If there is one beer that embodies the spirit and flavor of brewing in Minnesota, it is the Wild Brunette. Barley John’s signature beer, this brown ale recipe has been a house favorite since the small brewpub opened 13 years ago in New Brighton.
Head Brewer Brian Lonberg says the large percentage of Minnesota-grown wild rice in the grist provides a unique nuttiness, smooth body, and flavors of vanilla and almonds. When served chilled, the bitterness stands out, but certainly does not overpower the rich, semi-sweet chocolate malt character. As the beer warms you get more malty goodness in the form of medium roastiness, earthy grain, and mushroom essence from the wild rice, melding nicely with an increasingly herbal and spicy hop flavor. I personally feel Barley John’s English-style house yeast strain also provides the slightest note of tart raspberry and mineral. Beware—you have to watch out for this gal! At 7.2% ABV, Wild Brunette is stealthy—drinking smooth and velvety without showing much of her strength in the flavor. Of course, a beer this delectable deserves a nice food pairing. Try the Wild Brunette with one of Barley John’s burgers, handmade pizzas, or oysters if you’re lucky enough to be at the brewpub when they are available.
Wild Brunette is available year-round at Barley John’s Brew Pub, served onsite in an 8-oz and 16-oz glass, 64-oz pitcher, or to-go by the growler.
Barley John’s Brew Pub
781 Old Highway 8 SW
New Brighton, MN 55112