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COMMON ROOTS WILD BEER

What is Wild Beer? Ninety-nine percent of beers in the world (IPAs, Stouts, Lagers, etc.) are made using the “clean” (not wild) beer process. Clean beers are brewed with specific, cultivated strains of brewer’s yeast in a controlled fermentation setting. The focus is on precise control to make each batch consistent and repeatable.

Wild beers, on the other hand, are fermented using wild yeast strains and/or bacteria. These are often obtained from the environment rather than cultivated in a lab like traditional brewer’s yeast. Wild yeasts impart unique flavors and aromas, such as funkiness, tartness, and complex earthy or fruity notes. The fermentation process for wild beer can take longer and may involve spontaneous fermentation, where the wort is exposed to the open air to capture native yeast and bacteria. The wild beer process requires a leap of faith at times, but it makes each batch special and distinctive.

Clean Beer Process. The Boil: Water, malt and hops are boiled to create wort. Inoculation: The wort is cooled, then pitched with standard brewer's yeast. Fermentation: The beer is fermented in stainless steel for several weeks. Packaging: All of our clean beer is packaged in cans. The beer is ready to drink right away, and should be enjoyed within a few months.
Wild Beer Process. The Boil: Water, malt and hops are boiled to create wort. Inoculation: The wort rests overnight in a coolship and is inoculated with native yeasts and bacteria, and/or The wort is cooled, then pitched with a mixture of our house yeast and bacteria. Fermentation: The beer is aged in a large puncheon or foeder for 6-18 months, and/or The beer is aged in smaller oak barrels for 12-24 months. Packaging: All of our wild beer is packaged in bottles. The beer is ready to drink within several weeks, but can be cellared for years while flavors continue to develop.

our wild beer

Learn more about In Bloom
Close-up of a bottle of in bloom with barrels in the background

In Bloom
Rustic Farmhouse Ale Series

 

Learn more about Bushel & Barrel
Bottle of beer with illustration of strawberry plant on the label

Bushel & Barrel
Mixed Culture Wild Ale Series

 

Learn more about Rooted
Close-up of a bottle of Rooted with a coolship in the background

Rooted
Spontaneously Fermented Wild Ale

 

Learn more about Branched
Bottle of Branched next to a stemmed glass of beer

Branched
Barrel-Aged Series

 

Learn more about Table Series
Bottle of Table beer

Table Series
Fruited Wild Ale Series

 

Learn more about Foraged Fruit
Close-up of a bottle of Foraged Fruit

Foraged Fruit
Fruited Wild Ale

 

WILD BEER LINGO

solera method

Solera is a process we follow for aging in wooden vessels, where no container is ever completely drained. Leaving some product behind allows our house yeast and bacteria strains to survive, eventually blending with future beers. This method leads to a more complex and consistent final product, and establishes a beer’s signature style and distinctive nuances. Our In Bloom Rustic Farmhouse Ale is an example of a beer blended and aged using the solera method.

mixed culture fermentation

Mixed culture fermentation uses a combination of yeast and/or bacteria strains as agents. The most common are the yeasts Saccharomyces (known as brewer’s yeast) and Brettanomyces, and the bacteria Lactobacillus and Pediococcus. When different microorganisms interact with each other, it can create complex flavor profiles and unique characteristics in the beer. Our Bushel & Barrel is an example of a mixed culture Wild Ale, which also happens to be conditioned on a rotating selection of fresh fruit.

spontaneous fermentation

Yeasts are naturally everywhere, and are an essential factor in defining any local ecosystem. Spontaneous fermentation occurs when there is no pitching of yeast into the wort. Instead, local yeasts in our natural environment provide ‘terroir’ – a sense of place. A coolship is a large, open vessel that is used to cool wort before it is fermented. It also provides ample surface area for spontaneous fermentation to occur. When we expose beer to the night air in our coolship, we capture the unique microflora of the Adirondack foothills. Our Rooted Wild Ale is an example of a spontaneously fermented beer.