Wild Oak Artisan Ales – Brewing With Wood and Funk

This past weekend, I attended the Delray Beach Center for the Arts Old School Beerfest, a community development event that showcased ’99 beers on the lawn’. This included some big names like Lagunitas, Founders, Cigar City, Sweetwater, and Harpoon, but also featured an extensive ‘homebrew alley’ of local homebrewers looking to gauge public reaction.

One such brewer was Matt Manthe, who currently is the head brewer at the Brewzzi brewpub in Boca Raton. His latest project is Wild Oak Artisan Ales, of which he brews out of his garage. The goal? To make sure every beer is funky and touches wood. The result? Let’s just say, South Florida could have themselves a Crooked Stave on their hands.

If all goes well for Manthe, he could be looking at a bit of independence from the brewpub lifestyle.

With his experience (Manthe holds a BS in Microbiology from Clemson University and a Brewmaster diploma from the VLB [Institute for Fermentation and Biotechnology] in Berlin), Wild Oak Artisan Ales might be the next brewery to look out for in South Florida.