An Entry-Level Wild Ale


Beers that use wild yeast and bacteria in the brewing process, may be the next big thing for craft beer connoisseurs, but this isn’t exactly the most inviting category. “Horse blanket,” “leather,” and “lemon tart” are all common descriptors – and these for some of the most celebrated sour and wild ales.

For those of us that like easy-drinking beer – pilsners, European lagers, and other straightforward styles – Ommegang offers a lower barrier of entry. Wild at Heart is a beer that uses 100 percent wild yeast, but isn’t sour or funky. Instead, it’s surprisingly crisp and dry (but not bitter) with a hint of sweetness. The reason Wild at Heart has a more conventional flavor is that Ommegang has carefully selected a strain of wild yeast and controlled the oxygen and pressure to make sure it remains mellow and doesn’t give any barnyard characteristics or tartness (the lack of acidity makes it technically a wild, not sour ale). What’s left is a crisp, approachable, but one-of-a-kind beer. It’s the perfect brew to drink while grilling in the sun or in quantity while catching a game. And, yes, there is a note of horse blanket in there – ever so slight, that you can start to appreciate the term.

More information: Wild at Heart is an Ommegang limited release, so check this locator for availability near you or look for it bottle shops and some Whole Foods.