Wild Oak Artisan Ales has the most interesting twist on a brewing focus that I’ve seen in a Florida brewery. Basically, their beers, and I do mean all of them, are 1) barrel aged and 2) utilizes wild yeasts. It’s a lot of saisons and sours, two light, bright styles of beers that I think are poised to take the Florida beer market by storm.
Its brewmaster is Matt Manthe, currently the brewmaster at Brewzzi in Boca Raton. As of right now, Wild Oak’s beers are being brewed in their garage, but they’re looking for a location for a tap room. Judging by the line they had at New Times Beerfest, the location is going to be packed once it opens up.
I’m pretty sure they had the longest sustained line of the event. And for good reason. The beers are excellently crafted and have a great flavor to them.
At BeerFest, I was able to try two of their beers:
First was Automne Rouge (Saison, 7.2 ABV, 10 IBU). I know it has a moderately high alcohol content, especially for a saison. But it’s remarkably smooth with a gorgeous amber color and a light, crispy mouthfeel.
The other beer of theirs I tried was the rather, um, uniquely titled Babies With Guns (American Wild Ale, 4.2% ABV, 15 IBU). It’s actually a blend of two different beers: their Berliner Weisse and a Pale Ale brewed with the Brettanomyces yeast. Between the Berliner Weisse and the Brett, this is a fantastically light beer with a big sour punch that doesn’t completely kill any interest in drinking the beer. It is a refreshingly light and sessionable beer, a perfect example for what I see as being the future of Florida beer. Plus, the name makes for great inspired imagery.
As of right now, the only way to try Wild Oak beers are to follow them and see what festivals they are at. It’s definitely worth the trouble, though.
And I would make a joke about Babies with Guns right now, but I can’t think of anything.
Drink Florida Craft,