Monday, July 30, 2012

Brett Beer – New Belgium and Lost Abbey

                I have earlier posts on The Lost Abbey and New Belgium beers that contain a full discussion of their brewers and breweries so I will refrain from jumping into that again here.  Brett Beer, one of the newest in New Belgium’s Lips of Faith series, is a collaborative beer with The Lost Abbey.  Collaborative brews are pretty commonplace in the craft beer industry now, as well known breweries get together to brew what can be an exquisite beer that neither brewery involved would ever have brewed on their own.  Many are successful and delicious, quite a few are not; but the only way to find out for sure what one will taste like is to actually pick up a bottle and try it.  So on with the review and a nifty video that The Lost Abbey posted to YouTube showing portions of the brewing process.
                On Beeradvocate, Brett Beer has a BA Score of 76 with a 73 from the Bros.  At ratebeer it has a 66 overall and an 18 for style.  Those are some pretty low ratings from both sites with ratebeer being noticeably lower as usual.

They say:

                New Belgium Brewing and The Lost Abbey brewery from San Marcos, California have a shared passion for a variety of things, not the least of which is the wild Belgian yeast brettanomyces. So they decided to join forces and collaborate. Lost Abbey Collaboration is brewed simply with pale malts accompanied by Target, Centennial and Sorachi hops for a hint of citrus. Focusing on their mutual respect for the ingredient, the spotlight shines on the brettanomyces, where a full brett fermentation offers bold pineapple overtones and funky, sour edge. The beer is a shining, golden shade and is warming and dry.  The Lost Abbey Collaboration is full of wild wonder and will leave you wanting more.
Just the facts Ma'am...

Birthdate – July, 20212
ABV – 7.5%
Hops – Target, Centennial, Sorachi Ace
Malts – Pale
OG – 21
Body – Medium
Aroma – Tropical overripe pineapple/lemon and tropical fruits, nice pleasant malt and some spicy clove phenols.
Mouthfeel – Starts out luscious fruity and then ends like a Flintstone’s vitamin (fruity and drier)
Flavor – Soft tart/citric character from both the hop and the wild yeast. Some sweet bready and honey notes.
Visual – Hazy pale golden straw with pillowy foam.

I say:

                Brett Beer poured an impressive light gold / straw with a nice foamy head that held good retention and provided decent lacing in the glass.  I poured a particularly vigorous pour so I was expecting a larger head than I got.  The aroma had the characteristic barnyard funk from the brettanomyces, with a very slight amount of pineapple and malty sweetness in the background with just the slightest hints of phenolics.  It was a somewhat pleasant smell, but when I passed the glass over to my wife, she hated it.  So, if you like the aroma of Brett it smells great, if not your results may be mixed.

                The flavor was slightly sweet up front with mango and banana coming to the forefront.  There were bready and earthy notes from the yeast in the background.  Some of the brett funk was apparent in the flavor but it was much more subdued than in the aroma.  I thought it was a very enjoyable beer so I passed the glass over to my wife to get her thoughts.  She begrudgingly took a sip and proclaimed it better than it smelled and almost drinkable.  So there you have it, a beer geek thinks it’s a very good beer; a non-beer geek, not so much.

                It was moderately carbonated and medium bodied.

                Brett Beer from New Belgium and The Lost Abbey was a very good beer.  Both breweries produce excellently brewed beers individually and their combined efforts produced another excellent product.  Hopefully the trend towards large scale collaborative beers continues, I know that I am greatly looking forward to the bottle of Brux, the Russian River and Sierra Nevada collaboration that I have waiting for me in the cellar.

                I am getting ahead of myself though.  Check back later this week for the first in a series of posts on the craft breweries that I visited when I was in Albuquerque for a couple days on vacation.  I wish I would have had time to visit all of them because the beer that I had down there was very good.

Happy Drinking!!

1 comment:

  1. We opened a couple bottles a few weeks ago and thought it was pretty cabbage-y. Not only did I find it too sweet, but the vegetal character was pretty off-putting in general. I've been debating trying to bring my 2nd bottle back and try to exchange it for something else.