320. Bell’s Brewing – Wild One Sour Brown Ale Draft

Bell's Brewing Wild One Sour Brown AleThis weekend, I’m in Kalamazoo, Michigan, traveling with my dad to see my sister’s football game. She plays professional women’s tackle football for the St. Louis Slam, and is here playing the Western Michigan Mayhem. We got into town early and I was really looking forward to stopping at Bell’s Eccentric Café for lunch and visiting their store to pick up some Bell’s beer and gear. The Eccentric Café had a few beers on tap that they said were only available there, so I knew I had to try one of them.  The most unique seemed to be this one, so that’s what I went for.

Location: On tap at Bell’s Brewing Eccentric Café in Kalamazoo, Michigan

Numbers: 6.4% ABV, 1.058 OG, 190 Calories

Appearance & Aroma: The beer was brown in color and was very clear.  There was absolutely no head on it, but there seemed to be a bit of carbonation in it.  There was a little bit of a sweet tart candy like aroma to it.

Taste & Feel: The beer had a crisp, slightly sharp mouthfeel and was light medium bodied.  I couldn’t tell if the initial crisp/sharpness was from the carbonation in it, or from the tartness.  The tartness was immediately noticeable, but some of the caramel flavors tried to come through a little bit in the middle.  The finish was dry and tart, much like a sweet tart, with some hints of vanilla and tart cherries.

Food Pairing: If I had to pair this with a food, I’d probably match it with angel food cake, as there’s a lot of flavor in this beer.  It’s also very tart, so the angel food cake would help to both cut the tartness and bring out some of the underlying flavors in the beer.

Overall Impression: I was expecting a somewhat tart beer since it was a sour ale.  However, the tart flavors almost overpowered almost any other flavors in the beer.  It reminded me very much of New Belgium’s La Folie Sour Brown Ale, but actually, not quite as tart, as this one did allow for a hint of the caramel malt flavors.  As the name would suggest, this beer isn’t for the every day beer drinker.  However, I knew what I was getting into, and while I might enjoy one of these every once in a while, it’s not exactly a session beer.

My Rating: ★★★½☆

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