Modus Operandi (Modus Vivendi)
The Wild Beer Co.

Modus Operandi (Modus Vivendi)Modus Operandi (Modus Vivendi)
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Sour - Flanders Red Ale
Ranked #93
Ranked #21,014
3.88 | pDev: 9.02%
The Wild Beer Co.
England, United Kingdom
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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Reviews: 23 | Ratings: 111 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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Rug from Massachusetts

4.09/5  rDev +5.4%
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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VoxRationis from New York

4.11/5  rDev +5.9%
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
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Snowcrash000 from Germany

4.42/5  rDev +13.9%
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
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csmrx7 from Canada (AB)

4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
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
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Vexor from Alabama

4.57/5  rDev +17.8%
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
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biboergosum from Canada (AB)

3.88/5  rDev 0%
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
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JamFuel from Sweden

3.51/5  rDev -9.5%
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
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Malt_Man from England

4.04/5  rDev +4.1%
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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NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania

4.31/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The Wild Beer Co. "Modus Operandi"
6€ at Domus Birrae, Via Cavour, 88 00184 Roma, Italy on 30 November 2015 (no freshness dating)

Appearance: Clear mahogany brown body beneath a fizzy tan head that drops almost immediately and subsequently leaves little lacing (which is OK for a sour beer). The yeast pour will leave particles in suspension.

Aroma: tart but not so funky with leather and metal, plum, cherry, tart apple, damp earth.

Flavor: Flavor is as the aroma suggests with amplified fruit and the addition of oak. The oak balances the tart fruit nicely. Refreshingly sharp and lightly zesty finish.

Mouthfeel: Light-medium / crisp & acidic.

Overall: I'm quite surprised this has been rated so low on BeerAdvocate as it's really quite charming.

Dec 03, 2015
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flyingpig from Scotland

3.52/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle from Brewdog's BottleDog, London (£5):
Not a bad effort from Wild Beer, it was definitely a tarty & quite fruity beer with plenty of sourness showing from the very start. It was one that seemed a lot like a Belgian style sour beer but not quite as good. I enjoyed the beer & it went down easily but if I'm honest it's probably not one that I'd go back to again.

Oct 19, 2015
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SLeffler27 from New York

4.37/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

A thin, off-white, creamy head quickly turns rocky before dissipating above a very dark brown, clear beer. Carbonation sticks to the wall of an Offero glass while faint ruby highlights and slight lace can be seen.

Sour oak is punctuated by light bourbon. The aroma is very interesting and appealing. Oak is strong, like a wet autumn in the deep woods. Raspberry and blueberry are also noticeable.

Sourness is accompanied by modest acidity and light bitterness. Sweet berries come out in the middle while the finish is tart. Oak and woodland flavors are also noticeable with a long, subtle, sweet-tart finish. Warmth brings out cherries and emphasizes the oak.

A medium body and slick, silky texture are offset by lightly warming alcohol and ample carbonation. The follow through is slightly drying.

Modus Operandi is a very pleasant surprise, as it takes great liberty with the style. The results are quite welcomed and akin to a Flanders Red. I enjoyed this on a cold, rainy August afternoon.

Aug 23, 2015
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EmperorBevis from England

3.99/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reddish Brown body with tight off white head
smell like a good port
Taste is sherry vinegar & sour cream
Good in an odd way, odd in a good way.

May 11, 2015
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puboflyons from New Hampshire

3.99/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From the 11.2 fl. oz bottle. Sampled on December 27, 2014.

The pour is attractive with its brown tone and reddish hues leading up to a tremendous, soft silky tan head.

The aroma is of toasted malts, nuts, clean hops and just enough of a sour punch to let me know that is what it is.

Smooth medium body.

The taste also has a yeasty, biscuity note more so than the sour. There is a light pucker-up character to it but that's the way sours are.

Sours are usually low on my list I go looking beers but this one is more approachable for me. But a tad pricey where I bought it.

Dec 27, 2014
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stcules from Italy

4.07/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Brown, just a veil of foam.
Wild smell, woody notes, quite strong, and the wild yeasts at work. Good, intense, peculiar.
Interesting taste, wood, red fruitiness (blueberry, plums), and dried fruit, and, well, again the wild yeast.
Interesting, without being extreme.
Relatively light body, and a long, woody aftertaste, with some sugary notes, fruit, and again wood.

Oct 13, 2014
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avalon07 from South Carolina

3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a dark brown color and a murky texture. There was an inch of foamy, fairly long-lasting head. Not a whole lot of lacing.

S: A decent aroma of fruit, malt, and a sour quality.

T: Tasted of light fruit, toffee, malt, and the aforementioned sour element. This beer almost tasted like a Belgian sour, but a bit thinner in character. It's sweet in the beginning, but a bit sour in the finish. As I said, it's a little thin, but still tasty.

M: A low level of carbonation with a smooth, but watery finish. Light- to medium-bodied.

O: Kind of an odd beer. It's not entirely like many Old Ales I've tried, but still pretty solid in spite of its flaws.

Jun 05, 2014
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GreesyFizeek from New York

4.06/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at the Old Toad in Rochester, NY.

Pours a light red brown into a tulip. No lacing, with no head really forming.

Smells oaky, with some peach, light vinegar, and red wine.

Tastes pretty good. Brown sugar, oak, red wine, peach, pear, woodsy funk, vanilla, slight alcohol.

Medium bodied mouthfeel, very low almost flat carbonation.

An interesting twist on an Old Ale, would continue to try beers from this brewery.

Mar 06, 2014
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Sludgeman from District of Columbia

3.72/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Church Key. Poured into a small tulip.

Described as a Flanders Red on the menu at Church Key, but listed as an Old Ale in GA. I would agree with the old ale classification as this is nowhere near your typical flanders red. Unfortunately the aroma has much to be desired. 3.75

A – Pours a beautiful, almost iridescent clear garnet. Almost zero head. Good carbonation. 4.5

S – A bit of cough syrup, medicinal. 3

T – My first impression was odd – this beer reminded me of ginger ale – probably because of the flavors combined with the carbonation, but it transitioned very quickly to a mildly sour beer with some residual sweetness. Not as malty as most old ales I have had. 4

MF –Medium light body with a semi-dry finish. 3.75

Feb 27, 2014
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DrinkSlurm from New York

4.14/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Torst in Brooklyn. Kicked the keg with my pour. Deep amber brown with massive head. Big Brett aromas with slight malty sweet chocolate notes. Taste is slightly brett..but mostly cocoa with a bit of dried fruit. Its not sweet but you almost expect it to be. Its so smooth its insane. Almost like poured from nitro. ..but being at Torst it was obviously poured at proper whatever...
overall it has great aromas..great look, nice flavor, and great mouthfeel but for some reason I feel like its missing something. But I really do enjoy it. Nice brew.

Feb 25, 2014
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MacQ32 from South Carolina

4.11/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Oak aged old ale w/ wild yeast? Very intriguing. The only things I've had that I think would be somewhat similar would be Grumpy and Funky Old Time!

A - Pours a hazed brown amber with a finger of light caramel colored head. Fantastic retention and strong lacing. Fair amount of chunky trub at the bottom of the bottle and into the glass.

S - Slightly vinegary tart and oaky, lots of molasses and more concentrated sugars almost smells like super sugary graham crackers. Awesomely sweet with a hint of funkyness and a wee bit o vinegar.

T - Initially a minimal vinegar flavor which quickly yields to a more rich sweet almost buttery brett flavor, not over sugary but a nice complimentary residual sweetness. Lots of sugary grahm crackers anda hint of brett/bubblegum oakyness at the aftertaste/finish.

M - Medium bodied or so, incredibly incredibly smooth, minimal carbonation.

O - Really like this, kind of simple, big nose and big sugary aftertaste but the actual flavor of the beer is more simple vinegary, buttry, brett

Feb 13, 2014
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mmapes from Colorado

3.64/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Found locally (in Colorado) at Hazel's. I'm a fan of old ales but not necessarily wild yeast, so color you interpretation accordingly.

Served slightly above fridge temps in snifters. Pours dark reddish brown, just a little cloudy on the bottom.

Smells of dark fruit, turpentine (uh oh), but very fruity (tree fruit, dried fruit-- not tropical). A hint of sourness, no oak.

First impression: mildly fruity up front, long milky oaky finish. Medium body (I thought it might be thicker), medium high acidity. Actually a little thin in the mouth - most of the interest is on the finish (and on the nose).

An interesting, complex, subtle ale, but I suppose I prefer brash to subtle. At $1 per ounce I probably wouldn't buy again.

Jan 10, 2014
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lacqueredmouse from Australia

4.14/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

An Old Ale, oak aged and brewed with wild yeast. Sign me up! 330ml brown bottle purchased from Leura Cellars by Sam.

Pours a fairly clear red-brown, with a fine, firm head of beige that leaves superb streaks of lace. Body is solid, and holds fine swirls of carbonation. Looks really nice.

Nose is sweet-tart, with funky esters over an almost candy-like acidity. Oak comes through, as does a suggestion of chocolate or cocoa, giving it that really nice balance between acidity and darkness. Extremely pleasant.

Taste is smoother, sweeter, with banana aromas and a slight roasted tone on the back. The roasted character gives it a bite on the back, and punctuates the acidity. Lingering medicinal tones work well with the residual tartness, leaving it slightly astringent, but quite refreshing.

Feel is good. Smooth on the front, but with a tannic bit on the back.

Overall, I really liked this beer a whole lot. It had a lovely blend of sweetness, tartness and roast, and used them together to create stacks of interest. Certainly something I'd seek out again.

Dec 07, 2013
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wl0307 from England

4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle-conditioned in a 330ml slim brown bottle, BB date is hard to discern on the bottle, served cool in Gulden Draak’s short-stemmed tulip-shaped sniffer. Notes: the beer label has such subtitles – Old Ale + Oak-Aged For 90 Days + Wild Yeast. Sounds very interesting!

Appearance: pours a russet brown colour, with lots of microscopic fizz and big chunks of yeast sediment swimming inside! The light khaki beer head comes thick and frothy with very good retention as well.
Smell: the aroma upfront comes really old cider-ish, sour funky and old damp woody with slightly vinegary as well as heavily oaked old red wine-ish elements to go around, but underneath the acidity and funkiness, the sweet vanilla-ish Bourbon whisky lurks steadily, providing an intriguing two-tier aroma that is hard to come by in any other normal brew. Given a good swirl, dark berry fruits’ sourness, black cherry skins and dark malts all emerge to join the funky and oaky chorus.
Taste: on the palate, it is surprisingly lightly-flavoured and smoothly effervescent, with a main theme of lightly acidic dark fruits and mildly sweet & nutty dark maltiness on the palate, while a bite as of old woodiness as well as hop tannins keeps the main palate lively towards the end of each sip, where it goes mildly warming, woody-dry and licorice-ish sweet in the finish. Interestingly, the Bourbon whisky oakiness and funky elements so prevalent on the nose come rather timid on the palate.
Mouthfeel & Overall: the mouthfeel is soothingly refreshing, the body is medium and approachable, never going thick or heavy for a split of a second during each sip. All in all, this funky and old-oaky scented dark ale delivers something surprisingly different on the palate, which is more like a traditional barrel-aged dark ale with a rather clean and light palate. Reasonably complex and very, very enjoyable.

Oct 13, 2013
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ADZA from Australia

3.78/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

An old ale, aged in bourbon barrels, with wild yeast.
Pours a light brown hue, with a creamy two finger head and nice lacing,
The smell is bourbon, oak, plum jam and a slight wild fruitiness.
The mouth feel is medium body with moderate carbonation and has taste of plum jam
Firstly, ripe figs, sweet toffee and finished with a warming bourbon heat.
Overall I like the direction of this brew and brewery and look forward to my next purchase from these guys.

Aug 17, 2013
Modus Operandi (Modus Vivendi) from The Wild Beer Co.
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 111 ratings