Wild Wolf Brewing Area 151
I’m pretty sure I’ve had one of Wild Wolf’s beer before — on draught at the Fredericksburg Capital Alehouse — but I’m not entirely sure which one it may have been. Regardless, when I happened across this bottle of the brewery’s Area 151, it was the first time I had seen any of their products at any of the stores nearby. Seemed as good a time as any to fully introduce myself to the Nellysford company.
Area 151 is, according to the brewery’s website, a “word play on our location (Virginia Route 151) and the uniqueness of the beer…” I can dig that though I’m not entirely sure if I would consider the beer all the unique. Different? Sure.
Wild Wolf has produced several versions of their Area 151 over the last year or so. The brewery typically starts with their Blonde Hunny, a 6.8% ABV Belgian Blonde, and then adds seasonal fruit to the mix. This time around it’s Raspberries, the addition of which gives the beer a kriek-like character, but in an odd way.
Area 151 pours pinkish amber with a pink-tinted white cap of foam that fizzled out pretty quickly.
The beer smells kriek-ish in that it’s got the raspberry and yeasty character, but no tartness or sweetness to speak of. There’s a bit of herbal spiciness to it.
As subdued as the nose is, the flavors may be even more so. We get the solid base of the blonde ale, a touch of yeast and a soft sweetness, but the fruit is hard to pick out. It sits pretty far off in the distance with light, bready malts and a hint of spices. The beer is pretty light bodied with an active carbonation and finishes quite dry with a hint of hop bitterness.
I would have loved to have a bit more raspberry in the flavor department with this one. Area 151 is an easy drinking beer despite the 7% ABV and is pretty refreshing, but it’s all rather subdued. There’s just not much going on for me — not enough there to draw me back for more.