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Your cellar: Tart wild ales

The tartness of bottled wild ales tends to follow a pattern, rising in the first few years and slowly ebbing as time wears on. With some creative cellaring, you can become a master of acidity.

WEB_20170627_D65_CellarBring Out: TRANSIENT BETISE #2 2014
We dropped Betise #2 into our cellar in May 2014 in the hope that its puckering acidity would subside, and while the pH is still a bit low for our tastes, the flavors that have developed around the beer’s vinegary bite are too enticing to allow it to sit any longer. Clear grape and cherry notes have emerged to meet the malt’s blend of cola and brown sugar; tart cherries and green apple accent aged balsamic before the barrel’s rich, scoop-of-French-vanilla character softens the swallow. Give it another year if you must, but we can’t see this beer’s balance and complexity becoming much more impeccable.

Though this fruit-spiked sour brown ale’s aroma of tart cherries, burnt sugar cookies, blonde roast coffee, Granny Smith apples and a hint of oak smoke is just where we want it, the sip leans a bit sweet, with grape jam and cola sweetness drowning out any acidic depth. It could use some time to allow the malt sugars to drop out and the funk to develop; we’d say anywhere between one and two years will do the trick.


Zach Fowle is DRAFT's beer editor. Reach him at

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