Sand Creek Brewing Company - Wild Ride IPA
- ABV: 5.5%
- Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs): 75
- Serving Temperature: 45-50° F
- Suggested Glassware: Pint Glass or Mug
- Malts: 2-Row Pale, Caramel 120
- Hops: Herkules, Cluster, Cascade. Dry-hopped: Centennial
Medium amber in color with a large cap of fluffy foam which laces nicely as it recedes, Wild Ride is a real looker as it rests in the glass. On the nose we picked up a prominent and pungent herbal and earthy hop note, bolstered by floral tones and a touch of citrus zest. In the flavor department, there's a good backbone of malt delivering a light caramel character, offering a fairly neutral but tasty central core structure. But of course the hops are the stars here; look for herbal, spicy, and very zesty citrus notes, with bold earthiness and an underlying floral quality. High alpha acid Herkules bittering hops provide quite a strong bitterness which easily out-punches the residual malt sweetness and keeps this brew dry from the mid-palate to the finish, where it lingers, beckoning another sip. For pairing options, well-spiced roasted fowl or grilled bratwurst sound good to us, but the options are really wide open. Just keep in mind that the high bitterness will emphasize the heat and intensity of spicy dishes, while balancing out sweetness and cutting through fat in other foods. Cheers!
Brewmaster Cory Schroeder began homebrewing in his spare time in the late 1980s and soon realized his knack for crafting good beers. In the late 1990s, he teamed up with business partner Jim Wiesender, and the two set out to build a brewery on the Schroeder family dairy farm. A large shed served as the brewhouse, with various scrounged-up materials serving as the brewing equipment, including a refrigerated semi-trailer which became the beer cooler, and pudding tanks as the mash and brew kettles. The Sand Creek Brewing Company opened for business in 1999, marketing their ales in local taverns and restaurants and via promotion at beer festivals throughout Wisconsin, all the while working to expand and upgrade their brewing facilities.
In early 2004 the opportunity arose to acquire the historic Pioneer Brewing Company in Black River Falls, Wisconsin, and Sand Creek relocated their brewing to that facility. It’s an historic building, dating to 1856 when it started life as the Oderbolz Brewing Company. Brewing had stopped in 1920 due to Prohibition, but Pioneer had revived operations in 1995. Cut into the side of a hill, the brewery was built with thick stone walls insulating a beer storage cellar which Sand Creek uses to this day. The move to this facility gave Sand Creek the opportunity to expand their line-up to almost a dozen different beers, not to mention seasonal and limited-run beers. Pioneer’s very talented brewmaster, Todd Krueger, has remained as Brewmaster and is now a partner in the new, combined brewery operation. He is a multiple World Beer Championship gold medalist—quite an asset to the brewery. For more information about Sand Creek, their tap room, and brewery tours, call 715-284-7553 or check out their web site at www.sandcreekbrewing.com.
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