An article by Noah Forrest
About two years ago I wrote about The Wild Shack for the first time. Back then, you probably had no idea who they were.
That has changed.
The talented and sexy duo behind The Wild Shack are the illustrious Remi Galipeau and Maxime Dallaire. And this year, they have been very busy. In between regimented brewing sessions at their east-end downtown Montréal apartment, The Wild Shack has managed to garner quite a following and reputation within the Québec (and Ontario) beer scene. They seem to have found a way to bridge the gap between home brewing and commercial brewing, creating a brand synonymous with spectacular sour, wild, and hoppy beers.
At this point, these two have done collaborations with L’Espace Public, Brouerie Sutton, L’hermite, and Vices&versa. Soon enough, you’ll also see products by Half Hours on Earth, Lagabière, Oshlag, and Maltstrom carrying a Wild Shack credit. That’s crazy impressive and I can’t wait to have all these collaborative concoctions dancing in my mouth.
I was able to get myself a plethora of their bottles to write about once again, and I can’t wait to tell you all about them. Let’s get started.
C’est du Jus
Starting off, we have C’est du Jus, a Mosaic Dry Hopped Sour. The nose is a peppery and juicy mix of rich mosaic deliciousness. Mango and tangerine mix with some lemony highlights. This smells divine, and yes, smells like du jus.
On the flavour front this beer is exquisitely balanced, with a subtle acidity alongside bright fruity hop notes and a clean, very dry finish. It’s tangy and juicy all around, with mango and a general citrus followed by a grassy and earthy component. I really loved this one.
Rouge des Fentes
Next up is Rouge des Fentes, a sour red ale aged on Cranberries. The nose is a rich mix of cherry, candied fruits, cranberry, and hints of vanilla. It smells incredibly tart, and carries some earthy yeast funk. The aromatics are wonderfully layered here, being juicy and rich at the same time.
It’s sour up front, and incredibly dry. The cranberry tannins are intense with a crazy mouth puckering dryness. It’s quite tangy, lending under-ripe red fruits, like cherry, raspberry and cranberry to the flavour profile. Although intensely sour, there is a balance here with from the malt base and fruit addition, creating a dry but slightly rounded overall profile. Delicious stuff!
Golden Shower is up next. This beer is a blend of a golden sour ale and a sour wheat farmhouse ale. The nose is an intense fruit concoction, bursting with apricots and peaches. The aromas are quite acidic, but overall seems balanced.
The palate matches, but the sourness is more restrained than expected. Lots of stone fruits meet tart underripe apple and pear. There is a touch of freshly cut wheat. It’s highly drinkable and goes down super easy. Even at its 7% ABV – it drinks more like 5%.
Gozer is a Mosaic dry hopped Gose. The nose carries a bright mix of earthy and zesty mosiac fruitiness, mixed with some slightly dusty brett phenols. It’s impressively spicy and fruity all at once. There is a abundance of fruitiness here, tossing mango, pineapple, melon and tangerine at me all at once.
The palate matches the nose, but carries an intense sourness to add even more complexity to the whole thing. Lemon peel and under-ripe orange meet tropical fruits, like papaya, passion fruit and pineapple. The dry hop provides a juicy element that further compliments the sourness, adding a clementine-like component to the intensely acidic bite. The finish lingers, echoing all that juiciness alongside some vanilla and subtle salt.
Steven Seagal’s Raspberry Bday
Steven Seagal’s Raspberry Bday is a Raspberry Berliner Weisse. The nose is a bright raspberry bomb, carrying intense zesty and fruity aromatics. It’s also a bit jammy, with some rich cooked fruits coupled alongside serious acidity.
The palate is mouth puckeringly sour up front, holding ample berry goodness which lends juicy and bright fruity flavours and tannins. Although being exceptionally sour, the low ABV and lighter body make it very crushable. There is an earthiness here as well as some light acetic notes but they are extremely subtle and barely perceptible.
The Wild Shack continues their brilliant ability to produce fantastic beers in their own home. Their ability to create impressive sour and hoppy concoctions is often staggering, making what they’re doing that much more impressive. And as I mentioned above, there are some amazing collaborations coming very soon. Definitely follow their Facebook page for updates about their upcoming projects in the near future – you won’t regret it. At the very least, you’ll get a kick out of their beer names!
An article by Noah Forrest
Photography by Noah Forrest