Food Republic has published an article on the origins on wild-fermented beers in the US. The article relays details on a seminal trip in 2006 by the owners of 5 American breweries to Cantillon in Belgium: Allagash, Dogfish Head, Russian River, Avery and The Lost Abbey.
[Russian River Brewing owner Vinnie] Cilurzo wasn’t the only brewer inspired on that voyage. In 2008, Allagash Brewing of Portland, Maine, became the first to utilize a coolship, a large pan used for open-air “wild” fermentation. As Allagash brewmaster Jason Perkins recalls, shortly after the trip, “[owner] Rob Todd came in, and basically said, ‘Fuck it, let’s build a coolship. And let’s do it right.’” The brewery had been emulating old-world Belgian brewing techniques for decades, but had never taken on an experiment like this.