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Wild beer is great!

Our Journey

We decided to take a few minutes to hunt down some of the brews that will really pop this season, matching up with the heat of the season and offering a refreshing taste without the high ABV that comes with many of the hopped-up brews of late. We found a few styles that really suit this need, one of which is the American Brett brewing style. Although we’ll be featuring several styles in this general area, we want to give each its own unique post, so first up is the American Brett, along with some of the brews you can find in this style for the summer season.

What on earth is an American Brett?

While some folks would call the American Brett a sour beer, that is not exactly the case. Yes, this brewing style is classified in the “sour” category, but not so much due to its “sour” nature as the fact that they simply need a way to keep it organized. Most list these wild brews alongside sours for propriety rather than as a classification, which would be far more correct. The American Brett features phenolic characteristics due to the Brettanomyces organisms present. Not the same as a sour brew, these brews often take on the color and characteristics of any fruit and other ingredients that are used, making the color range quite changeable. This allows for a very creative brewing style, as you never know exactly how each batch is going to turn out as to color. The blending of the batches is what helps to balance it all out, again changing the hue, so in the end, you could have a brew that features a lovely strawberry or raspberry hue to it if those fruits are used.

The addition of fruits is pretty common in this brewing style, as it takes to fruit like a duck to water and the resulting flavor profile can be intense, while still remaining very refreshing. With a varying IBU and ABV, these brews are often listed as Saisons or Session Ales, though you may find one that can stand up with the heavy hitters with ease. Again, this is part of what makes these brews so great, because the style itself is open for creativity, something we love in the craft brewing industry and as enthusiasts in general.

What are a few American Brett style brews that are great?

There are plenty of these brews out there for you to try. As we mentioned, the changeability of the style is what makes it so fun to brew and old and new craft breweries alike enjoy creating these as small-batch brews for their tasting rooms for the most part, though you may find some that are regulars on the tap lists. Check below for a couple of great American Brett style brews that you really should give a shot.

  • Dreamy Thing (Cerebral Brewing, Denver, CO) – This lovely wild beer is listed as a Pale Ale, which is simply is. Not too wild, with just the right amount of hops character and well-balanced, it is definitely worth a taste. A collaboration brew, it certainly has turned heads and we hope to see it over and again on the taps if possible.
  • Mithril Dice (Three Floyd’s Brewing Co.) – This brew is sure to catch your attention, hold it, and lead you on a merry chase for more. The pour is perfect, with a decent head that lasts the entire length of the brew, unless of course, you take hours to drink it. After all, everything has a limit and the head should not have to wait for you that long. In true wild ale style, the brew can feature notes of cherry, other red fruits, and even a hint of coffee that teases the senses. Highly recommended as a take-home beer!

Tell us about the Bretts you have tried!

We love hearing about the different brews our readers have tried. Leave us a comment and let us know about the Brett style brews you have come across in your brewing travels. Here at West Palm Beach Brewery and Wine Vault, we are working hard to get ready for our own opening later this year and your comments make us smile at the end of a hard day! Located in the Warehouse District of West Palm Beach, we’ll be helping to add some flavor and premium wine to the region, direct from Pankauski Wine Cellars in Napa Valley, California, so we have a lot of work to do to be ready to invite all of you in! In the meantime, from all of us, happy tasting!


May 31, 2017