Joining the breweries taking part in the Festival of Brewers is Wilde Child Brewing Co. Pushing boundaries from day one, Wilde Child have recently outgrown their garage brewery and now have a microbrewery in Armley, Leeds. Here, owner Keir McAllister-Wilde is looking to expand on his already strong brand and reputation.
I’ve had the privilege of following Wilde Child’s progress from it’s very early days. Brewing on kit in his garage, Keir broke on to the scene with three absolute bombs. Where many other newcomers to producing beer may be more conservative with their launch beers, Keir made his intentions clear from day one. ‘Instant Hobo’ (9% ABV Bourbon Imperial Stout), Hopstrosity (10.5% ABV Triple IPA) and Creature of Doom (8.2% ABV Doppelbock) were the beers Keir launched with.
But, when you meet Keir, it absolutely makes sense why he launched with these beers. Wilde in name, and wildly passionate about his beer, Keir is all about big, great flavour, that in many cases challenges the palette of even the most seasoned beer drinkers.
It feels like Wilde Child has come a long way since those first three beers. While the ethos remains the same, the beers have evolved. Recently we’ve seen ‘Beyond Redemption’ (4% ABV Pineapple Milkshake Pale) and ‘Opaque Reality’ (Mango and Passionfruit Milkshake IPA) added to Keir’s flavour-challenging portfolio, amongst many others.
A New Home
Testament to Wilde Child’s success is the recent move out of the garage brew house and into a new home, on Armley Road in Leeds. Moving next door to ‘Pulse & Cocktails’ superstore (people reading this in Leeds will now know EXACTLY where it is now!), Keir can now brew five times that which he was brewing before.
After months of hard work building the brewery, the pinnacle came in April, when Keir was able to open the doors to his brewery to the public, for Wilde Child’s second birthday. Such was the popularity that day, that the bar queue was out of the door and surpassed Keir’s own expectations for attendance.
That busy day was also a sign of just how well-respected Keir is, not just for his beers, but for his addictive passion and creativity. I believe Keir’s potential is limitless.
Festival of Brewers
Ahead of the festival, I had chance to catch up with Keir. We spoke about his beers, and also what Festival of Brewers means to him.
What kind of beers do you usually brew?
Big, bold and interesting. We’re on point with current trends in terms of the more ‘out there’ beers that we produce and we’re proud to be throwing in more hops (even into our weaker beers) than a lot of other Breweries out there at present.
Outside of the Festival of Brewers, where can your beers be regularly found?
Our beers can regularly be found at Head of Steam (Headingley, Leeds & Hull) as well as Arcadia & East of Arcadia in Headingley/Meanwood, House of Trembling Madness in York and Crown & Kettle in Manchester. Our customer base is growing on a weekly basis at present and we’re lucky enough to be dealing with some of the best outlets in the North of England at present.
What beers can we expect from your brewery at Festival of Brewers?
Certainly nothing safe and middle of the road as that’s just not our Company ethos. Expect mid percentage lactose/super hoppy or fruity beers and interesting stouts.
What are you most looking forward to about Festival of Brewers?
I’m looking forward to representing my Company in the City I was born and raised. Nothing gives me a bigger sense of pride than working in an industry I’m so passionate about in my home town.
What would you say to people who are still thinking about attending, who haven’t got a ticket yet?
I’d say this is a great opportunity to try beers from Breweries that you may not often get a chance to sample. We all love and respect the ‘premier league’ Breweries in this Country but a lot of the festivals are dominated by these guys and a lot of smaller/upcoming Breweries get overlooked or left out, so get yourselves down and ‘try it, you might like it’.
The first ever Festival of Brewers event takes place on 29th and 30th June 2018, with New Craven Hall hosting, which can be found just one-mile South of Leeds City Train Station.
All too often, independent beer festivals choose to focus their attention on the same, larger, popular UK craft breweries. This makes it difficult for the hundreds of smaller breweries across the UK to share the spotlight. Festival of Brewers aims to address that by only showcasing the small and independent breweries.
You can find out all the information, including participating breweries and street food vendors, tickets and how to find the venue on the website www.festivalofbrewers.co.ukIf you enjoy reading our content, please consider sharing with your friends using the sharing buttons at the bottom of each post. Also, you can subscribe to receive notifications about new blog posts via email. Simply enter your email address into the 'Subscribe to Mike's Tap Room' box at the top left of this page.