasts, it has become quite sour in the oak, and to me this ended up being more of a flanders red flavor on the palate than it did an old ale. a lot of the malt structure in this brick red to light brown brew has been withered away by aggressive acidity, and i hardly pick up any english yeast anymore. instead its this heavy vinegar lactic sourness, tart cherry notes, and some brown sugar, sort of a weird mix of flavors and textures here. i have never much been a fan of the big vinegar sour aspect, and thats on display here, like red wine and balsamic, with some oak there too. sharp, especially in the finish, and a bit sweet too from the malt, caramel and toffee, with a dried cranberry tartness and sweetness at the same time too. i have not loved everything these guys have done, but i have certainly appreciated it. they are getting up to some really weird stuff, and this is pretty high on the weirdness scale, but its very original. if the acid was toned back a bit i would like it better, but its awfully intriguing beer...
Aug 30, 2016
Rated: 3.94 by toscanoigor from Brazil

Aug 21, 2016
Rated: 4.9 by baconfromwalmart from Pennsylvania

Jul 31, 2016
Rated: 4.06 by der_meister from Ukraine

Jul 21, 2016
Photo of Malt_Man
Reviewed by Malt_Man from England

4.04/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
Even from reading the label I can't work out what kind of beer this is meant to be, so here goes....

Served cool from 330ml bottle into tulip glass.

L) Dark red-brown, opaque, thin off-white head.

S) Red-wine odour, this really reminds me of the Flanders Red beer I had last week, so expecting it to taste like that. A sweet edge to it, so reminiscent of a Faro beer.

T) Sourish flavour, definite Flanders Red / Belgian influence, backed by a real hop bitterness and a bit of coffee-type burnt malt flavour. A real mash-up. The sweetness suggested in the nose isn't there.

F) Quite an easy drink, but there is a definite drying of the mouth. No bitterness really on the aftertaste.

O) A real mash-up of a beer, but tasty, enjoyed it. Nothing out of balance, so well done Wild Beer.

Jul 08, 2016
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Rated by KimoWino from Pennsylvania

5/5  rDev +28.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
Jul 04, 2016
Photo of BEERchitect
Reviewed by BEERchitect from Kentucky

4.14/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
While sour beers are all the rage, its easy for British brewers to get off track and make the wacky, crazy and unorthodox ales of popularity, spurred on by Belgian rusticity and American craft beer experimentation, however, the Wild Beer brewers bring this imagination full circle by souring an traditional English olde ale.

The character that ensues is a rusty redish brown and muddled haze. Its zesty white cap expels a host of wild aromatics- cherry, grape, plum and currant with a heavy balsamic twist. To taste, a steely caramel taste is laced with light molasses and hard candy but those sweetnesses are short lived.

As the malt sweetness is broken apart by the beer's brazen acidity, the sour taste of robust red wine, cider, balsamic vinegar, lemon and lime offer a refreshing taste to the stone fruit, pitted fruit and dried fruits- raisin and prune extend into a moderately earthen character of saddle leather, tobacco and weathered attic-like woods.

Souring and trending light, the medium-bodied sour beer is as savory as it is sour, retaining remnants of candy and malt and stopping shy of complete dryness, crispness or cleanliness. An afterglow of burlap, basement and acetone accessorize the long sour linger.
May 09, 2016
Rated: 4.28 by HopBelT from Belgium

Apr 30, 2016
Rated: 4.24 by leprechaunandfatman from Ohio

Apr 26, 2016
Photo of Keene
Reviewed by Keene from Washington

4.21/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Pours a deep burgundy red or mahogany brown from the bottle with about one finger of beige foam on top. In terms of aroma, Modus Vivendi tells you it's an Old Ale immediately—notes of wood, tannins, bourbon-soaked cherries, walnuts and leather all mingle in the nose. The funk from the wild yeast might be off-putting to some, but this beer has a wonderfully complex smell. Taste-wise it's a treat, too. Crisp, medium-bodied and relatively fruity, this is quite a drinkable example of the style with less tangy tartness than some. A wine-like finish offers rich, dark fruit flavors (cherry, plum and black currant), more tannins and a bit of a pucker. Definitely a success.
Mar 13, 2016
Rated: 4.24 by Wobbly from Missouri

Mar 11, 2016
Modus Operandi (Modus Vivendi) from The Wild Beer Co.
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 177 ratings