Chilean beer: Szot Wild

Szot Microbrewery comes up quickly when you start looking into Chilean microbreweries, and with good reason. They brew a nice variety of ales and lean on their Rubia al Vapor (steam beer) as a flagship beer, but what pushes Szot to the next level are their special beers, including their Wild beer. I had the chance to exchange some messages with Kevin Szot, and he said that the Wild is based on their steam beer, but fermented with a secondary bacteria from their “local flora and fauna.” The bottle I had was their 2013 edition (brewed in 2011), and Kevin clarified that it is not a lacto bacteria, and needs two years to let the nail polish remover smell fade and come into its own. I was able to culture the yeast from the bottle–it was a vigorous fermentation within hours, surprisingly–and added it to my yeast bank. As far as I know (to be fair, I know very little), this might be the only wild beer in Chile. 

Szot Wild, Wild Steam Beer (although Szot compares it to a Gueze), 5.8% ABV

Appearance: copper/light brown, tiny chill haze, very low carbonation, sliver of off-white head.
Aroma: apple or grape juice, some cinnamon.
Taste: all malt at first, biscuit and toasty. Some sweet caramel malt there. Some oak, it’s tannic and fruity.
Mouthfeel: low carbonation, almost flat.

Overall, this tasted a lot like a sweet, malty brown ale. I was caught off-guard only because I tend to associate “wild” with “sour,” which of course is not necessarily the case. I’d love to have had the Rubia al Vapor next to it to compare, but overall, this was tasty and fascinating.

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