The Wild Beer Co were founded in Somerset by Andrew Cooper and Brett Ellis back in June 2012, after a visit to the Great British Beer Festival. Formed as an outlet for the pair’s interest in wild fermentation and barrel-ageing, they set up shop in the grounds of Lower Westcombe Farm in rural Somerset, with original batches of beer being up to 2400 litres a week, stored in oak barrels and bottled by hand. From these humble beginnings the brewery have gone on to produce a slew of popular beers, all achieved using traditional methods whilst keeping an eye on current trends.
The brewer champions the use of wild and unorthodox yeasts, which can give unpredictable results, but experimentation is what drives an industry, and Wild Beer Co have a number of interesting brews under their belt; barrel aged strawberry beer, salted caramel and chocolate milk stout, and their flagship pale ale ‘Bibble’, based on the local vernacular for ‘drinking with gusto’. However, as far as I’ve been able to see the brewer has yet to produce a proper non-alcoholic beer, with the closest to such a thing being the subject of this review, their Grapefruit IPA Soda. Whilst not a beer per-se, we’ve reviewed several beverages that advertised themselves as beers but ended up being ‘malt sodas’ at best. The IPA Soda clocks in at 0.5% ABV, so at least has been through some fermentation process, and the brewer has used the ever-popular Mosaic hop to complement the grapefruit flavours. I’m hoping for something refreshing with some hop interest coming through in one form or another, so let’s get this out of the can and into a glass.
The IPA soda pours a hazy pale golden colour, looking unsurprisingly like grapefruit juice. We get an initial frothy head produced when pouring but this dissipates in seconds. Inhaling, we get the aromas of grapefruit juice from a carton (the stuff you get at a breakfast buffet in a hotel), and a sweet note, almost like a dessert white wine. There’s also a very slight background of pine, which could be the Mosaic making an appearance. Aroma-wise this could indeed be an IPA, and I’ve certainly sniffed much worse.
We get an initial sweetness when we taste, then head quickly back into grapefruit country with citrus sharpness tempering things somewhat. The pine bitterness is still there too, though nowhere near as astringent as in a full-fat IPA, just a muted point of interest. The drink is medium bodied with high carbonation, and a smooth mouthfeel. The finish is sweet citrus.
Whilst Wild Beer Grapefruit IPA Soda is not a beer in my opinion, it has more right to call itself as such compared to other nolo ‘beers’ I will not mention. And as a hopped citrus soda it’s lovely and refreshing without being either too sweet or too bitter. Well balanced, and perfect for those times when you want to cool off while treating your senses to a citrus burst.
Buy Wild Beer Grapefruit IPA Soda
Wild Beer Co’s beers can often be found in decent bottle shops and off licenses. We were gifted our cans of Grapefruit IPA Soda by the brewer, and you can buy it direct from them or from the following stores:
|Nutritional Information (per 100ml, taken from the side of the can)
|Water (85%), Pale Ale (containing Barley and Oats (Gluten) (7.5%)), Grapefruit from Conc. (3.7%), White Grape from Conc. (3.7%), Grapefruit CO2 extract (0.03%), Hops (0.04%), Potassium Sorbate E2020
|Country of Production
|Wild Beer Co – https://www.wildbeerco.com/
Wild Beer Grapefruit IPA Soda Review
Lovely fragrant grapefruit soda with a touch of hop interest that slips down a treat.