Wild Beer – Hybrid/Mixed Lagers or Ale

Wild Beer Style

  • Color: Any color is acceptable. Versions made with fruits or other flavorings may take on corresponding hues.
  • Clarity: Clear or hazy due to yeast, chill haze or hop haze.
  • Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Generally, these beers are highly attenuated resulting in very low to low malt character. Maltier versions should display good overall balance with other flavor components.
  • Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Very low to high
  • Perceived Bitterness: Very low to low
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Aromas may vary significantly due to fermentation attributes contributed by various known and unknown microorganisms. The overall balance should be complex and balanced. Wild beers are spontaneously fermented with microorganisms that the brewer has introduced from the ambient air/environment near the brewery in which the beer is brewed. Wild Beers may not be fermented with any cultured strains of yeast or bacteria. Wild Beers may or may not be perceived as acidic. They may include a highly-variable spectrum of flavors and aromas derived from the wild microorganisms with which they are fermented. The overall balance of flavors, aromas, appearance and body are important factors in assessing these beers.
  • Body: Very low to medium
  • Additional notes: Spontaneously fermented beers with fruit, spice or other ingredients should be categorized as Wild Beers. Within the framework of these guidelines, beers which hew to classic or traditional categories such as Belgian-Style Lambic, Gueuze, Fruit Lambic, etc. should be categorized as such, rather than as Wild Beers.
    When using these guidelines as the basis for evaluating entries at competitions, brewers may be asked to provide supplemental information about entries in this category to allow for accurate evaluation of diverse entries. Such information might include the underlying beer style(s) upon which the entry is based, or other information unique to the entry such as ingredients or processing which influence perceived sensory outcomes. Competition organizers may create subcategories which reflect groups of entries based on color, microflora, fruit, spices or other ingredients, wood aging, etc.

Wild Beer Vital Statistics

  • Original Gravity (°Plato) Varies with style 
  • Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato) Varies with style 
  • Alcohol by Weight (Volume) Varies with style 
  • Bitterness (IBU) Varies with style
  • Color SRM (EBC) Varies with style

2020 Brewers Association Beer Style Guidelines used with permission of Brewers Association.

Credit: 2020 Brewers Association Beer Style Guidelines – Hybrid/Mixed Lagers or Ale – Wild Beer