Wild Beer Co. was founded in 2013 by friends Andrew Cooper and Brett Ellis, who met while working at a brewery in Bristol, England. The brewery is located in Evercreech, England, and produces beers that are based on some of the food that both co-owners have tasted throughout the years as they have traveled around the world.
One of the beers they produce is Bliss, a 6 percent ABV Belgian-style saison packaged in 11.2-ounce bottles that is brewed with brettanomyces, roasted apricots and a “hush-hush” blend of spices. According to the brewery, the apricots are roasted before adding them to the end of the boil, which give the beer “a big round fruit character but not too much sweetness.”
The Wild Beer Co. website has a bit more information:
We wanted a saison with a deeper, darker edge to it, a beer that could also be aged and would develop and change character over time.
There are big fruit flavours from 50kg of roasted apricots and a dry spiciness from the yeast. This is then enhanced by our own additional blend of spices. Bliss has a slightly darker crystal malt edge to it than you would traditionally expect from a saison to help bring the fruit to the fore. The brettanomyces further develops these flavours over time, giving a more rustic farmyard edge to the beer and a further complex fruit character.
The Wild Beer Co. Bliss pours a muddled amber color with three fingers worth of dense head that eventually dissipates to a fairly thick lacing. There is plenty of carbonation visible and aroma from the glass is a combination of apricot skin, earth, smoky oak, yeast, spices and generic sweetness.
Starting off the Wild Beer Co. Bliss exhibits two major flavor profiles at once: there is a smoky—dare I say charred—note on the palate, followed immediately by a subtle sweetness on the finish. The apricot flavor is easily identifiable, but nowhere close to what I would call overwhelming, almost as if the beer has had ice melted in it before I started drinking. Other flavors of lemongrass, oak, black pepper, nutmeg and bready yeast make themselves known at specific points, but none are strong enough to take over dominance from the aforementioned apricot. In addition, there is a bitterness on the finish that only gets stronger as the beer warms up, and the carbonation level is just a touch too high for my tastes.