Beer Beer Beer

Odd Breed Wild Ales Seeks to Bring the Blended Brews to South Florida

Sybarite Pig owner Daniel Naumko, along with former Wild Oak Artisan Ales and current Brewzzi brewer Matt Manthe, are teaming up to create a new brewery concept in southern Palm Beach County called Odd Breed Wild Ales.

Their goal? To make some of the wildest ales they can.

The duo are looking to open a brewing space in either Delray Beach or Boynton Beach (the unofficial brewery capital of the county), where they can produce beers for the South Florida market and beyond.

"Hopefully sooner than later," Naumko said of their opening date. "I keep saying hopefully before the end of the year."

Manthe agreed, adding that the opening date depends largely on permitting, which is mostly out of their control. 

So what exactly is a wild ale? Simply put, it's a term that generally encompasses beers brewed using yeasts and bacteria such as Brettanomyces and Lactobacillus. They are usually viewed as a contaminant in most "standard" beer-brewing operations but can be used to a managed degree to create impressive flavors commonly described as "barnyard" or "funky."

"Odd Breed is simply our way of thinking about wild ale drinkers and producers," Manthe says. "We really do believe that they're in a class of their own. Our slogan, 'Flavor From Fermentation,' really emphasizes what we're trying to do is based on different wild yeast strains, barrel aging, different complexities, and flavor profiles that you can achieve through fermentation, as opposed to just from using hops or fruit or spices or other flavorings."

Not that Manthe is opposed to beers brewed with fruit, but the result has to fit within the Odd Breed wild-ale philosophy.

"Today we had a beer with kumquats. The kumquats kind of balance out some of the fermentation characteristics, so it's not meant to be a kumquat ale; it's a wild ale with kumquats added. I think that would sum up our approach and a lot of what we do."

A key facet of Odd Breed's approach to brewing is the idea of blending. Beers will be blended, from different ages, different barrels, different fruits — the possibilities are practically endless. Pair that with some plans to produce cider and meads that can be blended along with the beers and you have a recipe for some seriously interesting concoctions. 

"Customers that are interested in our beers are pretty discerning customers," says Manthe. "And fortunately, they're already pretty well-educated on wild beers, sour beers, so it makes our job, I think, a little bit easier, in that sense."

Naumko agrees.

"I am very proud of the Florida craft beer consumer. Me having ties with the Sybarite Pig, pretty much every sour beer that we get is sold out, like superfast. People really are looking for more of that. When we opened three years ago, one thing I do remember is that the beers that I was bringing in, we were the only bar in 40 miles of where we were that were going for them. Now you see it a little more readily available everywhere. That doesn't mean that what I did with the Pig changed anything, but it was a wave regardless of me opening the bar or not."

As Odd Breed starts out, they'll be working with just a small brew house that will be feeding their tasting room and allowing the duo to work on experimental batches.

For their larger-scale production, they'll be working with a system called contract wort production.

"[It's] similar to what Crooked Stave does, the Rare Barrel, Casey Brewing and Blending, where they don't actually own their brew house but they get some of their beers produced at other local breweries and then ship in their wort and do all the fermentation, all the barrel aging, packaging [in house]," says Manthe. "We'd be working closely with another local brewery that would be making our recipe; we would be there, oversee the whole process, as well as transporting it with a truck back to our facility."

"All fermentation would happen in-house," Naumko says. "The brew house will be completely full of critters that will make very tasty beers."

Once the brewery opens, Odd Breed will begin with a core of three beers, including a 100 percent Brett Pale Ale and a Golden Sour, which will begin to form the basis of their adventurous blending program. It'll be a unique experience for South Florida's beer consumers to witness a different side of fermentation: Everything will have brett and be aged in a barrel.

For now, those interested in finding out more can head to Finding them at an event in the near future will require a little bit of traveling, but they'll be around pouring at Sour Sunday at the Cajun Cafe on August 23, the Key West Beer Festival on September 5, and the Halfway There beer festival September 12.

Doug Fairall is a craft beer blogger who focuses on Florida beers, and has been a homebrewer since 2010. For beer things in your Twitter feed, follow him @DougFairall and find the latest beer pics on Clean Plate's Instagram.