Five Years of Making the Wildest Beer in South Florida
By Joe Pye
Odd Breed Wild Ales in Pompano Beach to host anniversary party with vintage beers and new bottle releases.
In November 2017, Matt Manthe opened a brewery named Odd Breed Wild Ales because it was an obscure beer style in the South Florida market. Barrel-aged wild beer was his passion. And five years later, it still is.
Odd Breed fascinates me because it’s not a hugely popular or lucrative endeavor. Less than a handful of Florida breweries release one or two of this beer style annually, where it’s all Manthe focuses on.
Odd Breed’s style of beer is a blend of science and art that Manthe has nailed down in his career spanning more than 15 years, across two continents.
In a recent conversation with Manthe, I couldn’t help asking why continue making something so challenging when he could just increase profits with easier-to-make and easier-to-sell beer styles.
“I’ve always felt if you’re gonna bust your ass working in a brewery, you’re not doing it for the money. Because that’s not great. So, you know, what are you doing it for?” Manthe tells me. “If you’re not doing it for passion, then you might as well just do something else. Five years after opening Odd Breed, I feel like, if anything, I’m more interested in this beer now than I’ve ever been.”
On Saturday, Nov. 19, from 12 to 10 p.m., the self-proclaimed “Minister of Funk” will break out some of his best beer, including three winners of the largest beer judging competition in the world. VIP tickets are $75 for unlimited pours and a bottle of Odd Breed’s fifth-anniversary ale.
Tickets are available here. There won’t be a general admission cost and those guests can pay as they go. Kaminari Ramen popup will be serving food.
Say cheers with award-winning and vintage beers
Manthe will release three new 750 ml bottles, with the anniversary bottle included with VIP tickets.
Unfamiliar with Odd Breed’s style of beer? It stands out from most breweries in this area because the beer itself has the complexity of wine. Everything is barrel aged and takes at least a year to produce.
From brew day through the fermentation and barrel aging process, each beer is crafted to enjoy in the hot and humid climate of South Florida. Below is a list Manthe gave me to describe this year’s anniversary releases.
Fifth Anniversary Ale
- Price: $27. A blend of five unique beers rested in French oak barrels from one to four years. Manthe tells me this one has “aromatics of fresh apricots and peaches through the palate with notes of creamy marzipan and candied oranges.” It’s a 7.3% ABV beer that’s slightly acidic and tropical flavor with a smooth finish.
Coloring Outside the Lines
- Price: $29. This blend of two wild IPAs brewed with Strata, Amarillo, Mosaic, Citra, and Mandarina Bavaria hops clocks in at 7.5% ABV. It was aged in French oak barrels for a year and transferred onto 300 pounds of organic mangoes. He then dry-hopped this beer with Azacca and El Dorado. Manthe says this one is “incredibly juicy and tropical – brimming with notes of fresh cut mango and overripe pineapple, with subtle notes of resin and pine on top of Brett funk and refreshing acidity.”
Oddities and Outliers Blend III
- Price: $27. This is the third batch of a series Manthe calls “Oddities and Outliers.” Last year’s won a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival for the “mixed-culture brett beer” category. He tells me this beer is made up of three different beers blended in specific proportions. Here’s how Manthe describes it: “This layered beer delivers notes of lemon verbena, pineapple, and white grapefruit along a backdrop of sandalwood and earthy funk.”
Running the only brewery in South Florida focused on wild ales has presented unique challenges from production to teaching customers about his product. Reflecting on the past five years, he still holds onto the passion that drove him to open Odd Breed.
“I’ve definitely learned more along the way,” Manthe says. “There’s so much that people don’t know about when it comes to making these types of beers. In part, because science hasn’t yet totally explained everything. To me, that keeps things from getting boring or redundant.”