Wild Red Ale 2017 Release.


The Holgate brewers have spent many years dabbling in the dark art of wild and sour beer production. Numerous trials, tastings and dog-eared textbooks led to limited keg-only projects being released such as 2014’s Midnight Cowboy Project (barrel-aged Sour Cherry Porter), the early-2015 first release of Hop Tart (kettle-soured pale ale) and our 2015 GABS beer Little Red Riding Wood (barrel-fermented mixed culture farmhouse ale). The techniques learned through these brews coupled with inspiration from the wonderful history and craft of European sour beers provided the impetus for the Holgate sour beer program to begin. The first bottled Holgate Wild Beer was the 2016 Wild Red Ale which was released to an overwhelming response from the craft beer community. A portion of that first batch was reserved and used to “seed” further barrels, thus creating a continuous line of Wild Red Ale generations that we have been nurturing in barrels ever since. While waiting for the next batch to mature, we experimented further with Brettanomyces and released Sour Brett Ale which was kettle soured with both lactobacillus and pediococcus before undergoing a multi-strain Brettanomyces fermentation.We are now excited to release our 2nd generation of Wild Red Ale which is a culmination of tasting, blending and patience during the 18 months-long period of barrel maturation. This release can be paired with our 2017 Sour Brett Ale which provides a contrast in colour and style and serves as an example of two different methods of producing an exceptional sour beer experience.

Tasting Notes

The 2017 iteration of Wild Red Ale is the culmination of a slow, 18-month period of souring and maturation in ex-Pinot Noir barrels. A complex malt bill with generous amounts of European specialty malts have produced a beer that pours a rich ruby hue and balances a zesty acidity with residual malt sweetness. The aroma and palate are rich and complex with lashings of dark fruit character: think black plums and tart berries. The fruit character is backed up by creamy oak-derived vanillin. These rounded flavours are balanced by a sharp and tangy acidity with notes of balsamic and sour cherries.


a Flanders-style mixed culture beer, soured through a lengthy period of barrel maturation.


ABV: 5.6% EBC: 40 IBU: 10
Hops: Ella
Malts: Pale, Vienna, Medium and Dark Crystal, CaraAroma, Wheat, Oats