American Wild Ale

BJCP 2021:


American Wild Ale is a beer category that showcases the broad spectrum of flavors derived from alternative fermentations, incorporating microorganisms beyond traditional brewer's yeast. This results in beers with unique characteristics, heavily influenced by the wild yeast strains and bacteria like Lactobacillus, Pediococcus, or Brettanomyces. These microflora can be introduced intentionally or occur spontaneously through exposure to the natural environment, particularly when the wort is cooled in open-air vessels known as coolships or through barrel aging.

This style category includes a variety of beer styles that exhibit a wide range of sourness, funkiness, and fruitiness. They are typically distinguished by their complex flavors and aromas which might include tartness, barnyard funk, leather, earthy or fruity notes; these emerge from deliberate fermentation practices steeped in both science and artistry. The American Wild Ales often differ greatly not just batch to batch but also within a single brewery's offerings due to the unpredictable nature of non-traditional yeasts and bacteria. These ales stand distinct from other categories with their intentional embrace of the peculiarities imparted by these microorganisms – traits that are typically avoided in more conventional beer styles where consistency and purity of yeast strains are paramount.

Distinct beer styles within this category:



In Database
2.8 < 5.7 < 9.5 %


In Database
1 < 15 < 79 IBU


In Database
5 < 8 < 61 EBC
2 < 4 < 31 SRM

Original Extract

In Database
7.1 < 12.9 < 19.6 °P
1.028 < 1.052 < 1.082 OG

Final Gravity

In Database
0.3 < 2.6 < 6.1 °P
1.001 < 1.010 < 1.024 FG

Popularity Over Time

Most Used Yeasts

Most Used Hops

Dosage of Hops

Hop Pairings

Brewing Recipes