Jul 26, 2010

Avery Brabant

I’m sure, like me, you get pretty excited when you first hear news from a brewery regarding a new line of products they plan to release. If, also like me, you’re a big fan of Avery Brewing out of Colorado, then you’ve been itching to find a bottle of their Brabant since it was first released back in February 2009.

This inaugural release from the Brewery’s then new barrel-aged line of beers was aged in Red Zinfandel barrels for eight months before it was let loose in public. It’s also a beer that wasn’t made with any one style in mind at the onset of the brewing process. Combining two strains of Brettanomyces (wild yeast for those of you more unfamiliar) this is definitely what one would call a wild ale.

Having only been brewed and released the one time (and probably never again), this is most likely the only time I’ll enjoy this beer. Sad, but still pretty damned cool.


This bottle of Brabant (nearly a year and a half old) poured a dark, dark brown with a dark red edge around the sides of the glass. The smallish, light tan head faded fairly slowly to a thin ring of bubbles.


There is a good amount of Zinfendel grapes up front that are followed by oak and that tell-tale Brett funkiness. It’s got a great nose, but not as funky as I would have expected. Perhaps it’s mellowed a bit over time. There’s a small touch of tartness and spices in there, as well.


The flavors of the brew follow the nose for the most part. It starts off semi-sweet with vinous grapes, then is followed by a light oak woodiness and a nice round of grassy funkiness. The finish is on the dry side with a good bit of tartness. Again, it’s not as sour as some of the wild ales I’ve had recently (Victory Hop Wild for example), but it’s got a slight touch of a sour character to it. The rather smooth mouthfeel, complexity and 8.65% ABV make this a beer to relax to and enjoy slowly.


Brabant isn’t the most aggressive beer that uses wild yeast. Perhaps that was the aim of Avery when they brewed it or perhaps it’s due to the extended period in the bottle. It is one of the more smoothly drinking wild ales I’ve enjoyed and wasn’t as sour or funky as I was expecting. That said, it may still be a bit too much for some palates.

Rating: 3.5/5

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