Dan Martich's picture

Judge's Review: 92 Rating - Wild Grape Ale by Hi-Wire Brewing

March, 2018
Judges Rating: 
22 / 24
6 / 6
37 / 40
9 / 10
Overall Impression: 
18 / 20

Wild Grape Ale by Hi-Wire Brewing is being evaluated as a Mixed Fermentation Sour Beer (Category 28B) from the 2015 BJCP guidelines. 

This beer poured blonde with a pinkish tint, brilliantly clear and very carbonated with a ½” thick white head that dropped quickly as is the case for sours. The small bubbles rising to the top gave this beer a champagne-like appearance that was rather pleasing.

A high amount of ripe pineapple character in the aroma ends slightly acidic but not offensive, there are also some ripened pears too. Oaky elements from the barrel round it out, with a light grassiness and fruit esters.

The highly juicy, non-sweet pineapple character comes through in the flavor. The pear notes and fruity red apples esters noted in the aroma are here. Hops are absent, but finishes dry as a bone with a short acidic finish. The balance is toward the fruity/sourness, with a lingering fruit in the aftertaste.

This is one super juicy sour ale; the added grape must gives this beer a Kir Royale look that many people will find agreeable. The wood character note comes through mildly in the form of oaky dry, with little vanilla just before the finish. One thing to note is that the Malbec-wine character of musty, robust, and light cedar is not detected much at all in the beer. Here’s a very pleasant beer to drink at celebrations and parties, and beckons to be served in a champagne flute.