We are Sweet on Sours from Wolf’s Ridge Brewing

July 29th, 2017    •  by Jim Ellison    •   No Comments »

We have a lot of history with Wolf’s Ridge Brewing. We both launched in the same month and year (September 2013) to a soon to explode craft beer scene in Columbus. In our early days, we ran nearly weekly tours there.

In 2015, we created a new tour with a goal of focusing on some of the different approaches Wolf’s Ridge takes in the world of beer. Our Craft and Draft Tour explores a brewery (Wolf’s Ridge) a mead maker, cider house and distillery to give guests insights into all of the craft alcohols made in Columbus.

At Wolf’s Ridge, we have a lot to talk about. A top ten restaurant in the city four years running. Their secret weapon on the kitchen, Seth Lassack, who in addition to being a top rate chef, is also an accomplished home brewer who often collaborates and consults with the brewery staff to help them accentuate flavors in their beers. The other secret weapon is Chris Davison, head brewer. We were excited to meet Chris in his first weeks at Wolf’s Ridge and when we can get him (a rarity now) he does a killer tour. Chris is no slacker when it comes to pushing the limits of his brewing system & the beer palates of central Ohio. He gave a presentation on coffee beers at the Great American Beer Festival and has wone several awards for his beers across the country. And we are happy to hear he was just named a 2017 Tastemaker by Columbus Monthly.

One thing that is special about the running as many beer tours as we (I) do, is that we get snapshots of the big and small changes that occur in breweries over time. Sometimes change is incremental and others times, it literally happens overnight. We have been showcasing what was a budding sour development program, tucked/hidden in a corner of Wolf’s Ridge Brewing since it began two years ago. Sour Beers are still very new, in reality, foreign to most beer drinkers. They are counter-intuitive to what we expect in beer – they are consistent in their inconsistency. Typically in the world of beer, brewers protect their yeasts, making sure they do not deviate and cause inconsistencies. Such is not the cask (case) for sours. In the world of traditional beers, different yeasts, like different breeds of dogs, are breed for a specific type of beer. In the world of sours, these yeasts are more like wolves (how appropriate) wild and a bit unpredictable so they must be guided along the way (but never quite tamed). The end result is a very different flavor that can take some getting used to but is worth the effort. Well, after dropping and watching these sour beers slowing ferment for many seasons as well as talking about the evolution of the sour beer program, the big day is finally here. Wolf’s Ridge is releasing their sour efforts in bottles.

Sour beers

Sour beers from Wolf’s Ridge Brewing

New sours were released on July 29th, under what Davison refers to as the Wild Heritage Series. Terre du Sauvage Green and Terre du Sauvage Red are barrel-aged “wild” beers that were fermented in oak for over a year. The Red is one that is particularly exiting to Chris. He shared that is brewed with 40% rye in addition to the other funky ingredients in the mix. Having sampled these as well as the Gold and the Red Legacy, we look forward to continuing to introduce more people to the wild things the Wolf has dragged in to the Brewery. Join us on the Craft and Draft Tour to find out what to expect next from Wolf’s Ridge Brewing (before anyone else does).

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