Style Details

Name
Brett Beer
Cate­go­ry
Ame­ri­can Wild Ale
BJCP Style Code
28 A
Appearan­ce
Varia­ble by base style. Cla­ri­ty can be varia­ble, and depends on the base style and ingre­dients used. Some haze is not necessa­ri­ly a fault.
Aro­ma
Varia­ble by base style. Young Brett-fer­men­ted beers will pos­sess more frui­ty notes (e.g., tro­pi­cal fruit, stone fruit, or citrus), but this is varia­ble by the strain(s) of Brett used. For 100% Brett beers hea­vi­ly hop­ped with Ame­ri­can hop varie­ties, the fer­men­ta­ti­on-deri­ved fla­vors are often dif­fi­cult to tease from the hop aro­ma­tics. Older 100% Brett beers may start to deve­lop a litt­le funk (e.g., barn­y­ard, wet hay, or slight­ly ear­thy or smo­ky notes), but this cha­rac­ter should not domi­na­te. If the beer is fer­men­ted with a brewer’s yeast in addi­ti­on to Brett, some of the cha­rac­ter of the pri­ma­ry yeast may remain. A faint sour­ness is accep­ta­ble but should not be a pro­mi­nent cha­rac­ter.
Fla­vour
Varia­ble by base style. Brett cha­rac­ter may ran­ge from mini­mal to aggres­si­ve. Can be qui­te frui­ty (e.g., tro­pi­cal fruit, ber­ry, stone fruit, citrus), or have some smo­ky, ear­thy, or barn­y­ard cha­rac­ter. Should not be unplea­s­ant­ly fun­ky, such as Band-Aid, fetid, nail polish remo­ver, cheese, etc. Light sour­ness is accep­ta­ble with the beer being light­ly tart, but should not be tru­ly sour. Always frui­tier when young, gai­ning more funk with age. May not be ace­tic or lac­tic. Malt fla­vors are often less pro­noun­ced than in the base style, lea­ving a beer most often dry and crisp due to high atte­nua­ti­on by the Brett.
Mouth­feel
Varia­ble by base style. Gene­ral­ly a light body, ligh­ter than what might be expec­ted from the base style but an over­ly thin body is a fault. Gene­ral­ly mode­ra­te to high car­bo­na­ti­on. Head reten­ti­on is varia­ble.
Over­all Impres­si­on
Most often dri­er and frui­tier than the base style sug­gests. Fun­ky notes ran­ge from low to high, depen­ding on the age of the beer and strain(s) of Brett used. Fun­ki­ness is gene­ral­ly restrai­ned in youn­ger 100% Brett examp­les, but tends to incre­a­se with age. May pos­sess a light aci­di­ty, alt­hough this does not come from Brett.
Typi­cal Ingre­dients
Vir­tual­ly any style of beer, fer­men­ted in any man­ner, then finis­hed with one or more strains of Brett. Alter­na­tively, a beer made with Brett as the sole fer­men­ta­ti­on strain.
Histo­ry
Modern Ame­ri­can craft beer inter­pre­ta­ti­ons of Bel­gi­an wild ales, or expe­ri­men­ta­ti­ons inspi­red by Bel­gi­an wild ales or his­to­ri­cal Eng­lish beers with Brett. 100% Brett beers gai­ned popu­la­ri­ty after the year 2000; Port Brewing Mo Bet­ta Bret­ta was one of the first cele­bra­ted examp­les.
Comments
The base style descri­bes most of the cha­rac­ter of the­se beers, but the addi­ti­on of Brett ensu­res a dri­er, thin­ner, and fun­kier pro­duct. Youn­ger ver­si­ons are brigh­ter and frui­tier, while older ones pos­sess more depth of funk and may lose more of the base style cha­rac­ter. Wood-aged ver­si­ons should be ent­e­red in the Wild Spe­cial­ty Beer style. The Brett cha­rac­ter should always meld with the style; the­se beers should never be a ‘Brett bomb’. Note that Brett does not pro­du­ce lac­tic acid.
Com­mer­cial Examp­les
Bou­le­vard Sai­son Brett, Hill Farm­s­tead Arthur, Logs­don Sei­zo­en Bret­ta, Rus­si­an River Sanc­ti­fi­ca­ti­on, The Bru­e­ry Sai­son Rue, Vic­to­ry Heli­os
Ori­gi­nal Gra­vi­ty
0.000 - 0.000 SG
Final Gra­vi­ty
0.000 - 0.000 SG
Color
0 - 0 SRM
Alco­hol
0.0 - 0.0 %vol
Bit­ter­ness
0 - 0 IBU