When is a Ringwood beer not a Ringwood beer? When it’s
a Wild Goose Ringwood beer. Ringwood, of course, is a special strain of
yeast that imparts a uniquely English buttery accent to beers it is
fermented with. Notable Ringwood brewers include Maine’s Shipyard, Vermont’s
Magic Hat, and New York’s Middle Ages. You’ll know what Ringwood is like
when you drink one of their beers, too.
That used to be the case with Maryland’s Wild Goose brewery, too. Lately,
however, I’ve noticed a trend against that distinct Ringwood flavor in their
beers. To be sure, they’re still fermented with Ringwood, but there are ways
to attenuate the character the yeast imparts. I don’t see the sense of same,
but of course that’s just my opinion.
That said, Wild Goose IPA is still a decent enough brew. At 50 IBUs,
it’s more of a British styled IPA than an American one, but it has a decent
hop character all the same. Warrior, Golding, and Willamette hops are used
to deliver that, and the beer is dry hopped on Goldings during fermentation.
Wild Goose IPA pours to a pale orange color with a thick foamy head
of tightly packed bubbles and a tea-like hoppy nose. As I take a sip I’m
immediately reminded again that this is more of on English styled IPA than
an immensely hopped American one. I get a nice amount of caramel malt
underneath, enough to give a firm body but not as much as in some of the
other big hop monsters out there.
Curiously, and as stated above, I don’t get much Ringwood yeast character,
though supposedly they still use it. But there’s plenty of herbal hop aroma
here, and even a nice smack of hop bitterness in the finish. I really like
this one, folks, and despite what some American beer geeks will tell you, a
good IPA doesn’t have to hit you over the head with hops, it should just be
a very hop oriented brew. Wild Goose IPA is, and I recommend it, even if it
isn’t an ideal example of a Ringwood IPA. Go find some
Middle Ages Impaled Ale if you want that, but don’t pass up on the Wild
Goose when you do. In and of it’s own right, it’s a tasty little beer
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For
reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.