Aug 2, 2012

New Belgium Lips of Faith Brett Beer

I picked up this bottle of New Belgium’s Lips of Faith Brett Beer (a collaborative effort from with California’s Lost Abbey Brewing) on the same day that I purchased the series Tart Lychee. And while I enjoyed the first brew, I believe the subdued and refined character of this was has it edging out it’s compadre by a nose.

The use of Brett (Brettanomyces is a wild yeast strain) in beer is nothing new and it’s an element of brewing that I am particularly fond of. It imparts a unique character upon the end product, usually in the form of a sourness or tartness. I’m not sure if I drank this bottle of Brett Beer too early, but it is neither sour nor tart. In fact, there is but a hint of a Brett-like character within it’s depths.


Brett Beer pours a straw yellow in color with just the slightest bit of haze. The white cap fell slowly to a patchy, though resilient surface lace.


Grains, grassy hops, earthy hay/straw, light fruits (peach) and just a hint of sour in the background.


Brett Beer doesn’t come across as a wild ale in the least. Peach, light grassy hops, grain and a hint of lactic sourness in the semi-sweet finish are present throughout the beer, but it’s not as “wild” as I had expected, knowing who’s behind the collaboration. The beer has a soft mouthfeel with a light amount of carbonation, but a fuller than expected body. It’s quite drinkable and refreshing, but again, not very wild.


Despite the science that brewery’s employ to control the effects of a cultured Brettanomyces yeast strain, in the end you never really know what you’re going to get once the beer is bottled. Sometimes the Brett character doesn’t appear until months after the fact. I’m hoping this is the case with this particular release.

It’s not a bad beer and I quite enjoyed it, but if you’re going to name a beer after a wild yeast strain, it should probably have a little more in common with what consumers are expecting. Sure, the Belgian brewers of the wonderfully tasty Orval use Brettanomyces in their recipe and it’s not sour in any way, shape or form — though a lactic presence does arrive in much older bottles. I suppose the difference here is in the advertising. The name of this beer creates pre-conceived notions in a buyer’s head before they’ve opened it and once the beer doesn’t live up to those expectations, well, it can be a bit of a let down.

At any rate, like I said, I still enjoyed the beer for what it is — a refreshing Belgian ale. I’d still recommend picking it up and forming your own opinion since it’s not overly expensive. I’ll probably pick up another bottle or two myself to set aside for some time. I’m curious to see how the Brett develops.

Rating: 3.75/5

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