The Wild Beer Co: Fresh (NZ version) (England: English Pale Ale: 5.5% ABV)

Visual: Slightly hazy, bruised lemon rind to apricot flesh. Small white dust of ahead. Low carbonation.

Nose: Hop oils. Squeezed lemon. Meringue. Apricot and cream. Chewed mint leaves.

Body: Sharp lemon. Peppermint. Greenery – nettles. Good bitterness. Light dry texture. Dried apricot.  Can by a tad weisseesque at times with a wheat style to the flavour – more Kristal than Hefe though.

Finish: Powerful bitterness, greenery and hop oils. Walnut cake. Lemon. Bitterness grows quickly. Honey.

Conclusion:  Fresh is a bit of an understatement her. A huge lemon zing, utterly tingling hop and oils, and good bitterness all over a very crisp texture. It’s not a lambic kick fresh obviously, but for a more conventional beer that’s pretty impressive.

I would say it’s a beer designed as a thirst quencher with a texture that is slightly lager like to the body, however there is a thirst inducer element with the dry bitterness to the finish.  Combined it works well, if dangerous for your drinking habits.

The flavours remind me of a hopped up version of summer lightning on a much crisper body. In fact the texture could be one of the splitting points on if people like this beer or not.  The texture of the body does it’s job well by fading into the background. Without any obvious slickness or thickness it makes the flavours centre stage rather than the texture, which ties nicely to the fresh nature. However it gives little separation between the drinker and the lemon and dried apricot flavours. While I like this style I do know a few people who finds that this causes beer to be overly sharp and off-putting. Not a flaw in my mind, but I will let you make up your own.

I think the beer does what it intends very well and drenches the tongue in citrus flavours as a reward for sipping it.  While I would say I normally do prefer beers with thicker textures, we already have beers that have taken that route, and this is instead a beer that gives a sharp shock of flavour and I enjoy it for that.

Not bad at all for an opener from a new brewery.

Conclusion: The Wild Beer co. I’ve been looking forwards to trying their beers since I first heard about them.  From what I have heard the brewery started as two members who split off from Bristol Beer Factory (amicably I think) as they wanted to do more experimental beers. This was pretty much their first beer out, hitting the stands just under a month ago. I think they have a total of seven beers out already so I need to get drinking quicker if I am going to keep up with them. This one was picked up from Corks of Cotham.  I will say it is very cool to have such an experimental brewery in our vicinity. Bristol has a heap of quality traditional style brewers, and people like Arbor and BBF who do a mix of traditional and new, so this new addition with some really out there beers should add brilliantly to the Bristol beer scene. This beer has two different versions planned, NZ hop version and USA hope version, so to keep using the freshest hops they can (hence the name) this is the NZ version.