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Mar 23, 2007 05:49 AM

Lambic / wild yeast style beer in SF

Coming up on my first visit to San Francisco (one night only) and figured, if the sourdough is so good and unique, then a wild yeast beer should have a good unique flavor. Any recommendations?
Thank you

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  1. You could visit Toronado and get a Cantillon or Liefman's Goudenband on draft. I'd skip the Lindeman's.

    2 Replies
    1. re: ted

      Anything local (not Belgian)? I think to pick up the wild yeast it'd have to be brewed there.
      Thank you so much for your quick response.

      1. re: kojikiri

        You should be able to find Russian River beers there. Temptation, Supplication, and Beatification are all sour beers they produce.

    2. Here is a list from BeerAdvocate of several American Wild Ales (beers that are introduced to "wild" yeast or bacteria):

      Both Russian River and Pizza Port should be readily available in the SF area.

      2 Replies
      1. re: afty698

        Out of curiosity, do you happen to know which of these are getting exclusively airborne yeasts? Cantillon is the only beer I know of that exclusively uses these.

        1. re: jpschust

          The thing about airborne yeast is that it takes away the brewers control over the taste of the final product. In the case of Russian River, he sells his barrel-aged beers at a decent price, so I think he's a little more deliberate about what goes into the beer. You want to be able to predict how the flavor's going to come out, or at least make an educated guess.

          Since the traditional beers employ known bacteria like lactobacillus, pediococcus, and brettanomyces, it's possible to use these bacteria from a lab, and still get the same wild flavors.

          Also, traditional lambic producers in Belgium age their beer in old oak casks, which is one way of ensuring some consistency of flavor, since bugs live in those casks.

          I think Haansens Artisinaal is another wild yeast brewer.